Are you a Realtor?
Not every Real Estate Agents are Realtors. There are strict codes of ethics that need to be followed as Members of the National Association of Realtors. To have this 'title' of 'realtor' you must be a member. If the strict codes aren't followed, their membership can be revoked. You must also be a member to have access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) which is what gives Realtors access to almost every home for sale in their market area.
How long have you been in the business?
A Real Estate Agent's experience is KEY! During the first year of their experience, a new agent will learn a great deal. For every transaction following they will continue to learn more. A new agent can bring freshness and energy to the transaction, and will most likely have time to spend with just you. If you do go with a newer agent, make sure they have a support system behind them.
What certifications do you have?
A GRI is the most time consuming certification to acquire. Having certifications doesn't establish that the agent is a good one, but it does prove that they serious about their career.
What is your specialty?
Agents usually classify themselves as either residential or commercial Agents. Within the Residential category, agents will specialize in Buyers, Sellers (or both), or Renters.
Who is your Broker? Can I call him/her?
Some Real Estate Agents us large brokerage houses. This may mean that they haven't met their Broker. Find out if they have a contact number for any questions.
How many sales did you complete last year?
A good rule of thumb is, if an agent has completed at least 15 sales that year, he or she is a good agent.
Is this your full time job?
You need to find someone who handles real estate transactions full time. This way you will know you are hopefully in good hands.
Make sure you find an agent through a good source or one who comes highly recommended.