I like to watch Sandra Rinomato on the TV show "Property Virgins" - she was a role model for me when I decided to pursue my career in Real Estate. We both have something in common, we love to educate first time buyers and help them get started on the property ladder. The recommendations she provides in this article posted on Canada AM / CTV are excellent - happy reading!
You are about to embark on one of the largest purchases of your life. Where do you start? Well, the first thing you want to do is hook up with a reputable, professional and licensed realtor. Awesome, so where do you start?
Where to start?
Start asking around for recommendations from friends and family who have purchased or sold recently. Remember to ask exactly why they recommend this particular realtor, as your criteria may not match theirs.
Next, if you enjoy going to open houses, you may want to strike up a conversation with the hosting realtor. This realtor may or may not be the actual listing agent but if you get along with this person and have a connection with them, you may feel that this person is the right fit for you.
Start following realtors who are prolific on social media and see what they have to say. Check out their blog, and website. Is the website just a generic template with buttons that lead to nowhere? Maybe you need to look elsewhere.
Look in the local papers and big papers to see who is advertising properties for sale or their services and see if there are a few names that stand out. Be careful though, just because they advertise doesn't mean they are the right fit for you.
I do not recommend using a service that collects your personal data and then sells it to any realtor willing to pay for the lead. You don't know what you're getting, who you're getting and what their reputation is. They claim to use top producers, which statistically, in the Toronto Real Estate Board is someone who does 3 deals per year. In my opinion that realtor is not adequate.
Great work, you have a few names on your list. Now what? Start conducting interviews. Call, write or text these agents and let them know you are beginning your search for a realtor.
How does the realtor respond? Do they offer information on the phone? Do they just jump into questions about what you want to buy/sell or do they request a meeting? More experienced realtors will want to sit down in a calm controlled environment to discuss the process, your expectations, their expectations, the paperwork required and everything you need to know before you get rolling and offer you a package of information to keep. If that happens, you know you've hit the jackpot! This type of realtor is a valuable source of information, and knows the ins and outs so well that they won't do business any other way.
During the interview, it's great to have a checklist of questions you would like to ask, but don't forget to watch and listen. A savvy realtor will take the conversation a different direction than you may be expecting and you may miss important nuances and information that didn't make it to your own checklist-- so don't fall into that trap.
You should look for someone who is:
- hard working because they have their finger on the pulse of the market
- savvy because knowledge is very important
- professional because there are ethics you need us to follow
- using technology to your advantage
- communicating to you in a language you understand and feel comfortable with
You should come out of the meeting feeling like you are in good hands, and you know what's in it for you if you should hire that realtor.
If your realtor is not listening to you, or fails to respond to you when you reach out, is never available for appointments, does not know the answer to real estate questions and does not bother to research on your behalf then you need to find someone else. If they are not offering guidance and solving problems you need to move on.
If your realtor does not address agency and the Buyer Rep Agreement (BRA) you may want to question this. If your realtor wants you to sign a BRA for more than 2 months, you may want to question why. There may be a good reason, but personally I feel that within 30 days you will know how your realtor works and if you wish to continue working with them you can sign on for a longer period. Someone who wants to lock you in for a long period of time may not have confidence in their own performance to know that you will enjoy the benefits of working with them enough that you don't have to be locked under contract.
Selecting your realtor should make you feel like you know what's in it for you, that she/he will be able and willing to communicate with you using your preferred method of technology, and can teach you what you need to know to make a smart real estate move.
Source: Canada AM CTV News June 18, 2014