Michael Cuevas, a sales associate with Fulton Grace Realty in Chicago, says that asking the right questions of a real estate agent is an important part of lessening anxiety for consumers concerned about the home buying or home selling process. After all, the real estate websites where most shoppers start their home search can’t give them all the specific advice they need. So hiring the right agent involves properly vetting them.

But there’s one question most consumers think they should ask, Cuevas says, that has no bearing on how effective an agent will be for their client: What company do you work for? From a recent blog post Cuevas wrote:

“Prior to the evolution of the MLS and most of the online real estate search sites, the company [an agent] worked for used to matter. In today’s market, nothing could be further from the truth. Real estate companies today, more or less, offer the same product as their competitors. It’s no different than shopping for a mortgage. Most banks will offer you the same rates, it just comes down to who provides a better level of service.

It’s the agent who will make the difference in a making a wise financial decision, not the company on their business card.

Just because an agent is associated with the biggest company in town does not make them any more qualified than the agent at a very small office. Some of the best [practitioners] work for the smallest companies. If your agent constantly talks about how big their office is and how many sales their office had, they most likely lack their own personal experience and have to justify it with leveraging their company’s statistics.”

Do you agree with Cuevas’ point of view?