When it’s time for you to either sell your home or start looking for a new one, a Real Estate Agent can be a very valuable asset. A good Realtor can help speed up the process, save you money when buying, they can help you sell for more if listing, and they can find you the perfect home and so on. But with literally tens of thousands to choose from, how do you select the right Realtor that will suit your needs? Follow the 7 tips we’ve laid out (in no particular order) below and they should help narrow down your search:
Connection to the Area – You could hire the number 1 Realtor in Canada and he may not be as effective as an experienced and reputable Agent that specializes in your neighbourhood. The knowledge of different pockets within a town or city is invaluable. Agents who are well connected and very knowledgeable in a certain area will know that markets history and future better, they will know and probably have sold some houses on your block, and they may even have access to listings before they even hit the market. Ask around about your candidate to get a feel for his reputation and ask him good questions about your area.
Personal Connection – This is often overlooked by many people. There is a good chance you will be working with this agent for a couple of months and if all goes well, again in the future as well. Wouldn’t you want to get along with them on some level? Also, a friendship with your agent will smooth out the process for you in a few different ways. Friends always work a little harder for each other!
Professionalism – Keep an eye out for red flags, you don’t want to be represented by someone who is unprofessional. It looks bad to the other parties and the other realtors involved. Are they punctual? Dress professionally? Do they use slang or speak properly/know real estate lingo? Can they communicate their message in an efficient and well-spoken fashion? Make sure they meet your standards.
What is included in their service and at what cost – The number one question most people have is what commission percentage is being charged? But your inquiry should go a little deeper than the number. What is included for that cost? What tools do they use? Do they hire a professional photographer or stager for you? Do they hire a mover on your behalf? Some agents include more than the traditional service. You get what you pay for – the cheapest isn’t always the best choice.
Ask them to explain their marketing strategy (when selling) – This is very important as it will determine not only the amount of exposure your home gets, but the quality as well. Where do they list the home? Do they include pictures or videos? Is there any special type of promotions they use? Ask them for a step by step walk through, most are more than happy to show you. Again, it’s not always about just the rate they charge but what is included in their service.
Background Checks – Basically, this means doing your homework. Ask them for references from past clients, read review online, check their website to see their current listings and how they market them. Also, check out reco.on.ca. RECO regulates the trade of real estate on behalf of the Ontario government. You can look up your agent to see any past complaints, licensing, etc.
Don’t be pressured to use a family member or friend – If you have a family member or friend in the business, it is very hard not to use them. However, you need to protect the best interest of you and your family too. You are entitled to do all your homework as noted above and make your own educated choice on who you would like to use. Of course, if they are comparable to what you are looking for then it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get the family and friends discount.
Now, of course there are some other things to look for when selecting your agent. But these should be enough to make sure you make the right choice moving forward. Make sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter for more great tips and rate specials, click HERE to do so. If you have some more tips that you think would be useful, please leave a comment below for other to see.
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