Before you sign on with a real estate agent, make sure you're asking the right questions. Here are five to be sure to ask.

5 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent

If you’re like most American property owners, you’ll find yourself moving at least once every 13.3 years. That might not sound like long—but it’s certainly long enough to let you put the hassles of selling or buying property out of your mind!

From cleaning your home to hiring movers, any real estate transaction can become a major headache in no time. Unfortunately, this is especially true without an expert real estate agent on your side.

The right agent can help streamline the process on your behalf, from negotiations to marketing. But how can you make sure you’re hiring the right one? When the success of your next move hinges on finding the perfect agent, here are five questions you’ll want to ask them up front.

1. How Many Years Have You Been in the Business?

While it’s perfectly fine to partner with a new agent, it’s always a good idea to look for an experienced veteran or a long-established real estate team. With more years in the business, these experts will have a better sense of the current market and the best strategies for the job.

You’ll also want to find someone with expertise in the area where you want to sell or buy a house. Be sure to ask for more information about the real estate climate in the local area to see what the agent can tell you—and don’t hesitate to ask for local references.

2. What’s Your Communication Style, and Who’s My Point of Contact?

Whether you prefer to talk, text, or email, it’s a good idea to partner with someone who has a similar communication style to yours. This is especially true when you consider that you’ll be working together for several weeks, if not months!

Ask about any apps your agent uses for showings or updates, and discuss any times in which you won’t want to be disturbed. In addition, don’t forget to also make sure you know who your primary point of contact will be, especially if you’re working with a team!

3. What Sets You Apart from Other Real Estate Agents?

A good agent should be ready to give you several answers to this question, all of which can help you decide whether or not you’re a good match. If you’re concerned about their credentials, don’t hesitate to ask about their education and background. Many real estate agents will belong to various associations or brokerages, and some may have completed specific training to tackle certain areas of the market.

4. What Would Your Strategy Be for My Situation?

If you’re in a competitive market, it may help to know what your real estate agent would do if you chose to work with them.

Would they recommend tweaking your sale price, or have they had great experiences with professional staging? Do they recommend a unique marketing strategy, or do they have insider knowledge of local buyers’ mindsets? How will they handle multiple offers?

5. How Is Your Contract Set Up?

Ask for access to the contract up front so you can review it prior to signing. In addition, ask whether you can cancel the contract without a penalty, and be sure that you understand the commission fees.

Find the Right Real Estate Agent Today

Whether you’re selling or buying a property, the right real estate agent can make all the difference. Partnering with an experienced professional can relieve your stress and even score you significant savings, allowing you to put the money toward your other moving expenses. As you narrow down your search, make sure you ask these five questions when you interview your prospective agents!

Looking for more tips to help you make the most of your real estate? Be sure to check out our other guides for additional insights.

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