10 Questions to ask before hiring a real estate agent

A real estate agent can be instrumental in helping you find the perfect home because they can search, locate and negotiate the purchase of a new property on your behalf.  they also help list and sell homes you own.  A good place to start when looking for a qualified agent is to ask friends and family for a referral.  Once you've found someone, be sure to ask these questions before committing yourself to the relationship.

1. How long have you been in the business? 

You don't necessarily need an agent that has decades of experience, but it is helpful to have someone who knows their way around the block.  Look for an agent who has time to devote to you and a sold track record and experience negotiating deals.

2. What type of training, education and qualifications do you have in real estate?

The most successful real estate agents are the ones who keep up with the latest trends and developments in their industry.  those who are well-informed will know more about the laws and practices affecting your home purchase.  Commitment to ongoing education also shows a greater level of professionalism.  Be sure to find out what industry qualifications they have.

3. What is your average list price to sales price ratio?

A good agent should be able to get you a good purchase price for the home you are buying.  Ask them about their track record.  Unless there is a shortage of homes to choose from, a good agent should be able to negotiate a price that is lower than list price for buyers.

4.  What is your marketing strategy

As a buyer, it's helpful to know how your agent expects to help you find a home.  Being a good agent means more than just access to MLS.  Will they take the time to determine your needs and wants based on your budget?  Find out if they plan to preview homes in your price range or desired area.  Have they worked in the area long enough to understand the values and sales trends?

5. Can you provide references?

References are a great way to find out the strengths and weaknesses of your agent.  A professional agent should encourage you to call the references with additional questions.

6. What percentage of your business comes from referrals?

Referrals are the bread and butter for real estate agents.  If an agent is competent and has a good history of providing quality service, then a large portion of their business will come from satisfied clients who spread the word.

7. How will you communicate with me and how often?

If you are expecting to speak with your agent directly all through the buying process, be sure to discuss this at the beginning of your relationship.  Some real estate agents prefer to let their assistants communicate with you.  That may be acceptable, but it's important to know up front.

8. What distinguishes you from your competition?

There are literally hundreds of real estate agents waiting for the chance to help you purchase a home.  Find out what separates your choice from the crowd.  Is it that they are honest and trustworthy?  Are they excellent negotiators? Do they make themselves available?

9. Will you help me find other professionals?

Quality agents usually have a strong network of people to whom they can refer clients such as real estate lawyers, home inspectors, mortgage brokers and lenders.  Find out if your agent can save you the time and worry about locating a trusted professional by suggesting people who they know and trust.

10.  Will you personally handle the buying negotiations?

You want to work with an agent who is committed to your deal and who will be the one who personally handles your negotiations.  Some agents let their assistants handle the submission of purchase offers and that isn't going to help you in a tight situation.


Remember, this is one of the biggest financial decisions of your life; be sure to do your homework and find the right agent for you, as not all agents are created equal!  I would love to interview for the job of finding you the perfect home or selling your current home in Saskatoon or surrounding area! 

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Ryan Souster

Ryan Souster

CENTURY 21 Fusion
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