When selecting a buyers agent, there are a few things you should ask a potential agent:
Do you do this full time? There are a LOT of part-time realtors out there. Real Estate is a ever changing business, and to do it well requires full-time focus. It is not the sort of thing a person can fit in around another commitment. Being great at anything takes full time commitment.
How many houses have you been in THIS WEEK? Anything less than 10 is a red flag. How can you have real market knowledge if you haven’t been in the market? How can a realtor tell you about a house she hasn’t been in?
What is your value proposition? This can be an elevator pitch. Realtors are paid well, the one you hire to represent you should know why.
Do you have affiliates that you work with? A good professional will have made connections with other professionals in her industry that she can provide referrals to. No realtor can handle every aspect of a transaction, and that is not her job, but she should be on a first-name basis with lenders, inspectors, contractors, title agents, lawyers, accountants and others she can refer you to for help that is outside of her expertise if it is called for.
Tell me about your process with buyers. Everyone works differently, and every transaction is a little different, but every realtor should have a best-practice they try to follow.
How often will you contact me? The number one complaint people make about their Realtor is that they feel like they have been left out in the cold and that there is insufficient communication between Realtor and client. Personally I think that if a client has to call me with a question, I have already dropped the ball.
How do you feel about negotiating? A big part of a Realtors job is to negotiate a transaction on your behalf (which can mean more than price). If you find an agent who is not EXCITED and eager to negotiate, do you think she will be eager to negotiate, or to capitulate on your behalf?