Hiring a real estate agent is very important if you want to get the best rates when you plan to purchase a property or a better value if you want to sell your house. Although you can do these financial transactions without their assistance, the required papers as well as processes are too confusing which will take time and additional resources.

But not all real estate agents are the same. You need to scrutinize them first before agreeing to acquire their services. There are some questions that you need to ask them which will ensure that you are hiring someone legitimate and could provide you with the services you expect.

1. Ask about the company track record – this question means two things: that he or she is affiliated with a company and they need to prove a track record just to reach a deal with you. A company ensures that you could go after them in case something wrong happens and a track record will basically ensure they will work as promised.

2. Marketing plans – a real estate agent should have a clear strategy on how you can sell your property. Their plans should be clear and would help your property get noticed faster or get the best sellers soon.

3. Any existing transaction in the area – a good indicator that a real estate agent could help you in your needed transaction is when they do have additional clients in the same area.

4. Agent’s edge – ask the real estate agent what makes him or her unique among other real estate agent. This might be a tricky question but a real estate agent should know so that they could “sell” themselves better. An agent, after all is a marketer and their ability to persuade you to be their agent should be there.

5. Listing time before selling – this tip is specific for those who wanted to sell their property. There are real estate agents who might not perform as expected especially on the time frame of selling to buying. A long time frame would mean they don’t have enough clients and might not provide a good offer.

6. Ask for references – as much as possible ask for references that you can call as well as visit. Their clients should be more than happy to talk to you for a few minutes if they are content with the services provided by the agent.

7. What if I’m not happy? – before you agree to work with a real estate agent, make sure that they provide a clause on what will happen if you opt to sever your relationship. There are those that will penalize you in case you chose to end your business transactions prematurely.

8. Control on advertising – this is a must ask question if you are selling your property. The real estate agent should have the power on how you should advertise your property. Although a broker could also work for your interest, they just have too many clients to deal with that you could be easily forgotten.

9. Associations – a real estate agent may be a member of many organizations in your city or state but there are two memberships you should ask: the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and National Association of Realtors. These memberships help you in terms of security of transaction and increase in advertisement.

10. Work ethic – ask a real estate agent on how he plans to communicate with you. Emails, phone calls and other form of communications should be employed by the real estate agent. It is also important to know if your real estate agent is working on weekends and after business hours.