Choosing the right agent is almost as important as choosing the right house.
The right agent will have the experience, strategies, personality and taste that will further your goals. Choosing one with a style that harmonizes with your own will make the house-hunting and/or selling process much more enjoyable and productive.
Before hiring an agent, be sure to ask pertinent questions so you know whether they have the experience and qualifications you require and are a good match for you. Plus, if they can’t sell themselves to you, what confidence do you have that they can make the right impression in the housing market?
Try the following questions:
- How long have you been a real estate agent?
- Are you a member of Canadian Real Estate Association?
- How will you help me find the right home or sell my home?
- What makes your service special?
- What advice would you offer me on my housing hunt/sell?
Qualities to look for:
A strong listener who remembers what your specific wants and needs are and looks for properties that meet them
A professional appearance and demeanor
Prompt service and initiative
Strong references from past clients (Ask for a list of recent sales and choose a few to call.)
A familiarity with the area and price range you are interested in
Invest in your agent:
Choosing an agent with experience and extensive qualifications often requires an investment. You may pay more for an experienced agent who is a member of CREA, but you get the quality service you pay for.
“Don’t go for the cheap way out,” says Sherry Piercey, whose family has sold three homes, one through an amateur agent and two using a registered agent. “Go for the pros. You will end up there anyway.”
Piercey says it took months to even get people to look at their home with an amateur agent. Shortly after hiring an established broker, they sold their home within weeks. “You get what you pay for,” she adds. Piercey says her agent’s access to MLS and experience with the local housing market got their home the necessary exposure for a quick sale.
Whether you’re in the market to buy a home or looking to sell your existing home, finding an agent who is dependable, knowledgeable and qualified as well as a great fit for your style and personality is key to a match made in heaven.
Unfortunately there are no real estate matchmaking sites that will search out the agent most compatible with you. But if you put the effort into finding the right one, you won’t regret it.