“I want to hire a real estate agent, but I can’t find anyone servicing my area!” is a complaint we rarely hear. It’s more likely that your neighborhood resembles the Las Vegas strip with all the real estate signs and ads competing for your attention. The real challenge is making an informed decision. There are objective and subjective qualifications that will determine which agent is best suited to represent you, so here are 6 tips to help guide your decision and prepare you for interviewing a potential agent.  

  1. Like with produce, shop locally

The right agent should be actively working in your local housing market. They should know what’s for sale nearby, what recently sold, and for how much, information on local schools and amenities, etc. No two markets are the same and a locally-minded agent can leverage their knowledge into getting you exactly what you’re looking for at the best value.

  1. Value for Money

When you’re paying commission to a real estate brokerage, ensure you’re getting value for money.  Does your agent have a comprehensive marketing plan for your property that goes above and beyond listing the property on the MLS? Does he or she employ current technology to showcase your property, to generate buyer interest and to keep in touch with you?  Is the brokerage part of an international referral network?  Do the company and agent have a corporate culture that aligns with your values?

  1. Find a dedicated agent

A dedicated agent is likely to have a more flexible schedule and better connections within the industry. If an agent is inaccessible you may not be able to get in touch with them during typical business hours, which could be detrimental considering the speed at which the real estate industry moves. This is a simple screening question to help narrow in on someone who is serious about their business.

  1. You should like your agent

You may think agents should be hired based on objective qualifications alone, but you will be in close quarters with them and it’s important that their personality meshes with yours. You want someone you like, who moves at your pace, and with whom you are comfortable. Feeling constantly intimidated or irritated by your agent is a deal breaker.

  1. You can do anything, but not everything

There are many types of properties (condos, townhouses, bungalows, tract housing, etc.) and agents often specialize in one or a few categories. The agent you hire should be knowledgeable about the type of home you’re buying or selling. If they typically deal with properties outside of your price range or property type, you may want to keep searching.  

  1. References are essential

Agents control how they present themselves, but they can’t control the feedback from former clients. Search online for reviews and ask your family and friends if they’ve worked with someone they loved. Having a positive track record is a fantastic quality standard for an agent.

It’s important that you interview agents before making a commitment and these tips can help narrow down your search. It’s important that their personality and knowledge meet your standards as they will be representing you throughout the transaction. It isn’t often that we’re buying or selling our homes and asking the right questions can be the deciding factor between contentment and regret.

 

 

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