Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington LLC)

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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

It drives some people crazy but I might ask a question in response:  

Is that important to you?

or maybe....

Would you like to buy it?



Oct 21, 2015 01:42 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


It should not.  We worked with an agent who did not own a home, bad divorce, lost the home, etc.  We all have our trials and tribulations, and besides, it is none of anyone's business.  A

Oct 20, 2015 02:49 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

No one has asked me that question.

However, I do know those prospects who are not referrals, download a lot of stuff from the Internet. They love those know the list of 132 questions to ask your real estate agent before hiring them.

1. Do you own a house? (Much different than, "Have you ever owned..")
2. What is your credit score? (my favorite, most propostorous question)
3. Are your listings featured on
4. Is your assistant over 6 feet tall?

We did this too ourselves with the 'success theater' in which we all engage.

There's only five question folks. If you don't know what they are, the option is to attempt to confuse the citizen with mountains of nonsense.

Oct 20, 2015 10:14 PM
Jill Murty, Realtor - Orange County, CA
Movoto - Laguna Niguel, CA

I'd kind of wonder why a realtor doesn't own a home, but people make choices and have circumstances.  

Oct 20, 2015 03:07 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I think if you never owned a home that could be a problem. Even in new home construction until I had a home custom built for me I didn't compeltely understand new constrcution and classes are not enough.

Oct 21, 2015 06:48 AM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Shouldn't matter. No one has ever asked me that, but an agent not owning property shouldn't disqualify them from helping people buy or sell. That's what we're licensed and trained to do. I'm sure many other professionals rent instead of own.

Oct 21, 2015 06:23 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I had this question some years back.

My clients were wondering if I understood all aspects of owning a home and the maint.  They felt it would be an advantage if I owned my home for that reason in marketing theirs.

I did get the lisitng

Oct 21, 2015 05:20 AM
Stephen L. Skakandy, CRS
RE/MAX Elite Realty Group - Camp Lejeune, NC
Expert Communicator, Skilled Facilitator

I've been asked that question multiple times both from sellers and buyers. I guess it's on a list of questions that some internet site puts out to screen a prospective agent. I'm not sure that there is really a deeper meaning behind it than it's something they found online. Still, I don't think it's an unreasonable question considering we are supporting homeownership. Obviously individual agent situations vary and things happen in life which might make it impossible for an agent to own a home at a given point in time, but I'd have a problem with someone who has never owned a home trying to guide me through the process.

Oct 21, 2015 03:05 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

That might be a way to find out how solid you are financially if they don't know you. We do it to new clients all the time. Often you will be working together for several months, they want to know that their needs are in stable hands. 

Oct 21, 2015 01:39 AM
Marco Giancola
Beachfront Realty - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

Personally it shouldn't but most people are very judgmental and perceive something strange about it. I have a realtor friend here in Miami that lives on his private yacht-where would that fall into the scenario?

Oct 20, 2015 08:13 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good Wednesday morning Paul. It would be almost like a double edge sword. Your urging people to purchase but you don't own a piece of property yourself. Sounds rather hypocritical doesn't it?

Oct 20, 2015 08:04 PM
Bob Force (REALTOR®)
Weichert Realtors - Aspen Hill - Mount Airy, MD
The FORCE in Maryland Real Estate

Interesting quesiton coming from a prospective client.  I wonder if they where tring to make up their minds as to what to do once this home was sold - rent a place or buy.

Oct 20, 2015 06:39 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I know many agents who do not own a home, yet I probably own enough homes to make up for the many who do not.

Nov 29, 2018 06:57 PM
Nancy Robinson Ranked #6 in MI
Century 21 Town and Country - Royal Oak, MI
#11 Century21 Realtor in the US, #16 in the World

I think this is one of those careers that first hand experience matters a lot. I do wonder about people who are licensed Realtors who have never bought nor sold a home.  I would guess they are missing an essential emotional piece of the transaction.  But not having bought or sold your own home should not disqualify someone from being a good Realtor.

Oct 25, 2015 06:59 AM
Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

It shouldn't, however, it might affect some sellers opinion. They are trying to determine your experience, expertise and your successes. 

If I own, I would reveal all prior transactions and portfolio.

If I rent, I would also explain prior real estate transactions and successes. 

Oct 24, 2015 08:20 AM
Sharon Altier
Coldwell Banker Realty - Elmhurst, IL
Luxury Property Specialist, CSC, SFR

No, but perhaps they were debating on whether to purchase or lease a new home.  I have known agents who sold at high market, leased for a few years and bought back in when the market tanked.  Leasing is not always an indication of poor financial situation.

Oct 24, 2015 05:03 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

It should not make a difference to the home sellers.

Oct 23, 2015 09:50 PM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

I think it does matter if you've EVER owned a home - if you haven't been through the process yourself, it's sometimes difficult to understand the emotions that people are going through.  Whether you own or rent at any given time is silly though, as there are many reasons to rent instead of own, and just as many to own instead of rent.

Oct 23, 2015 08:09 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

I know a Broker who has sold their home in order to invest in income property. The numbers worked for them. 

Oct 23, 2015 04:13 AM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Intresting...neve got that question...I think there is an air of comfort working with an agent that the Selller knows has  "been there and done that."

Oct 22, 2015 09:32 PM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

As a Realtor I believe in buying and owning property to create wealth. I have made money for my clients over the years buying and selling real estate. I think you need to own property to know how it feels to go thru the system. Getting financing for yourself teaches you how your clients will be treated during that process. It can be a real learning curve.  I have to say, I would wonder why a professional real estate salesperson owned no real estate if I was looking for a person to help me with buying or selling real estate.   If you don't believe in your product how can you sell it?

Oct 22, 2015 05:44 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

I think a better question is do you believe in owning real estate. Some people just haven't been able to buy yet or it doesn't fit into there plan right now.

Oct 22, 2015 10:08 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

I think that the questions is inappropriate.  What does it matter?

Oct 22, 2015 04:13 AM
Jeanne Feenick
NextHome Premier - Basking Ridge, NJ
The Agent you choose REALLY does make a difference

I agree with Michael - I think I might respond by asking "why is that important to you?"

Never ceases to amaze/confuse...

Oct 22, 2015 03:50 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I have never been asked but when working with buyers and sellers i have often related the stories of only interviewing one list agent when selling (bad decision) and buying new construction with a real estate agent of my own!  They get the message though without having to ask a question I guess.

Oct 22, 2015 02:57 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

No, it should not matter--other experience could come into play there. However, for my office, I'd want to know if a prospective agent had at least bought/sold 'something' for themself before.
An agent who I have employed the past 12 years made me smile when I asked at interview, "How many real estate transactions have you personally been involved in?"
She responded, without hesitation: "All of them."  ;)

Oct 22, 2015 02:23 AM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

I think that's an irrelevant question.  I know Realtors in Fort Wayne that rent downtown apartments.  I also know of a few that lost their homes in a divorce and had to rent for a few years.   

Oct 22, 2015 01:20 AM
Brenda J. Andrew
Professional Realtor in Conroe/Willis, TX

I don't think it matters.  The only thing that matters is can you do the job?  I am sure it made them feel better knowing that you own, but it should not disqualify you from being a listing agent.

Oct 22, 2015 12:23 AM
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

An interesting question indeed. Maybe the question is about whether or not you make enough money to own one, or perhaps kinda practice what you preach... and most people like to deal with like minded people.

At the end of the day, a good real estate agent is just not one who helps you with selling or buying a home. A good real estate agent is a trusted advisor.

If you are a tenant - are you a trusted advisor on home ownership?  

That reminds me of a financial planner I know who bought me dinner to try to sell me this investment touted as the best thing since slice bread, one which he described as one had to be stupid not to buy this. I shot point blank and asked him how much of it he had invested himself into it? (answer = 0). End of dinner.

Oct 21, 2015 11:54 PM
Amelia Robinette
NoVa House and Home - Frankly Realty - Falls Church, VA
Education, Innovation, Service

I'd definitely ask why they want to know.

Because I'm hyper local in the neighborhood I live in, I often mention that I've owned and lived her for over 18 years before anyone has the chance to ask. If I'm working with investors, I let them know that I have rental properties and have bought/sold about 15 houses over the past 10 years.

I think it makes people more comfortable knowing I get it.

There are always going to be clients who latch onto one aspect of an agent's experience, personality or whatever. If you own a house, if you have kids, if you fish or golf, if you're gay, if you're ex-military...and on and on.

Oct 21, 2015 11:26 PM
Doyle Davison
Hawaiian Beaches Hawaii - 714-968-6767 - Huntington Beach, CA
30 years as your Concierge services listing broker

haha... yip... been asked that... said no I currently  rent, but I own multiple properties in other states. I could see that really threw them off guard on what to ask next.

Oct 21, 2015 05:59 PM
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

One of my younger colleagues (who looks like he's 12) was asked this question.  But really for him, the question from the potential sellers was really about if he had the experience to sell their home.  Outside of that, I am surprised this would come up from a potential client.  Why would it matter or have any bearing on getting their home listed and sold?  They are asking the wrong question! 

Oct 21, 2015 10:22 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

I have never been asked that question. Partly because I volunteer that information because real estate has been a large part of my life.  My husband and I have owned real estate since we were 20 years old. I also state this in the 3rd paragraph of my personal bio on my website "Sheri's Corner".  To me, it is a strength and we should always capitalize on our strengths.  If you have never owned a home, take that point of view, make it your own, and find the strength in that and expound on it.

Oct 21, 2015 10:03 AM
Vera Gonzalez
RE/MAX Suburban, Inc. - Sterling Heights, MI
Gonzo For Real Estate

No. I don't think it makes a difference. I really just want  to know if you can market my home:)

Oct 21, 2015 09:18 AM
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I've never been asked that question. I wonder if it's a subtle way to find out if you are making any money? Weird. 

Oct 21, 2015 08:48 AM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

We are sales people so if a question like this stops us in our tracks it's time to brush up and think of the right response for next time.  I could go through all kinds of scripts and dialogues but there's a response and it needs to be spontaneous.

Oct 21, 2015 08:38 AM
Rob D. Shepherd
RETIRED - Florence, OR

I f I said I own several rentals (which is true), where does that put me?

Oct 21, 2015 07:24 AM
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Interesting question.  There are many reasons someone may not own, especially in pricey markets.  I would probably ask why they wanted to know.  Do they want to buy near me?  LOL  Not a relevant question and may be one to just make conversation.  Does everyone in a Mercedes dealership own one?

Oct 21, 2015 03:47 AM
Leslie Prest
Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ - Payson, AZ
Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,

I can certainly understand a client wanting to know. What it means one way or the other will differ from person to person. I would hesitate to work with an agent who declined to tell me.

Oct 21, 2015 03:38 AM
Scott Thompson
Columbia Mortgage Plus - Blue Springs, MO
Commerical Finance - Blue Springs, MO

I lived in an apartment for 3 years ... should have never left.

Kind of like a vegetarian butcher though, owning a storming little mortgage business and had no time to do a deal for myself.  Did not want the debt/maintenance and everything else.


I'd go for a 44' Trojan/ Live-A-Board right about now.

Aft cabin thank you.  Because big.  Room to breathe.




Oct 21, 2015 03:32 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

It wouldn't disqualify you.  I think these sellers are thinking that if you don't own a house you can't relate to them and their issues... which is utter BS.

Oct 21, 2015 02:56 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

That is a very ballsy question to ask and frankly it is none of their business. If that criteria is used as a qualifer that is not someone I would want to work with or associate with in any way. Maria Gilda Racelis - do you agree that takes BALLS to ask that question?

Oct 21, 2015 02:43 AM
Stefan Winter
Real Estate in IL & NV | Owner of Real Estate Web Tech | Daily Vlogger - Las Vegas, NV
Owner - Winter Group & Real Estate Web Tech

I've never been asked that, it says nothing about how good of an agent you are listing or otherwise. Some people may have gotten an idea somewhere that is done, there is a lot of weird information out on the internet.

Oct 21, 2015 02:09 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

I think it's rare to find a well-versed agent who does not own something... maybe a very young agent who lives at home with family may not YET....

Oct 21, 2015 01:05 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Just like clients there are different circumstances as to how we live our lives.

No it should not make a difference.

Oct 20, 2015 10:22 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

No it would not - but it is who you are now - as a home owner. Strange question but maybe they wanted to make sure you make enough money as a realtor to own a home? 

Oct 20, 2015 09:32 PM
Toronto, ON

It may matter to some sellers whether the listing agent owns, rents or simply lives with someone else (e.g. parents,  other family members, friends etc.) who own or rent.

Oct 20, 2015 09:21 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR

Personally no but most people don't see it that way.  The majority of people expect an agent should own their own home.

Oct 20, 2015 08:44 PM
Youree Lundy
Keller Williams Advantage III Realty - Orlando, FL
Your Realtor For Life

Owning a home is very different from renting.  Understanding the search and selection process, experiencing working with the lender based on  your own circumstances, experiencing the real cost of owning as you live there, preparing your home for the market, living thru showings then contracts that may fail, and experiencing the sale of a home is in my mind, important.  It can surely help to know how the client feels as they do so.  Do you have to own for your entire life?  No, because choices, circumstances. and preferences change.   But there is the real vs. the imagined that the client may have been looking for.

Oct 20, 2015 08:09 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe
In our area, most realtors got into the business so they can do investment properties or flips. The few young agents would rent although some stay at home.
Oct 20, 2015 06:42 PM
Michael Thacker - Re/Max Real Estate Center - Louisville
Re/Max Real Estate Center - The Thacker Group - Louisville, KY
Your best friend who just happens to be a Realtor

Everyone's life and situation is different and there are no "rules" when it comes to owning or renting.

Odd question to come up at a listing appointment, I wonder what would prompt that? (pondering) 

Oct 20, 2015 06:34 PM