Interview A Real Estate Agent

Selling your home is a big deal, take the time to interview several of the best candidates before making a decision. Here are 10 questions to ask the potential real estate agent.

1.  How Long Have You Been in the Business?
While experience is no guarantee of skill, Though a new real estate agent can certainly be motivated and eager to please, a pro with years of experience will have the knowledge and skill to face unexpected challenges. Taking continuing education courses shows a commitment to keeping up with changes.  Do the agent work their own or as part of a team?

2.  What is Your Average List-Price-to-Sales-Price Ratio?
Expect to see list-to-sales ratio within 95% to 100% in a buyer’s market, in a seller’s market: 100% to 110% of list price. There are times a seller will set an unrealistic sales price, which would mean you can’t always judge an agent on ratios.

3.  What is Your Best Marketing Plan or Strategy for My Needs?
You don’t want someone who’s going to put a For Sale sign in the yard and hope for the best. Look for someone who has aggressive and innovative approaches, and knows how to market your property competitively on the Internet. Buyers today want information fast, so it’s important that your realtor is responsive.

  1. Provided you with a detailed marketing strategy on how they’ll sell your home?
  2. Provided past sales viewable on their websites & featured all their listings?
  3. Gave you a scheduled timeline and regular updates, along with real examples of your property marketing?
  4. Consistently created ways to proactively bring buyers through your home?
  5. Made your home visible through the use of mobile phone technology?
  6. Had the experience and an arsenal of time-tested strategies that will get you the highest price in the shortest time?
  7. Used professional staging, photos, marketing, videos, virtual tours, property websites, floor plan, internet marketing, unique ad and more?
  8. Hosted Brokers Tours, Open Houses and held events that would bring traffic through your home?

4.  Will You Please Provide References/Reviews?

You might find references on an agent’s website. It is important to note that if an agent has tons of reviews online, you may not need references.

5.   Top Three Things That Make the Agent Different?
Examples can range from marketing to knowledge. Acceptable answers are:
Strong repeat record of satisfied customers/ Extensive online marketing/ Good negotiation skills
Assertive, doesn’t take no for an answer: Strong communicator.

6.   How many homes have you sold?
If you’re in the market to sell, find out how many homes they successfully sold last year. While those numbers may be low due to market activity over the past six months, it’s a good way to compare candidates.

7. Affiliation with Related Professionals
All agents build teams of professionals, from title companies to escrow officers to mortgage lenders, home inspectors, and appraisers. Ask if the agent’s company is receiving compensation for the referral. If so, you might want to choose another profession. Payment of some referral fees is against the law.

8.  How Much Do You Charge?
Sellers usually pay the agents’ real estate commission, for both the buyer and the seller. Typically 5%-6% of the sale price. Since the commission amount is set by the seller and can vary from home to home, you should insist that your agent is upfront about his share.

9.  What Kind of Guarantee Do You Offer?
If you sign a listing or buying agreement with the agent and later find that you are unhappy with the arrangement, will the agent let you cancel the agreement? Will the agent stand behind her service to you? What is her company’s policy about canceled agreements? Some agents will release you; others will not.