Whether you’re embarking on your very first home purchase, or you’ve been around the block a few times, having the right realtor is essential to as smooth a process as possible. So how are you expected to find the one for you?
The first thing to do is ask around. Approach family, friends and colleagues for referrals, as knowing someone with actual experience with a realtor will lend credibility and provide reassurance during what can be quite a stressful experience. Secondly, start surfing. Nowadays we shop for nearly everything on the Internet, where pictures, detailed descriptions and positive (or negative) testimonials are just one click away.
Once you have compiled a shortlist, make direct contact: start calling and sending emails to set up an initial meeting. But before you get into the semantics of your budget and their commission, consider asking the below questions to get a better idea of whom you will be potentially working with.
How long have you been working in real estate?
The answer to this isn’t necessarily about a number, as real estate is a commission-based business, and it would be very difficult for a realtor to survive for a long time providing subpar service. Someone who has dealt with a variety of scenarios is less likely to be rattled should any bumps be encountered down the road.
What areas do you cover?
You will likely encounter realtors who are neighbourhood experts and others who will travel halfway across the country to make a sale. It would be ideal with find someone who is a balance of the two, who can work both in and around your main areas of interest.
Are you equipped to handle my unique situation?
Depending on what your goals are: long-term investor, first-time homebuyer, or house flipper – it would be best to find someone that is well acquainted with your specific situation. Don’t be fooled by someone who answers the question with, “Don’t worry, I’ve dealt with this before.”
Happy realtor shopping!