How to search and conduct an agent interview

Services for Real Estate Pros with, LLC

Anyone ever wonder who you should interview and how many interviews a consumer should complete before choosing an agent? In the Chicagoland area, there are a plethora of agents looking for business and each appearing to be qualified to complete the task of selling a home or taking consumers out to find a new home. 

In my experience, it seems as if the interview with an agent is quite simple, yet the decision-making process is quite a task (especially if there is a co-owner/co-buyer in the process). At face value, every agent is nice and usually comes with a manual or documentation of what services they provide (bio, services, committment/mission/values, and marketing plan, etc.).  From a consumer stand-point, how can you really be sure that you are choosing the right agent per your objective and needs? 

The easy answer is "go with who you feel more comfortable with..". True, but what else should consumers be asking in an interview, not to mention what are realistic demands that a consumer should ask an agent to adhere to? Does it matter if the agent is part of large subsidiary (Remax, Coldwell Banker, B&W, etc.) or is it specific to the agent themselves?  


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Brenda Brown
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Realty - Tillamook, OR

It does matter where the agent hangs his or her hat.  Your objectives matter.  Are you buying property?  If so, a buyer's agent is one thing in which to seek.  Pick from many agents or brokers out there and you can find some really good people to work with that have your best interests at heart.  Boutique realty companies are fine to work with if you are buying property, as long as they belong to the local board.

If you are selling property, it is a different matter entirely.  You need to look at agents that have some connection.  Your neighbor Joe is not going to be buying your property, in most cases.  The person that is looking for your home may live in Chicago, New York, Texas, or someplace else that the ad the boutique agent puts in the local paper may never reach.

When selling your home, you want the marketing power.  Not the local limit.  So yes, one of these high name brokerages will get you results that boutique brokers just can't.  That's why I chose the firm where I hang my hat.

Brenda Brown

Coldwell Banker Evergreen Realty


Jan 03, 2007 11:24 PM #1
Stefan Scholl
Buyer's Broker of Northern Michigan, LLC - Petoskey, MI
Northern Michigan Real Estate
I can't remember the exact figure, but something like 70% of real estate consumers hire the first agent they interview.  I find that number astounding.  With so much at stake, you would think that consumers would ask probing questions to determine whether an agent is qualified to help them achieve their objectives.  Instead, it seems as if the vast majority just go ahead and hire the first person they speak with.  This is mind boggling to me.
Jan 03, 2007 11:47 PM #2
D. Comber, LLC - Chicago, IL
Whitecomb Dot Com

Are all agents buying agents or specialize in buying or are there agents strictly dedicated to this objective? How do you know who is better than others (stats, etc.)? I've seen some top-peforming agents in my area indicate another name on their card in reference to those looking to buy. Is this common-place?

To be honest, when I sold my first home, I did actually pick the first agent. I did my homework asked the baseline questions and was impressed with the agent's use of technology, marketing methods, and their overall personality. The transaction didnt last long (house had a bid within 3 days and I accepted) so not much to go on, but in the end the agent did sell my home. I didnt want to spend a lot of time getting the process started (after work hours) and felt I did my homework well enough to be up to par in terms of what expectations should be. Then again, I hear stories about people terminating listing contracts and having nightmares with agents after the house is actually listed and disputes over what was said in the interview was not delivered. 

I work with a lot of younger people who are just beginning to look for homes or first time sellers looking to sell their first home and always get asked these types of questions. I always tell them to do their homework, but get the response "well, its all the same information and there are tons of agents ou there..advice for buyers and advice for sellers...who do you recommend?".

One of the biggest questions I get is "What should the commission be? Some say 1.5%, 2.5%, and higher...What makes one agent better than the other in terms of what a commission should be?" To me, that's a tricky question, especially with the multitude of agents in the field. I've heard that 2.5% is the average (please correct me if I am wrong) and a good starting place, but do agents change their rate depending on other factors (equity in the home, difficulty of selling the home, etc.)?

I only bring this topic up as a friend of mine who is contemplating selling his home interviewed over 6 agents and said they all appeared to be the same (friendly, comparable brochures, etc.), besides commission percentages. From a consumer point-of-view, obviously you want the transaction to cost as minimal as possible. Then again, you want the best agent conducting it so paying for the best agent a respectable rate is key. I guess its just a question of finding the best agent from the array of agents working and negotiating the rate you want to meet your needs. Any notes here? How does a consumer really know who the best agent is regardless of how many agents they interview? 


Jan 04, 2007 01:27 AM #3
Leigh Brown
Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive Realty - Charlotte, NC
CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC
I think it's a gut call, provided the information you've received levels the playing field in other respects. If all three agents interviewed (which is the number I tend to recommend) have current comps, neighborhood and market knowledge, a specific marketing plan, references, experience (or a strong broker behind them if they're new but assertive)...then it does indeed become a matter of who you feel will best represent your interests. Not so much the 'friendly' aspect, since we should ALL be friendly when meeting prospective clients-but do you feel that they have listened?  Taken notes?  Aware of your situation?  Asked meaningful questions?  Listened MORE than they talked? (which I know is one of my areas for improvement)  The commission dollars might feel important at first-but if you have selected the person who is working FOR you, they will net you more despite the commission.
Jan 04, 2007 10:24 AM #4
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


D. Comber

Whitecomb Dot Com

Additional Information