Buying a house? One question to ask your real estate agent

Getting sound unbiased advice about real estate is almost impossible. Asking a real estate agent if now is a good time to buy is like asking a barber whether you could use a haircut. Most real estate agents are ethical, well-intentioned people, but remember: they make their money selling homes, not telling people to keep renting.

When you're talking with a prospective real estate agent, here's a great question to ask them: do you own a home in the area where I'm looking and/or do you own any investment properties here? Find a Realtor who is actively investing in real estate and you've found a Realtor whose putting his money where his mouth is. There are a lot of agents out there preaching the gospel of real estate and then stuffing their commission checks in savings accounts paying 0.3%. This is a good way to screen those clowns out.