Five steps to selecting a real estate agent that will help you get the right agent the first time. Follow our five simple steps to success to ensure your real estate transaction runs smoothly, whether buying or selling.
With over 100,000 real estate agents in Canada, selecting a real estate agent can be a bit overwhelming. Selecting the wrong agent can turn one of the greatest purchases in your life into an unpleasant experience. Fortunately, because there are so many agents in Canada, and because nearly half of those are located in the major markets of Toronto and Vancouver, you are left with plenty of options. Each agent will have unique skills, personality traits and value to add to your real estate experience. Our five steps to selecting a real estate agent will help you find the agent that is best for you the first time around.
1. Agent Referrals and Research
Your first step to narrowing down your options is to seek out referrals from friends, family and in doing your own research online. Someone who had a positive experience with an agent gives them credibility that may work for you. In addition to seeking referrals, you should do your own research into the agent online. Nowadays, you can learn more about a potential agent through a Google search than you would an in-person meeting. Learning about the agent and their personality will certainly allow you to make a determination on whether they could be a fit. With your initial list of possible agents, you can move on to the second step.
2. Ask the Real Estate Agent Questions
You should always meet with any potential agent in person before visiting any homes with them. This step will allow you to ask some hard questions directly to the agent that will enable you to narrow your list down. Learn about their experience in the neighbourhood, their skills, strategy and how they negotiate single or multiple offers. These questions help you to select the right real estate agent. Ask as many questions as you might need in order to feel comfortable with them.
3. Agent Competitive Advantages
Always seek out an agent that offers something other agents do not – a competitive advantage. While other agents may be able to rely on their years of experience, newer agents will offer you experience that may make a major difference. Selecting a real estate agent who specializes in that neighbourhood or housing type, excels at marketing properties online or has major name recognition in the media may make them a better agent than others for your purchase or sale.
4. Your Intuition and Feelings
To this point, you have generally relied on facts and information to narrow your choices, but the next step is to consider your own feelings, intuition and thoughts about the person. Do they make you feel comfortable? Do you like being around them? Do you get along well? Do you get a negative vibe from them? You will be spending a lot of time talking and working with your agent, so it is crucial that you get along well with the person before you select them as your real estate agent.
5. Ongoing Review
Once you have narrowed down your options and selected an agent, you should maintain an ongoing review of your working relationship. In some cases, your agent may have put in a lot of work initially but over time, they focus less on your needs and desires. Maintaining an ongoing review of your agent while communicating any problems and issues with them is crucial to a successful long-term relationship. If at any point you don’t feel your agent is working for you (or your agent doesn’t feel they can help you in a way you need), then it serves both parties to part ways, however, if you have followed the above steps you will have a better chance at selecting the right real estate agent the first time!