How to Choose a REALTOR
As with any industry each REALTOR® or team varies in experience, services and personality. What you're looking for is not only "the best" but the best fit for you so interview and don't be afraid to ask questions. Your home is likely your biggest asset so you want to be comfortable with the professional you choose, be able to communicate with them and know that they're listening to you and have confidence in their knowledge and experience.
- Get referrals from family, friends or other professional people that you work with that have had experience with a REALTOR®.
- Check out the current For Sale signs in the local neighbourhoods that you would like to move to. Who are the area experts?
- Research online. Use REALTOR.ca and check out their personal websites. Where are they working? What tools are they using?
Whoever you contact should reply to you within a reasonable amount of time and in a professional manner.
What questions should you ask?
- Do you work full time or part time as a REALTOR®? - Expect the professional you hire to be able to work when needed. When you're in the midst of an offer you want to know they can focus on your negotiations in a timely fashion, not be unavailable for long periods of time. It's reasonable to expect them to be reachable days, evenings and weekends.
- How long have you been a REALTOR®? - Experience counts.
- How long have you lived/worked in the area? - Relevant experience counts even more. Make sure they can advise you on the area you are looking in.
- Will you be handling all aspects of my transaction or do you have associates/assistants that handle some tasks? What are those tasks? - Some people work alone, some with an assistant, some with a team. Ask what tasks the REALTOR® will handle personally so you know what to expect.
- When are you available and how do I reach you? - You want to know that you can reach them when you need to.
- How many homes/properties do you sell in a year? - Are they successful in their chosen profession and experienced negotiators?
- What do you charge? - most of the time the Seller pays the commission to the agent but occasionally there are instances, like a For-Sale-By-Owner, where you and the Buyer's Agent will agree on a fee that is reasonable to have them represent you in the purchase. Discuss this when you sign the Buyers' Agency Agreement.