A Better Way To Interview A Real Estate Agent

Posted by Joe Manausa on Thursday, February 11th, 2010 at 11:13am.

Most home owners who interview real estate agents for the job of selling their home are not prepared for this most important task in getting the home sold.

Most home owners who interview real estate agents for the job of selling their home are not prepared for this most important task in getting the home sold. More often than not, the homeowner is most curious about what the agent thinks the home is worth, rather than the more important issues on which they should be focused.

Important Questions To Ask A REALTOR® About Marketing A Home For Sale

Since the majority of people "who do" real estate are part timers with other jobs, a prudent homeowner will be very cautious in the selection of both the company, as well as the agent, whom they hire for the job of selling their home. If it were me, I would create a list of questions centered around the two most important aspects of getting the home sold ... marketing and value.

How To Market A Home For Sale

At a minimum, I would expect the real estate agent to be able to not only answer the following questions, but to also demonstrate proof of their answers. Too often, homeowners get comfortable with a salesperson and never dig deep enough to qualify the ability of both the salesperson and the real estate company. With nearly 60% of the homes failing to sell right now, home sellers should heed this advice.

  • Who most likely is going to buy the home? (Describe the most likely buyer demographic)
  • Where will they come from? (where this demographic should be found)
  • How many buyers are currently in the market for a home of this type, size, and price range?
  • What is the competition for this home; how many are there?
  • What is the real estate company going to do to give this homeowner a "leg up" on the competition?
  • How is the real estate company going to support the agent in getting the home sold?
  • What does the company do to generate and cultivate long-term lists of active home buyers?

It is only after the homeowner is completely satisfied with the ability of the company to get the home sold that they should move forward to the valuation stage. All too often, homeowners are comfortable speaking with a salesperson about pricing a home and they make their decision based upon the amount of money the agent says they will get. Again, 60% of homes for sale in Tallahassee are failing to sell, so this is a perfect example of people "counting their chickens before they hatch!"

Beware the unscrupulous agent who will list a home at any price, knowing that the seller will eventually wear down and lower the price for the home to sell. This tactic is used all too often, and almost always results in less money for the homeowner. A stale home rarely generates the activity or price of a properly positioned home. Do not fall for this age-old tactic.

Pricing A Home To Sell

Yesterday's post on the Tallahassee Real Estate Blog went in to detail on determining a value range for a home. I would expect a great real estate agent to understand this in depth, and to be able to demonstrate these values clearly and to provide supporting documentation.

A seller who selects the right initial market position for their home will do better than an owner whose home sits on the market for a long period of time. With prices still falling, we are seeing this all too often.

When it comes to choosing a real estate agent for the job of selling your home, the advice is simple. Interview in depth, choose wisely, make sound pricing decisions, and then move on with your life.


Joe Manausa, MBA is a 26 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.

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