When buying a home, finding the right realtor is the difference between a great experience and one that is more stressful than it needs to be. You want to hire a real fireball who plays the game strategically, keeps you informed and up to date on what's going on, and knows the industry inside and out.
You'll be spending a lot of time with this person, so you want to make sure you gel with them enough to be around them for long periods of time and discuss about high stress situations comfortably.
Here are some important interview questions you should ask all potentials:
How long have you been a licensed agent? Are you a member of the National Association of Realtors?
How many homes did you sell last year? What is your typical list-price-to-sales-price ratio?
Do you have a price range, home style or neighborhood specialty?
How do you stay up on current trends? Do you take classes or frequently attend training?
What is the make up of your team? Do you have an assistant? Who will I be talking to when I want to schedule a showing?
Are you aggressive with bidding? What are your negotiation techniques? How do you handle multiple offers?
What are the average closing costs your buyers have had recently? Are there possible hidden costs might I encounter?
Will you be representing other buyers who are looking for homes in the same area and price range as I am? How many clients do you work with at one time?
Can you instruct me as to how to find the right properties online? How do we schedule a showing for a house we want to see? Do you expect/allow us to look at homes on our own? Will you show us houses that are not in the MLS (FSBO)?
If you recommend other professionals, do you receive compensation for any business I may do with them?
Can we review all documents before we sign anything?
What expectations do you have of me as the buyer?
WIll you provide references from past clients?
Do you offer any sort of guarantee? Can we break our commitment with you if we are unsatisfied?
And always ask for the following documents up front:
Buyer's broker agreement (is it exclusive or non-exclusive?)