Top Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent

What are the best questions to ask your real estate agent?
What are the best questions to ask your real estate agent?

After her home in Michigan's Upper Peninsula sat on the market for a year without an offer, Rita Gordon and her husband, Bill, were determined to hire a new real-estate agent. "The first time, our family and friends said, 'Go with this person.' We did no due diligence," says Gordon, who has since relocated to Rocky Point, N.C. "This time, we asked for references from sellers with homes similar to ours, on the waterfront in a rural area. We also asked for the real-estate agents' marketing plan, and statistics of home sales for the agents' companies, versus statistics from their competitors."

As Gordon learned, hiring the right agent is more complicated than just taking friends' recommendations (though that's a good start). You have to do some homework. Here are seven questions to ask before hiring a real-estate agent. The answers will help you identify the agent who's best suited to help market and sell your house.