Why & How I Interview Real Estate Agents
It may surprise you, but when I hire other Realtors for myself, friends, family, and out of area clients,I seriously interview the prospective agents. Why? Because after basic competence, an agent's specific experience, communication style, and ethical intent are the most important aspect of real estate representation.
You are hiring people to assist you in transacting what is probably your largest asset / liability - please, interview them seriously. Even if that agent is your mom's friend, your daughter's coach's wife, your neighbor, or that lady that sends you a "Just Sold" postcard every week of the year, you should still interview her and make an informed choice. Not all agents are equal in intergrity, skill, or intentions and you don't want to find this out the hard way!
(and, frankly, deserve) an accomplished, experienced advisor and it is very important you chose someone you respect, trust, and enjoy.
Suggested Specific Interview Questions
How did you get to be in the real estate business and why is this your chosen profession?
What do you consider your main role as an agent when working with a buyer?
How is that different from your role as an agent when working with a seller?
What do you think “fiduciary” means in terms of how you will treat me?
What are your views on pure dual agency? What about designated agency?
What are your 3 best skills – the ones that separate you from any other agents I’ll interview?
Where could you use improvement in your skills and what are you doing about those issues?
If you could change one thing about the real estate profession, what would that be and why?
Do you use a showing assistant or are you part of a larger / mega team?
Who will I be dealing with during our transaction?
What do you expect from your buyer / seller clients?
Have you ever fired a client before and, if so, why?
How do you measure your success in terms of Gross Commission Income?
What are your yearly real estate goals?
Do you charge upfront fees or “paperwork charges” at closing?
What will it be like to have my house listed with you?
How will you help me decide how much to pay for a property?
What is your communication style like?
How many clients are you currently working with now and how many clients
will you take on at one time?
Would you give me referrals from colleagues as well as current / previous clients so I may contact them and ask about you?