Interviewing REALTORS®

Once you’ve identified a few potential REALTORS®, it’s time to set up interviews. I recommend you do this in a video format such as Zoom or Google Meet. Contact each of the prospective REALTORS® and in the initial communication let them know you are a licensed agent who is looking to make a referral, tell them a bit about the referral (buying, selling, location, price range, etc.) without disclosing your friend’s name or contact information, let the REALTOR® know the percentage of referral commission you would like, and then ask if they would be willing to schedule a video interview with you. If they don’t have the time or interest to interview with you then just cross off that name. You want to refer to someone who has an interest in the client you are referring. Note that some highly experienced, busy agents may not want to take on low dollar transactions or ones that are very far from their home, especially if you are asking for what they believe to be a high referral percentage. If more than a couple agents turn you down, you may either need to adjust your commission percentage and/or go back and look for agents who aren’t as busy. 

Before you conduct your scheduled interviews, be sure that you understand the priorities and personality of the person you are referring. Are they someone that really likes to have their hand-held? Are they a highly analytical person who wants to see lots of details? Do they interact better with people who are very down-to-business or those that are more friendly and take the time to build rapport? Do they expect their REALTOR® to respond on weekends? Will they want their REALTOR® to tell them how to stage their house? The bottom line is the more you know about the person you are referring, the better job you can do in choosing a REALTOR® that will be a great fit for them. So don’t be shy about sitting your friend down and asking about their expectations and preferences. When you do that, they’ll better appreciate how much you really are doing them a service.

Suggested interview questions are listed below. Note that I have left out questions that you can look up in the agent’s Zillow profile, such as “how many houses have your sold in the last year?” or “what were the price ranges?”. There may be additional questions you want to add to this list depending on your friend’s situation. For example, if your friend is moving across the country and won’t be there to see the homes in person, it would be important to ask the buyer agents if they have experience with this type of situation.

Questions for Buyer Agents
  • Do you require your customers to sign a buyer agreement?
  • Do you charge a buyer fee?
  • Will you be the person interacting directly with the client or will other agents or assistants be working with them also?
  • What is your process for identifying and sending information about potential homes to your buyers?
  • Do you have set hours that you work or is your schedule flexible?
  • Do you create a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for a house once the buyer decides to make an offer?
Questions for Listing Agents
  • Tell me a little bit about your marketing plan.
  • Do you hire professional photographers?
  • Do you provide the seller with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), and if so, how detailed is it?
  • How do you decide on a recommended listing price?
  • What commission rate do you typically charge?
  • Are there any additional fees charged to the seller in addition to the commission? 
  • Will you be the person interacting directly with the client or will other agents or assistants be working with them also?
  • Do you have set hours that you work or is your schedule flexible?

After interviewing potential agents, decide if you feel your one or more of the agents might be a good fit for your friend. If you’ve identified more than one good choice then discuss each of the potential candidates with your friend. Once you’ve got it narrowed down to one or two choices, it’s time to move on to our next webpage where we discuss the ins-and-outs of getting the referral agreement in writing