I picked this off a Coldwell Banker commercial, but here are four “fundamental” questions that they say you should ask any real estate agent before you decide to work with them and these are questions they should be able to answer easily (that last part is key).
1. What percent of your company’s listings have sold in the last 12 months?
2. What was the average amount of time it took to sell those listings?
3. What was the average sale price?
4. What was your company’s list-price to sale-price ratio?
These four are good but I think you need to add in some questions of your particular real estate market. If your real estate agent says that the average amount of time it took to sell a listing was two weeks, that might be great if the average time overall were three months. If the average time was one week, then that two week time frame isn’t as strong. It’s all relative to your market and we all know that different markets can provide drastically different numbers.
Also, a question like #3 deals with expertise, even if it doesn’t appear that way. If you’re selling a $300,000 home then you don’t want someone who is used to selling million dollar homes. They might not work as hard at selling it because the commissions are lower. They also might not know how to market your home because the clientele will be different.
Ultimately, if you plan on shopping around for an agent, remember that these questions are relative so you can compare the answers of different agents. Also, these aren’t the only questions you should ask in judging what agent you should be using… they’re merely a starting point.