How much do agents research writers before making an offer? Are there other factors involved like a quick google scan? Reviewing the writer's website? Scrutinizing criminal records?
That guy outside your house in the fedora chomping a cigar? That's my undercover writer investigator. He goes through your garbage to find out what kind of breakfast cereal you eat; your preferred brand of laundry detergent; and, most important, tallies the number of empty beer cans.
(Back in the day, when one of my parents had a high visibility job in a small town, they'd take their empties to the city dump only under cover of darkness.)
Yes, I'm pulling all four of your little rodent-wheel running legs here.
While we do poke around a little, how much depends on how many (if any) red flags there are.
For sure I will click any social media links you include in your query.
I will check your website too.
If you don't have any of those things, I type your name into google.
I'm not trying to find out if you used to be a mermaid, or if you are an alien from space, or if you vote the straight Know-Nothing party ticket.
What I do look for is what you post on social media. Not so much the political stuff, although some of my ilk do for sure; I'm mostly looking to see if you're ranting about agents, querying and the beast that is trade publishing.
I specifically look to see if you've published something and left it out of the query. Or if you had an agent before and left it out of the query.