After collecting referrals for real estate agents, interviewing your prospective listing agent can accelerate your home's selling and provide you with a better selling experience. While interviewing, pay attention to whether the Realtor is a good listener and hears your entire question or concern. Agents that quickly launch into "canned" answers or cut off your questions to answer quickly may not be the best agent to serve your needs.
What homes have they sold recently in your area? Where are most of the homes they have sold located?
Look for an agent who is familiar with area properties and the market value of recently sold homes. Also ask for names and phone numbers of people who recently sold area houses through them.
Is the Realtor licensed, full-time or part-time, and how accessible are they?
Faster sales happen with agents who are devoting the most time to moving property. Licensed Realtors have a code of ethics that governs their business operations. In tight economic times, with tough competition for sales you want to make sure both you and your potential buyer can access your real estate agent easily.
How active are they using a real estate website to show homes? do they have an online MLS or IDX listings website?
With over 80% of home buyers going to the Internet first to research homes for sale and local real estate agents, having your home found on the Internet is paramount. Helping increase the popularity of your home's online listing is professional photos of the property (studies found buyers value these properties more than similar ones listed with amateur photos) and virtual tours (either video or Flash slide show) of the property.
How long have they been a real estate agent in your area and what professional awards or designations have they won?
Any agent who is still in the business after four years knows the industry (and has survived longer than most small businesses). Agents who have home selling down pat usually are in a million dollar club - but weigh this with the number of homes they usually sell in a year. In the luxury home market a million dollar club member may be a one shot wonder. Professional designations are a sign that the agent is continually educating themselves in the real estate industry.
Are they working with the owner of this real estate website?
If a real estate agent is using a real estate web design by Internet Marketing Consultants, then they know the multiplying effect of the well-invested dollar, understand the benefits of getting professional search engine optimization, graphic design and web content copy writing working online in your favor, and are most likely at the cutting edge of your local real estate scene.
What was your worst selling experience?
The answer to this may show you a side of the agent that otherwise would not come up - how they work under pressure, negative circumstances and whether they tolerate fools willingly.
Last but not least, "In this house sale are your representing me or the buyer in the transaction?"
Don't let this come as a surprise to you late in the negotiations when things are decidedly moving against you.