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You Ask, We Answer: How To Pick A Real Estate Agent

Billboards, bench signs, direct-mail flyers and ads – the market place is saturated with real estate agents all vying to be the person who helps you buy or sell your home. But with different market specialties and areas of expertise, not just any agent will be right for you.

Below, we’ve listed a few things you need to consider before hiring a real estate agent:

How Long They’ve Been In Business: If the ink is still drying on your potential agent’s license, it doesn’t mean they aren’t the right fit. But years under the belt in the real estate industry are as good as gold, and an agent with experience is more likely to have insider knowledge of the neighbourhood, and offer advice and tips on better practices for both buying and selling your home.

Check Their References: As your real estate agent is providing you with a service, you should see how well they’ve done in the past. An agent’s bread and butter is a great word-of-mouth recommendation. Ask for references of recent clients, and they should willingly oblige.

Ask prior clients how pleased they are with the agent’s performance, whether they got above or below their asking price, and how well the agent communicated with them.

What Are Their Specialties: Most real estate agents will have a particular market focus, like residential or condo, though even those who generalize will have obtained additional training in some areas. Make sure the agent you’re considering has a focus or knowledge on the market your hunting. Though an agent who specializes in commercial real estate may be able to help you hunt for a house, someone with experience in residential real estate is more suited to your particular needs.

Are They Solo Or A Member Of A Team: A lot of real estate agents work solo, but there are some who work in teams. In some cases you may end up working more closely with team members than the person you interviewed and ultimately hired. Are you comfortable dealing with several people, or would you prefer to work directly with one agent? The answer may help you make up your mind.

How Will They Market Your House: There are many ways to show a home, and your agent should be able to speak confidently about the way they work, their marketing strategy for your house, and offer successful examples of their techniques if requested.

How Well Do You Get Along: While it’s not necessary to be best friends with your real estate agent, ultimately you want to have a good rapport. After all, this person will be working closely with you on one of the biggest, most stressful investments you’ll make – they’ll often see you at your best and worst, answer your frantic calls and regular questions. They’re poised to make the best connection between buyer and seller, and the better you get along, the more likely the match will be perfect.

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