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Questions to Ask When Interviewing Your Next Real Estate Agent

Written by: Kristy Welsh

Last Updated: August 10, 2017

One of the most complex and significant financial events in peoples' lives is the purchase or sale of a home or investment property. Because of the complexity and importance of this transaction, people typically seek the help of real estate brokers and sales agents when buying or selling real estate.

Real estate brokers and sales agents have a thorough knowledge of the real estate market in their communities. They know which neighborhoods will best fit clients' needs and budgets. They are familiar with local zoning and tax laws and know where to obtain financing for the purchase of property.

How to Find a Licensed Real Estate Agent

With more than half a million real estate agents in the United States, there is bound to be at least one good agent located in your area. But how do you go about finding a needle in a haystack? Real estate professionals come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, personalities and abilities. They should be licensed by their state, and each state's licensing and education requirements are different. You can use ARELLO, the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials, to check an agent's license. About half of real estate agents belong to the National Association of Realtors; these members call themselves realtors. A realtor is a real estate agent who has earned additional certification from the National Association of Realtors. NAR membership doesn't have to be a deal breaker, but it provides some assurance, since the industry group requires ethics training periodically and members must subscribe to its code of ethics. This includes a comprehensive list containing 17 articles and underlying standards of practice, which establish levels of conduct that are higher than ordinary business practices or those required by law.

Recommended Real Estate Agent

One of the best ways to find an agent is by getting a recommendation from someone you trust. Not only is a friend's experience a reasonable predictor of your satisfaction, but, since an agent's personal network is his lifeblood, he is likely to work harder knowing that a friend or client will hear about his performance. Most real estate agents stay in business because satisfied clients refer them to friends, family, neighbors and coworkers. Ask the people around you who they have used and ask them to describe their experiences with this real estate agent. Successful agents make customer satisfaction their number one priority and put their customers' needs before their own.

Interviewing Your Potential Realtor

If you can't come up with any reasonable prospects through referrals, here are some tips we've composed to help you go through the process of finding them, evaluating them, and deciding which will be the best fit for you.

Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest transactions you'll make. With several million real estate professionals out there, it's not hard to find an agent, the challenge lies in finding a good one.

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