Agent Interview Questions for sellers

theroselvrNovember 12, 2007

I typed this up when I was looking to change real estate agents. This one is specific to me as a seller living close to a military base. You should be able to copy and paste it into Word pad.

You might also want to change the order of the questions after doing an interview. I've found that we start out by talking, I then fill in as we talk. By the time we're done talking, most questions were answered

I used the questions after doing my own research, there were things that were important to me as a seller, and I used the questions to figure out the difference between agents that I liked.

Edit for your own use...

Agent Questions

Name - ____________________________________________________________________________________

Office Name ________________________________________________________________________________

Office Phone ________________________________________________________________________________

1) How many homes have you sold in my area? ___________________________________________________

Do you cover other towns / zip codes? YES NO

Explain: ___________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________

2) How much is your commission? _____________________________________________________________

3) What percentage do you give a buyers agent if you do not bring a buyer in? __________________________________________________________________________________________

4) Is it negotiable if you bring a buyer? ___________________________________________________________________________________________

5) What if I bring in a buyer with advertising I do? __________________________________________________

6) How long is the contract going to be? 3 months ____________ 6 months__________

7) If I am not happy for any reason will I be able to break the contract? YES_____ NO_____

8) How long will it take for the contract to be voided? _______________________________________________

9) What is the proceedure that needs to be followed if I am not happy? ________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Where do you rank on the MLS? ___________________________________________________________

  2. Where do you rank on the office team? ______________________________________________________

  3. Do you work with the military?______ Yes _______ No ___________

  4. Are you or your office listed at base housing? ________Yes _______No__________

  5. How long have you been in the business? ____________________________________________________

*Note - if the agent is new, ask about their background....

Do they have marketing knowledge / training? ___________________________________________________

Do they have web site training? _______________________________________________________________

  1. Are you full time, part time, do you work another job? ___________________________________________

  2. How many houses a year do you sell__________how many do you list______________________________

  3. Do you do OPEN HOUSEs or AGENTs OPEN HOUSES / LUNCHEONs? YES / NO

___________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. If we have an open house, when should I expect feedback? ________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Will the feedback be a phone call or email? ____________________________________________________

  2. How often will you touch base with me to give me information about our listing?

___________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Do you have your own web site, in addition to the agent link on the office web site? YES / NO

Web site URL _______________________________________________________________________________

  1. How much of your business comes from the web site? ________________________%

  2. Do you use email? YES ______ NO ________

  3. Do you pay for enhanced listings with multiple pictures on Realtor.com? ____YES____ NO _______________

  4. Do you do featured listings on realtor.com? YES / NO _____________________________________________

  5. What kind of advertising do you do and where? __________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Do you advertise in the newspaper? If so which ones? ___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Do you advertise price drops in the paper (Sunday only)? YES / NO

  2. Do you advertise open houses in the paper (Friday Sunday)? YES / NO

  3. Do you use an info box? YES / NO

  4. Do you have an assistant? YES / NO

  5. If an assistant: who is the one I would be dealing with for questions, feedback and such?

Explain assistants role

___________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. If I need to speak with the listing agent for something, how is that handled?

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. When an offer comes in, who does the negotiating, the agent or the assistant?

  2. How much would you list our house for? _______________________________________________________

  3. Who takes your photos? ____________________________________________________________________

  4. Would you consider using a profession photographer for photos? YES / NO

  5. Do you use virtual Tours? YES / NO

  6. Do you use a stager? YES / NO

  7. Do you feel there is something we can do to make the house more desirable to sell?

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Anything else you would like me to know?

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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terrig_2007

Wow...that's quite an impressive list. I've never asked that many questions when interviewing realtors. The last one we hired we chose based on the number of "sold" signs she had around town and within close vicinity to our house. She has since sold 2-3 houses on our old block.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 10:17AM
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janea

This is very helpful! Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 10:29AM
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dreamgarden

Very good questions. Here are a couple I would add to the list.

Have you ever been subjected to any disciplinary actions through either a client, broker, or real estate licensing board in this state or any other?

If so, for what? How was it resolved and/or what was the final outcome?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 11:05AM
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berniek

I would have some problems answering the the following questions without further input by the seller or someone else.
3,5,8,10,33,34.
3. That's up to the seller
5. You might as well go FSBO, unless you can prove to me that your advertising and not mine brought the buyer.
8. Depending on the holdover period agreed to in the contract.

  1. I have no idea, we have over 4,000 agents here.
  2. I talk to the agents, that's what I get hired for.
  3. The seller negotiates in writing, I do not verbally negotiate the price. (Assistants, unless they are licensed, are not authorized to comment about contracts)

These are some of the questions that I see could use some clarification or need to be re-worded, otherwise it's a good list that might need tweaking depending on regional customs and laws.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 11:51AM
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lyfia

Thanks roselvr!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 11:54AM
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theroselvr

3. That's up to the seller - Where I am, it is up the the agent. The agent tells me how much the commission is (usually 5%), then they tell me how much they split with the buyers agent. A lot of agents down by me do broker reciprocity; splitting the commission in 1/2. Some also give a bonus incentive.

5. You might as well go FSBO, unless you can prove to me that your advertising and not mine brought the buyer. - some agents consider this an in-house sale, meaning the commission is lower. One agent I interviewed told me that they will consider dropping the commission to in-house rates if I pre-qualify / pre-approve. I put this question in because I was willing to pay for more advertising that the agent (not my current agent) didn't want to pay for. It doesn't hurt to ask.

8. Depending on the holdover period agreed to in the contract. - this was something I just added. Some agents say 24 hours while some don't say while talking to them. I felt this question should be included in this rewrite after seeing so many posts with unhappy sellers.

  1. I have no idea, we have over 4,000 agents here. - this was the typical answer while a few did know. I wasn't sure whether to even leave this question but did.

These are some of the questions that I see could use some clarification or need to be re-worded, otherwise it's a good list that might need tweaking depending on regional customs and laws.

Thank you!

As I said, it was to be used as a guide; if someone wants to play around with it, rewording or adding to it, that would be great. Last night I quickly tried to redo it using suggestions from another forum I posted it at.

I'm not trying to upset agents with this list, I was trying to educate sellers since there seems to be so many unhappy seller posts. Having input from agents about the different questions is very helpful to me as a seller. If it wasn't for the agents that come here and give their time, I doubt I'd even have this guide. Back when I 1st started it, Linda was nice enough to give me some of her time off of the forum to give me a few tips on finding a new agent. It was because of her help that I decided to expand a few suggestions she had by going back over posts here to figure out other questions to ask.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 1:14PM
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acoreana

Roselvr, this is a fantastic tool for sellers! Very nicely done.

#5 Isn't really that difficult to manage. DBF offers this, but as he's not here to authorize me spreading around the internet how he handles it, I won't. I will agree that it can't hurt to ask your potential agents, if this is something you're interested in doing. They may have systems in place already in which they help provide you with the tools you need to help market your own home, and if your own efforts should bring the buyer, than you deserve compensation, IMHO.

RE: MLS standings...It may be different w/ other MLS, but with DBF's it is a very easy process of bringing up an "Agent Market Share" report, and looking for yourself. Most competitive agents in our area are consistently aware of where they stand, and as we strive to always be in the top 30, and #1 in our own office, we check it weekly...or else we'd have to change our advertising, lol!

I wish this list could be handed out to every prospective seller...know what you're getting before you sign.

One thing to keep in mind...a lot of signs does not automatically equal great agent...it equals a great at listing agent. The ability to list a lot of houses is not difficult. Going in and offering to sell a house for whatever the seller feels they want to get is very easy. There are many agents who list anything and everything, and invariably a few out of the 60 some odd houses will sell. Yes they're selling...but how many are they not selling? I think someone a bit more selective, who sells the majority of the homes they list (not a small percentage) would be more desirable if you're serious about selling.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 2:02PM
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terrig_2007

No. 5 is a very interesting question and one I wished we asked when we sold our last house. We found the buyers! They were the niece and husband of a friend of ours. They learned about our house word of mouth--the words from our own mouths.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 4:53PM
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mariend

I think it is an excellant guide. The person can adapt it to their own needs. We are a base city also and small but near one larger city and many smaller ones.
Thanks for the ideas.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 5:29PM
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theroselvr

Added previewing photos / info for MLS

Agent Questions

Name - ____________________________________________________________________________________

Office Name ________________________________________________________________________________

Office Phone ________________________________________________________________________________

1) How many homes have you sold in my area? ___________________________________________________
Do you cover other towns / zip codes? YES NO
Explain: ___________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________

2) How much is your commission? _____________________________________________________________

3) What percentage do you give a buyers agent if you do not bring a buyer in? __________________________________________________________________________________________

4) Is it negotiable if you bring a buyer? ___________________________________________________________________________________________

5) What if I bring in a buyer with advertising I do? __________________________________________________

6) How long is the contract going to be? 3 months ____________ 6 months__________

7) If I am not happy for any reason will I be able to break the contract? YES_____ NO_____

8) How long will it take for the contract to be voided? _______________________________________________

9) What is the proceedure that needs to be followed if I am not happy? ________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Where do you rank on the MLS? ___________________________________________________________

  2. Where do you rank on the office team? ______________________________________________________

  3. Do you work with the military?______ Yes _______ No ___________

  4. Are you or your office listed at base housing? ________Yes _______No__________

  5. How long have you been in the business? ____________________________________________________

*Note - if the agent is new, ask about their background....
Do they have marketing knowledge / training? ___________________________________________________
Do they have web site training? _______________________________________________________________

  1. Are you full time, part time, do you work another job? ___________________________________________

  2. How many houses a year do you sell__________how many do you list______________________________

  3. Do you do OPEN HOUSEs or AGENTs OPEN HOUSES / LUNCHEONs? YES / NO

___________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. If we have an open house, when should I expect feedback? ________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Will the feedback be a phone call or email? ____________________________________________________

  2. How often will you touch base with me to give me information about our listing?

___________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Do you have your own web site, in addition to the agent link on the office web site? YES / NO

Web site URL _______________________________________________________________________________

  1. How much of your business comes from the web site? ________________________%

  2. Do you use email? YES ______ NO ________

  3. Do you pay for enhanced listings with multiple pictures on Realtor.com? ____YES____ NO _______________

  4. Do you do featured listings on realtor.com? YES / NO _____________________________________________

  5. What kind of advertising do you do and where? __________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Do you advertise in the newspaper? If so which ones? ___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Do you advertise price drops in the paper (Sunday only)? YES / NO

  2. Do you advertise open houses in the paper (Friday Sunday)? YES / NO

  3. Do you use an info box? YES / NO

  4. Do you have an assistant? YES / NO

  5. If an assistant: who is the one I would be dealing with for questions, feedback and such?
    Explain assistants role

___________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. If I need to speak with the listing agent for something, how is that handled?

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. When an offer comes in, who does the negotiating, the agent or the assistant?

  2. How much would you list our house for? _______________________________________________________

  3. Who takes your photos? ____________________________________________________________________

May I preview the photo / info before it goes on the MLS to check for accuracy and to make sure the photos show my house at it's best? ____________________________________________

How long will it take to fix things like removal of bad photos and/or spelling errors? ___________________________________________________________

  1. Would you consider using a profession photographer for photos? YES / NO

  2. Do you use virtual Tours? YES / NO

  3. Do you use a stager? YES / NO

  4. Do you feel there is something we can do to make the house more desirable to sell?

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Anything else you would like me to know?

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 6:39PM
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phoggie

Thanks so much, roselvr, for bumping this back up for me. You had so many great questions....appreciate it.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 9:01PM
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theroselvr

Moving this back up.

Every question does not need to be asked. Usually speaking to the agent you are able to fill the blanks in.

These 2 questions most agents canh't answer so you might want to leave them out.

  1. Where do you rank on the MLS? ___________________________________________________________

  2. Where do you rank on the office team? ______________________________________________________

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 6:18PM
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theroselvr

It's been a while since these were on the 1st page.. bumping for new sellers.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 4:01PM
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c9pilot

I need to mention that #13 is probably dated. Not sure how many military bases still have anything like that (other than advertising in base newspaper).
MacDill AFB uses AHRN (Automated Housing Referral Network) for off-based housing and it can't be used for Real Estate Sales (Rentals only, and in my experience, awful. MilitarybyOwner is much better from the searching perspective).

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 7:49AM
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theroselvr

Well; getting ready to sell our home; going to be needing my questions again; figured I'd bump the post for others

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 4:19PM
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