How to Interview Portland Real Estate Agents

by | Dec 12, 2012 | Buyer Tips, Seller Tips

Choosing a Portland real estate agent can be a very imposing task.  This person is responsible for finding your new home or selling your current home, guiding you through the home inspection process and negotiating a good price and terms.  These are important tasks that should be taken seriously.  I seriously cringe at the thought of someone choosing an agent based upon who they run into at an open house or meet at a listing they have interest in.  Finding a skilled real estate agent is key to a successful real estate transaction, now more than ever.  There is so much information out there for us to consume, its hard to find clarity in the mass of information.

Here are several tips for interviewing Portland real estate agents:

  • Interview at least three agents.  Even if you love the first or second agent you interview, promise yourself you’ll interview all three.  You learn more from each interview, and you never know when that third agent is going to be the perfect match for you.  Finding a good match is probably more important than hiring the top producer for your area.  Walmart out sells Nordstrom, but the level of customer service between the two companies is completely different.
  • Ask all three agents the same questions so you can compare their answers and ability to communicate.  Write out your questions so you don’t forget any, and take notes during the interviews.  You think you’ll remember what they say, but the specifics will begin to blur as you interview the second and third agent.
  • Ask the real estate agents how long they’ve been in business and how many homes they’ve helped people buy and sell during the last year.  An agent with experience is a very valuable asset, but with the current changes in the real estate landscape, an agent with recent experience is even more valuable.   Ask the agents some vital key statistics and how their numbers compare to the city averages.  If the agent knows their numbers, it will say a lot about how they contact their business and wether they will be a strong negotiator.
  • Get at least three references of past clients from each of the Portland real estate agents.  Then follow up with those references.  Ask a variety of questions such as:
  • What was it like to work with the agent?
  • Would you work with him or her again?
  • What was your least favorite thing about working with the agent?
  • What was the best thing about working with the agent?

The answers you get will go a long way towards understanding each candidates style of doing business as well as their character qualities.