Buying and selling a home is a big deal. Whether it’s your forever home, your temporary home for a few years, or an investment property, there is a lot of money involved and you want to know that you’ve got someone who’s got your best interests in mind. Don’t just call the first agent you find a number for!
Firstly, recommendations speak louder than all the signs and advertising you might see! Find out who your trusted friends and family have worked with and whether or not they would recommend them to you. Seek opinions of your business associates and networks. Then, when you meet them, you’ll likely feel a connection or a trust, or you won’t! It’s often that simple. Go with your gut.
One way to do this, is find a property or two on MLS or from driving by and call a realtor to set up a showing for you. Then after that showing you can either call them again (provided they don’t call you for follow up) or not! If they do call you and you’ve decided not to work with them, just say so. “We’ve decided to go with someone else, thanks!” and that’s the end of it. It’s not a bad idea to try out a few different realtors, much like test driving a car. Afterall, this is a LOT of money you’re dealing with and potentially a place you’re going to be calling home for a very long time.
Another way to find a realtor is to visit a variety of open houses. This is a great way to meet a few different agents without making appointments. Just pick a Saturday or Sunday to drive around and find some open houses. They are also often listed in your newspaper.
And once you have a few names you’re considering, it’s always a good idea to run them by the ol’ google search! You could find out things like the realtor is a PTA officer so if the quality of schools is important to you, that’d be a good agent to consider. Or you might find out that the agent is part of the local landlords association so if you’d rather not sell to someone who’s not going to live in your home, that might not be your best fit for an agent!
As a home buyer, you’re going to be looking for someone who is going to do the grunt work for you. Your realtor will / should:
- Listen to your specifications and feedback in order to make further recommendations to you.
- Be eager to set up showings at convenient times for you.
- Do their homework, offer important information and be willing to find out more should you want it.
- Allow you to view homes at your own pace, and if needed, they’ll distract the home owners so you can have a good look around.
- Follow up with you and set up more showings.
As a home seller, you’re going to look for someone who will do your leg work for you. Your realtor will / should:
- Prepare a comparative market analysis and advise you on your home’s market value.
- List your house through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database of properties for sale that all realtors can access.
- Advertise your home via signs, news papers, websites and hold open houses and show your home.
- Provide advise to you when offers come in.
- Work with you to negotiate and understand the sales contract.
You’re going to want a realtor who instills confidence in you. Look for someone who knows your area (if selling) or the area you’re looking into (if buying). They should have a good grasp of the market and trends in the areas. If you’re interested in reading more on this topic, check out this article – Top 10 Mistakes Sellers Make When Choosing a Realtor.