The best use of an agent's time is to be in front of someone who wants to buy or sell real estate. That is what we work for- we advertise, blog, do mailings, answer the phone, and some even knock on doors to be belly to belly with someone who want to buy or sell real estate.
So I really have to laugh when I get a phone call from an agent who wants to speak with me for 15 minutes about one of my listings when just reading the information, a simple drive by, preview, or (shudder) an appointment with their client would answer everything. I understand calling ahead to see if the yard is flat or something that doesn't make them a time vampire. But these pre-showing interviews really are over the top.
Do we really need to chat all through lunch to decide if my listing is right for your client? When an agent tries to monopolize my time with a ton of questions a visit or showing would uncover, their answer to my asking why we need to "interview" is always the same:
I don't want to waste my time if they won't buy the house.
Now, the sarcastic side of me says things like Waste your time? What would you be doing if you weren't with the client? A crossword puzzle?? Farmville? Are you inventing a vaccine for stupidity that you can't be interrupted to go see the house?
What could possibly be a better use of one's time than showing a client a home? The idea that homes must be screened to a fault before you can show the client misses the point. NO client looks at one home. They look at a bunch. And the ones they don't buy are not a waste of time. They are important work. It's like dating. You have to get out there and kiss frogs. That's our work.
I have learned plenty about clients on days when we didn't find the house but spent an afternoon together. It helps me get them. We bond. It makes me more attuned to their needs. It is part of the job. As a matter of fact, I have earned my share of loyal buyers who appreciated that I told them I thought a place wasn't the right fit instead of closing them after every showing.
If the home fits their criteria, Mr/Ms agent, show them the home. It is the best use of your time and far more productive than asking me how old the roof is and a hundred other questions that make no sense if they haven't seen the place.