Buying or selling a home is an important endeavor and can be overwhelming if you don’t have the right realtor guiding you. It’s important to be methodical when choosing who to work with – and being picky isn’t bad – to ensure whoever you choose is the right fit for you. This can make or break your experience as a buyer or seller and shouldn’t be left to just anyone.
Don’t rush into this decision with the first name to pop up on your Google search or an ad plastered on the side of a bus. Research the realtors in your area. Visit their websites for an introduction to their teams and search their agents on social media to find out more about who you’d potentially be working with. Read reviews on agents, but don’t be deterred by a few negative ones.
We recommend bringing prospective agents your wish list. When buying a home, you may include your wants and must-haves, what you didn’t like about your old home, or a specific style that you like. You may also want to provide insight into your day-to-day life. Perhaps you commute to work on the train or have school-aged kids. These factors may dictate the neighbourhood you look for. When selling your home, you may include any updates it needs prior to selling or the price point you want to sell for. The more information you give an agent, the easier it will be to know if they’re qualified for the job – you want someone who knows how to handle your specific needs.
Interview at least three agents before making a decision. How long have they been in real estate? What is their communication like? Are they able to answer all your questions or direct you to someone who can? Do they sound confident and supportive, or do they only talk about themselves rather than listening to your needs? What kinds of neighbourhoods and price points are they familiar with? How long is their typical transaction with a client? How do they make their clients competitive in the rapidly changing market? How long is their typical workday and how flexible are they to meet at other times? If you’re looking to sell your home, ask for their thoughts on how to make the home most appealing to buyers. Would they suggest any home renovation? How much would that cost? Are they receptive to your ideas? We know this is a lot to consider, but these questions will give insight into an agent’s personality and working style, and whether this matches with yours. Being upfront with expectations from the beginning can prevent later miscommunications and a turbulent working relationship.
Choose the agent that makes you feel the most excited to work with. It’s important to feel comfortable in communicating with them and trust that they have your best interests at heart.