June 22, 2012
Buying? How to Choose a Realtor
Chances are you have a friend who is a real estate agent or at least a friend of a friend. This comes in handy when you need an agent. The first tip of looking for a reputable agent is to ask for recommendations. However, there are valuable questions to consider regardless of how you found the professional you are interviewing to be your agent.
You expect your agent to have your best interests in mind as well as professional integrity but bear in mind that you may be spending much of your free time with this person. There will be many car drives and viewing appointments so it’s important that you get along, communicate well, and find his/her opinion to be trustworthy – like in any good relationship. It’s also helpful to have some insight about the other qualities and skills a real estate agent should have, one who will be working hard for you!
What your Real Estate Agent should know
1. Is your agent familiar with your neighbourhoods of interest? He/she should have expert knowledge about the range of home values within the neighborhood that you’re looking in as well as be able to suggest other areas with similar homes and lifestyle amenities.
2. Does your agent understand what you have have in mind? Everyone has their own personal taste and style preferences so your agent should have a clear idea of what your dream home looks like, as well as your needs. He or she should also take into consideration what your budget is, so that you don’t end up buying something you can’t really afford and end up house poor.
3. Can your agent put together a dream team? – that is, recommend a mortgage broker and real estate lawyer and/or other professional services that you may come across needing?
4. Does the agent keep abreast of the latest mortgage loan products and is able to give you a tutorial on local property taxes or other fees?
5. How many homes did the agent find for buyers last year? Ask for the properties that he/she helped his/her clients buy in the last year so you can get a sense of what kind of what they paid versus what they were listed for.
Get a few references from past clients and ask about their experience with this agent and if they would hire this person again before making your final decision!