Asking the Right Real Estate Agent Interview Questions

By Ciprian Morariu Published: February 23, 2024

Real Estate Agent Interview Questions

So you have decided to finally sell your existing home or buy your dream home and you couldn’t be any more excited. 

Congratulations! Buying and selling a home is a great feeling as one gets ready to move on to a new chapter in their life. 

Buying and selling a property is a major investment decision and it requires careful planning and consideration. This is where you need to rely on the knowledge and experience of a skilled real estate agent

Choosing the right agent is important if you want to get the most out of your investment in real estate.  

This step might seem simple but it can get complicated and time-consuming soon.

Importance of interviewing real estate agents

Many first-time property sellers and buyers have a common misconception that it is fairly easy to go through a real estate translation all by themselves. 

On top of it, they also feel that all real estate agents are similar in skill and knowledge since they all have the same state license. 

Both of these beliefs could not be any further from the truth. In reality, buying and selling real estate is not a DIY process as it requires many steps to be completed in a structured, timely way. 

Also, not all real estate agents are the same in terms of their specialization, knowledge, and network. 

Some are more qualified and skilled than others and this is why choosing the right agent is crucial as you will be working closely with them for at least a few months. 

One way to choose the most suitable, relevant, and skilled agent to meet your needs and expectations, is to conduct a real estate interview.  

Remember that you will be entrusting an agent with the decision to represent you as a seller or a buyer in the market. Doing your homework on an agent’s background is a must as your most valuable assets will be their responsibility

This means they better be clear about your expectations and preferences and are fully equipped with the financial, legal, and market knowledge required from them. 

Choosing the right real estate agent or broker is one of the most important and critical decisions people make - it can make or break a deal and can be the difference between a smooth, seamless process versus a frustrating, stressful experience. 

Factors to consider before interviewing real estate agents

Conducting a real estate agent interview is more than just asking a bunch of questions, it requires a certain level of preparation and clarity of expectations from your side. 

Before you start asking real estate agent interview questions, here are some factors to consider on which you can evaluate the potential of an agent: 

  • Knowledge: This is the most crucial aspect in determining whether an agent is the right fit for your needs or not. Ideally, a real estate agent should have good knowledge of the industry as a whole. Further, they should be knowledgeable about the local and state housing markets as well. 
  • Negotiation: Successful agents are very good negotiators and they can help their clients get the maximum bang for their buck. If you want to get the best out of your agent, make sure to evaluate their negotiation skills and understand if they would be able to best represent your interests in the housing market. 
  • Communication: Good communication is a foundational skill for any professional and business endeavor and your agent of choice should be able to communicate effectively. Be it dealing with potential buyers or sellers or giving timely updates, clarity, confidence and transparency in communication is important to have a good formal relationship with your agent. 
  • Sales: What good is an agent who is unable to put a strong sales effort for your property in the market? This is one of the most important aspects to consider while choosing the ideal real estate agent for your needs. You must ask questions like - how many homes they sell in a year, and what are some of their sales strategies to gauge the skill level. 

To ensure a fast, smooth, and transparent real estate experience, you must trust only reputed, experienced, and skilled agents. 

To do so, however, you will need to ask a certain bunch of questions to shortlisted agents before you settle down on the one you want to work with. 

Real Estate Agent Interview

Real Estate Interview

Purpose of a real estate interview

Imagine a scenario where you are all set to embark on a journey to sell or buy an expensive piece of real estate. You are probably going to make the biggest purchase or sales decision of your life and you are nervous and anxious at the same time. 

Now imagine if you have a trusted, honest, and knowledgeable professional by your side to guide you through the selling or buying process in a step-by-step manner.

You are gladly willing to pay for their professional services however it is difficult to find the right agent to work with, especially in a market filled with numerous professionals. 

This is where a real estate interview comes in handy for homeowners and buyers. 

An interview process helps you to evaluate the different options available and select the right one to meet your real estate needs. 

From the tools they use to the network they have access to - every agent has something different and unique to offer. 

It would be foolish to choose the first one to contact or speak to you when you can easily choose from multiple options and make an informed decision. 

Let us look at the purpose of interviewing real estate agents through the lens of some key benefits:

  • Compare commission rates: Different real estate agents have their commission rates, depending on their expertise and skills. Conducting interviews with multiple agents will give you a sense of the average commission rate in the local market. Based on this, you will be able to better understand and negotiate the final commission with your agent of choice.
  • Assess industry experience: Sometimes what you see on a resume versus what the reality is can be different. This is why you must interview an agent before finalizing working with them. By discussing their work experience, looking into their track record, and evaluating their feedback and testimonials, you can make an informed decision about their credibility and competence. 
  • Evaluate compatibility: Whether you are buying or selling real estate, you are likely going to spend some time working with an agent. Thus, it is important to work with someone with whom you can share a good rapport to ensure a smooth process. Interviewing agents can help you identify their overall personality, work ethic, and intent to listen and communicate. 

There are a multitude of benefits to interviewing real estate agents but the main purpose is to find someone who is the most suitable for the task and the right fit for your needs. 

Steps in conducting a real estate interview

Now that you have learned about the purpose and benefits of interviewing real estate agents, the next important question to answer is - how to interview real estate agents the right way?

Below is a checklist of the steps you need to follow to set up and conduct an interview: 

Step 1: Identify and outline your goals and objectives

To achieve your goals, you must first clearly outline them. 

For example - if you are ready to sell your home, how would you describe if you were successful? Will you measure the time your home was listed on the market? Maybe you would measure success by the selling price of your home. 

To ensure success for yourself and the agent you work with, you must define what success is to you and plan accordingly.

Step 2: Prepare a list of relevant questions

To assess the personality and competence of a professional, you must invest time and effort in asking the right questions. Using vague questions will only get you vague answers and will not help you to make an objective, informed decision. 

Step 3: Assess and evaluate the responses

Once you have got the answers to your relevant questions, the next step is to carefully assess them. Think deeply about responses to important questions and try to find out whether your goals are aligned with the thought process of an agent or not. 

Step 4: Shortlist agents based on their responses

It is likely that your search for finding the right real estate agent will lead you in multiple directions. 

While you have to narrow down your choices to one, it helps to have a shortlist of the most relevant and impressive profiles. 

Based on this, you may choose to further interview or discuss your expectations with the shortlisted agents. 

Step 5: Conduct background research and request references

It isn’t enough to have a pleasant or engaging personality, you must also be wary of fraudulent activities and misinformation by agents. 

Although rare, many clients get fooled by smooth-talking agents who try to hide their records and are not honest about sharing references. 

By incorporating these steps in your interviewing process, you can come to a detailed understanding of the skills, knowledge, and personality of a real estate agent. 

Common Real Estate Questions

Examples of common real estate questions

Wondering what are some specific examples of questions to ask a real estate broker when interviewing them?

Below are some practical, real-world examples of questions that you can include in your interviewing process: 

  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • What is your average list-to-price sales ratio?
  • How do you come up with a marketing plan?
  • What are your unique skills and strengths?
  • Can you provide specific examples of past successes?
  • Do you have any references to share?
  • How do you deal with competing offers?
  • How do you generate leads and opportunities?
  • What are your thoughts on the current state of the industry?
  • Can you describe a scenario where you went out of your way to assist a client?

These are some of the most popular and frequently asked questions in a real estate interview.