3 Sneaky Ways to Interview a Real Estate Agent

Tim Lucas
Military VA Loan editor


by Ed Kunkel, Jr.

It’s a good idea to interview at least two or more agents before you decide to commit to one.  But, instead of using the interview process in a standard, predictable format, try interviewing agents while they are engaged in their practice instead.

What do I mean by that?  Here’s some ideas you can apply to help you observe your agent candidate without them even knowing they are being interviewed.

Let’s imagine you’re a buyer and you just recently became pre-approved.  Your parents gave you the name of their agent, and your best friend gave you another name. And you might look on your own as well. How do you go about finding which real estate agent is best?

The Sneaky Real Estate Agent Interview #1

You decide to drive through an ideal neighborhood and you spot a home for sale.  One way to conduct a sneaky interview is to call the listing agent (the agent on the flyer) and schedule a showing.

During the initial phone calls and showings, get to know how the agent works in a real-life scenario – but don’t tell the agent you are actually conducting an interview.

Or if you’re selling, call an agent with a listing in your neighborhood. Ask him or her to show you that listing. See if their demeanor and characteristics are reasonable enough for you to interview for your home.

This is a great way to interview an agent who is working in your preferred area. You see how well they know the locale, and how well they will work with you.

Real Estate Agent Interview Sneaky Method #2

Then try this: Find three homes online that you would like to go look at, and call each agent to schedule showings.  Do not let the agents know about each other, instead, carefully analyze them individually to see which agent you resonate with the most.   When you decide on one, commit to that agent with a buyer agency agreement.

When you finish closing escrow on your new home, let the cat out of the bag and tell that agent how you interviewed them.  They will get a kick out of it!

Sneaky Interview #3

Go on a few agents’ websites and find a home that interests you.  Call them and ask questions about the home you found.  See how helpful they are over the phone.

What does their demeanor tell you when you’re talking with them?  Will they work hard to find you a home? If he or she blows you off, it’s a good sign your home search will be a struggle with that agent.

If you’re a seller, call as if you were a prospective buyer of one of the agent’s listings. See how the agent handles you. If the agent isn’t professional and courteous to you, the supposed prospective buyer, he or she will not treat your home’s potential buyers well either.

I hope these ideas are helpful for you in your pursuit of finding the right agent, and realizing success in your endeavors.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly if I can answer questions or offer advice, thanks for your interest!

Ed Kunkel, Jr. is a Managing Broker/Realtor® at Keller Williams Realty in Olympia, Washington. Visit Ed here. Ed’s Military History: Veteran – U.S. Army and Air Force Reserve; Highest rank, E5; 11 years combined military service.