Selecting a Real Estate Agent is one of the most important decisions that you can make when buying or selling a home.
Your goal when you’re ready to choose a real estate agent is to find someone who you communicate well with, and who shares your same goals—not just about buying a house, but doing so in a way that prioritizes your needs as a buyer and gets you the best home possible for the best price possible.
Here are a few things to take into consideration when finding the right agent for you:
Know your needs
How urgently do you need to sell or buy a home? What style and size home are you looking for? Do you know are you’d like to be in? Are you looking to sell ASAP or are you willing to put in some extra time and work to maximize the value of your home prior to selling?
When you understand your needs, you can ask the right questions. If agents have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, everyone starts on the same page. Then, you can learn how each agent will adapt their real estate services and process to work for you.
Agents must be tech savvy
A Realtor's success depends on how well they find and market homes. Online advertising and property websites are now a basic requirement in modern home buying.
Take a look at the agent’s social media accounts to ensure they are used regularly. Check to see if they are using professional photographs and drone videos to showcase their listings. Having an agent with a strong understanding of the latest technology and how to market your home digitally will ensure a much more successful sale for you.
All Realtors aren’t equal
While all agents become certified in the same foundational program, this only covers the theory and foundations of the business. Real estate changes daily because of new laws and market trends. Ask Realtors what additional training, experience, and local connections they maintain to make sure their knowledge is always up to date. Ask them about the local real estate market, their predictions, and for advice, this will assure you that your agent is up-to-date and fully qualified.
Communication is key
Having an agent who is available to you when you need them is key. Not all questions can be asked and answered between 9am and 5pm. Also, be sure to discuss your preferred method of communication with your agent in advance, you may want daily emails with updates or a text message after each showing. Ensure that your agent is willing to communicate with you on your terms.
Ask for their strategy
A professional and experienced agent will have a tried and true marketing strategy in place. Review this with your agent in advance, ask questions and discuss any concerns that you may have.
The best way to learn about an agent is to ask someone who has worked with them before. An experienced agent will be happy to provide client testimonials. Also, be sure to check their website and social media pages for comments from clients.
Ask your agent about their support system, whether it be marketing, research, or administration, knowing your agent has the resources behind them to ensure your successful sale or purchase will give you peace of mind.
Also be sure to ask your agent about their access to community connections such as mortgage brokers, inspectors, appraisers, contractors, etc. that may be needed throughout the process. An excellent agent will have countless contacts that they work with on a regular basis.
Don’t select an agent solely based on how high they price your home; make sure to understand their method. An overpriced home can linger on the market and require price reductions in the future, giving buyers the idea that you’re rushing to sell and are willing to accept an even lower price. When a home is priced right, it sells fastest for the most value. An experienced agent will review comparable properties in the neighbourhood and recommend a fair price for your home.
Trust your gut
It’s got you this far! Always follow your gut instinct, if you find an agent that you are comfortable with, genuinely like, trust and feel will represent you best, then choose that agent. Your feelings throughout this rollercoaster process are extremely important and you want to be working with someone you are comfortable with.