1. Can I speak with your past clients?
You want to know whether a particular agent will be the right fit for you. Ask the potential agent for several past clients so that you can get a good understanding of whether this will be the correct choice.
2. Are you a full-time real estate agent? What professional designations do you have?
While professional designations are often viewed as simply unnecessary coursework and meaningless acronyms, an agent who has obtained specific designations is showing a dedication to a special niche or affinity towards a specific type of client. This doesn't mean any one designation solidifies the agent is right for you, but it does speak to their commitment to knowledge, learning and being the best agent he/she can be.
Understanding whether your agent is full time or part time will set forth the expectations for their availability to you. Asking what other commitments do they have (i.e. committees they sit on, whether they volunteer within their community, etc.) is another great question to understand where you'll fit in when scheduling issues arise.
3. How will my home be marketed?
Will your home be listed only on the MLS in your area, or does the agent go above and beyond to create an individual website for your property? How will this agent stand out in the marketing of your home? Will there be print marketing as well as online? Ask questions about their open house strategy, as well as any other important marketing strategies to be aware of.
4. How often will we be in communication during this process?
Will you talk daily? Only when there is information to share? Will you be notified after each showing with feedback?
5. What is your commission and how much do I have to pay you? What expenses do you cover for me to sell my house?
Most often the commission is a standard percentage of the sales price. Make sure to understand whether there are any administrative fees that you will be expected to pay. Also important to know is whether your agent will pay for any items such as the photography of your home, staging assistance, pre-appraisal, etc.
6. What is your pricing strategy?
It is no secret that three things impact the sale of a home, location, condition and current market, pricing is the key piece of the puzzle. Pricing a property too high can often mean a long time on the market. As your agent what their thoughts are on pricing and inquire whether they have a pricing plan for future price reductions.
7. What process is used to provide a set of comparables (CMAs) when pricing my home?
Many key pieces of information are available to your agent, including data on foreclosures, homes that have sold, home not yet on the market, as well as zoning and tax related information. Ask your agent what types of information they use when creating the comparable properties used when pricing your home.
8. What do you expect from me as a client?
Don't forget that in an agent/client relationship, there is bound to be expectations on both sides. Find out early on what your agent expects from you for the best clarity moving forward.