How to Interview an Agent

You have decided it is time to sell your home and you need an agent.  Spending time selecting an agent is one of the most important parts of the process.  Asking great questions will help you be successful.

Consumers think that all Realtors do the same things to sell homes.  This information could not be further from the truth.  You have heard that in business 80% of sales are done by 20% of the people.  In real estate it is a stunning 95% to 5%.  Having been a Realtor for our 23 years I found that to be eye opening. Given these numbers is not hard to see why there is so much dissatisfaction among the public.  It is easy to get stuck with a real estate agent that does not do much business and has a poor work ethic.  Becoming a real estate agent is an easy task.  Take a class and spend the required number of hours in the classroom, take a test and you are an agent.  Then you hang your license with a brokerage.

How do you avoid getting a newbie agent with limited experience that has great enthusiasm, but not a clue? Asking some good questions before you start working with an agent can go a long way in helping select one of the good ones that is out there doing the business and has the experience to help you navigate through the process and end up with a successful outcome.  Understanding how to choose an agent can be critical to your success.  Here are some good questions to ask.

  • How long have you been selling real estate?
    • Experience is helpful, but that does not mean that a newer, not brand new, agent cannot be a rising star.
  • How many homes did you sell last year?  Of the homes that you sold last year how many were assisting sellers and how many were assisting buyers?
  • When assisting a seller what was the average days on the market and list to sale price ratio?  You do not want to hire an agent that will inflate the value of the home just to get you to list with them.
  • Do you have a personal assistant?
  • I have heard that the internet is a critical tool for selling a home.  How will you market my home online?  Your website? Facebook? Twitter? 90% of buyers find their home online so an online presence is very important! Your agent should be marking your home EVERYWHERE!
  • Do you photograph your own listings or hire a professional?  Do you do videos or    virtual tours?
  • Will you show me how to make my home more marketable?  Do you do home staging?
  • How will you communicate with me through the process?
  • Do you have a feedback system?
  • How assessable will you be through the process?
  • As production goes, if I called your broker would he/she tell me that you were a top producing agent or a middle of the road agent?
  • Will you allow me to terminate the listing contract if I am not completely satisfied?

There are great agents out there.  Make sure that you do your due diligence and find them. These are great questions that should help you weed out and find a good one! A good agent can give you the best chance of a great real estate experience.