How to Interview A Real Estate Agent for Buyers and Sellers

Rhonda Duffy

Most home sellers and especially home buyers have no clue as to how to interview their future real estate agent. You have the right to have someone represent you as a buyer client even though the seller pays the commission. This is called buyer agency. Most states require that you sign an agreement in writing that you want representation. This document can be terminated so you don’t have to feel that you have hired someone that is not worthy of your business.

Hiring the right agent is tricky because your motive is not always their motive. Your motive is to find the best house. Their motive is to make some money from your transaction. So, follow the steps below to hire the best real estate agent for you.

Questions to Ask and Ideas to Follow to Find the Best Agent:

1. Question: How many transactions have you done in the last 6 months? Answer: If the answer is less than 6, keep looking. Less than 6 transactions mean less than 1 transaction per month. This person is rusty at best.

2. Question: How many seller clients and how many buyer clients do you have presently? Answer: Should be at least 4.

3. Question: What is your game plan for finding me the best house OR the best buyer? Answer: Should be thought out and not winging it.

4. Question: What are your business hours? Answer: It should be real times of the day and there should be a cut-off point. Agents who over-service their clients are not working with enough clients to have experience where experience counts – transactions.

5. Question: If I don’t like your representation, what are my options? Answer: Should have precise step-by-step answer to exiting the written agreement.

6. Question: Do you have a partner, assistant or a team? Answer: You have to decide if this is important to you. Many buyers and sellers tell me that they were frustrated with their “one-man band” agent when they got sick, took vacation or had another client for the day when they wanted to see homes or when their offer came in.

7. Question: Do you have another job? Answer: Again, you have to decide. However, if you are needy or a typically demanding person, you will not like this person calling you after they get off work or you having to call them at “their other job”.

8. For Sellers: Question: How do you feel about the St. Joseph Statute? * FYI: The St. Joseph statute, myth or not, some people firmly believe is a contributing factor or the sole reason that their house sold. Answer: The point is that you do not want an agent who is stuck in the box. The agent should have the opinion that they will do whatever it takes to get the house sold and will consider all options.

So, take your job seriously when interviewing both a buyer’s agent and a listing agent. Don’t just think that you have to use your good friend that just got their real estate license last month because you have gone to church with her for the last hundred years. Be serious about the professional that is going to represent you and expect professional results.