If you’re in the process of looking for a realtor to work with, you’ll want to be sure and do your research. Not all realtors are the same, and as you’ll be entrusting your agent with what is probably the largest financial transaction of your life, you’ll want to choose wisely.
So how do you know how to choose the right realtor for you? Everyone’s situation is a little different, but whether you’re buying or selling, you’ll want to consider these…
5 Big Things You Should Be Selective About in Your Realtor
- Level of experience.
In your search for a realtor, your first job is to determine the level of experience an agent has, and whether or not they’re best suited to fulfill your unique needs as their client. You’ll want to dig deeper than just years of experience—in this case, quality is more important than quantity. An agent may say they’ve worked for an impressive 20 years in the business, but have they been a “hobby” agent the whole time? In this case, the agent with only 3 years of experience that’s filled with successful transactions and strong references may actually be the better choice.
You’ll also want to know whether an agent works more with buyers or sellers, and how their experience with either can benefit your needs. It’s also important to learn which neighborhoods or cities they work in, and what types of homes or real estate they specialize in. Neighbourhoods (even in the same city) and types of homes can vary greatly, and finding an agent who is an expert is your specific situation will serve you the best. You want your agent to know your neighbourhood, home type, and local real estate market like the back of their hand!
- Proven record of success.
Experience is all well and good, but an agent should do more than just be able to show that they’ve brushed up on local stats. They should be able to show you successful transactions they’ve been a part of. If you’re selling, you’ll want to see list price vs. sold price, days on market, and how this compares to similar homes in the same neighborhood, as a start. If you’re buying, you’ll want to see situations where they’ve helped buyers close on the homes they want. If you have a competitive market, ask how many offers recent clients have had to make before they win a home.
- Excellent testimonials.
Reading online testimonials about a real estate agent is a good place to start, but first-hand details from their previous clients is even better. Don’t be afraid to ask around and reach out to those who have first-hand experience working with the agent.
- Strong network of support.
Will you always be working directly with the agent, or will their teammate show you a home now and then? Does the agent have an assistant who helps throughout the transaction, or an office full of staff offering them support? There are pros and cons to each scenario, but no matter what the agent’s work style is, you’ll just want to make sure that you understand how the relationship will work.
- Professional references.
Your agent should be well-connected and have preferred professionals they can recommend you to based on their real life experience with them. If you’re buying a home, this may include a preferred lender. If you’re selling a home, this may include contractors or staging professionals who can help get your home ready to sell. Research their recommendations to see if they seem as good as the agent says they are.
These 5 things are of the utmost importance whether you’re buying or selling your home (or both!). Ready to dig even deeper? These handy guides will help you narrow down your search for a realtor: