11 Questions to Ask a Potential Real Estate Agent

| by NAEBA

The right real estate agent -- or the wrong one -- can have a great deal of impact on not only the outcome, but the entire process of buying a home.

The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents encourages homebuyers to ask the following questions when interviewing a potential agent for representation. By learning the answers to these questions, buyers can ensure they are hiring the right real estate agent to represent them:

1. How long have you been licensed? Do you work in real estate full time?
2. What percentage of your business is working with buyers?
3. How familiar are you with the area where I want to purchase?
4. Do you have references from other buyers who have used your services? Do you have an association membership that has a published code of ethics or standards of practice?
5. Do you think foreclosures, bank-owned properties or for-sale-by-owner properties would be appropriate for my home search?
6. How often will you supply me with properties that meet my criteria? How will you get them to me? Will you point out all the negative aspects of each property as well as all the positive aspects?
7. Please tell me how you represent buyers to help them get the best price and terms.
8. Can you help me with the loan process? Do you have a list of lenders, home inspectors, insurance agents, and other professionals to recommend?
9. How do you get paid?
10. Do you have a written agreement? What is the duration of that agreement? What if I see a for-sale-by-owner house on my own?
11. How would you represent me as a buyer client for properties listed with your firm? Will you change your relationship with me to "dual agency", "designated agent", or "transactional broker"? How might that affect your ability to negotiate on my behalf for those properties?