For many people, buying or selling real estate is the most important and most expensive financial decision they will ever make. It is important to have a good realtor working for you. Toss a lazy or incompetent realtor in there and you will be giving yourself a headache the size of your new mortgage.
- Narrow the List – the best place to start is by asking friends and family if they have bought or sold recently. Usually those fresh out of a real estate deal, have either really good things to say or really bad. If their realtor was really good, go that route. Failing that, get on the internet to see what realtors out there are blogging. Those realtors that take the time from their day to set something on paper are usually ahead of the game, and have demonstrated that they can think outside the box.
- Interview – a good idea is to sit down the with the realtor that you decide on over a coffee to give them a quick interview. That way you both know that you can work together, trust each other, and your personalities mesh. You will be spending a lot of time together over the next few months. Best to know if you actually like each other.
- Timing – Try to find a realtor who will be able to devote their time to you. If you are a Seller you will need a realtor that can be available to show your house outside of normal business hours. If you are a Buyer the same rules apply, showing you properties on the weekend and in the evenings. Ask the realtor if they are a full time realtor. Those who treat it as a full time profession, generally tend to have more experience, and take the job very seriously.
- Find an expert on the area – an agent who has general knowledge of the market is good, but hiring an agent who knows the schools, traffic patterns, the last house that sold in the neighbourhood, parks and area shops, will help you more.
- Find a Connected agent – an agent who has connections such as building inspectors, lawyers, notaries, mortgage brokers, interior designers and other such professionals will go along way to helping you seal the deal.
- Find Someone who Offers Suggestions – finding an agent who can give you some constructive criticism on your house, which rooms to feature or emphasize, will help you in Selling. Alternatively, finding an agent who will offer suggestions on neighbourhoods, and good cosmetic fixes for the house you are about to buy will also make the Buying process easier.