If you have been looking at homes online or thinking it is time to sell your house, but don’t know to whom you can entrust this monumental job, you are not alone.
A home is probably the biggest investment of your money you will ever make, and it also has an emotional tie to your life and your memories. Your agent must be someone who is knowledgeable, proactive and connects with you and your wants and needs. The right person can make your upcoming real estate transaction painless and very rewarding, but how do you find him? Here are a few tips on where to start your search to find the right real estate agent for you.
- Look for an agent and company you can trust: The best agent for you is an experienced professional who will listen to you, conduct herself in an ethical manner and knows your market. Also, look for a company that is large enough to have the tools and the backing to market your home to its highest potential. Their agents tend to go to all the additional training and seminars. These are the agents who have colleagues in the office who can advise if there are any unusual circumstances involved in a transaction. You want to not only get a good agent but a good team working behind her.
- All Realtors® are licensed to sell real estate, but not all real estate agents are Realtors®. Only Realtors® can display the Realtor® logo. Realtors® belong to the National Association of Realtors and pledge to follow a set Code of Ethics, which is a comprehensive list containing 17 articles and underlying standards of practice, which establish levels of conduct that are higher than ordinary business practices or those required by law.
- Ask for referrals from friends, coworkers or family: Successful agents become more successful because they do their job right and put their clients needs first. Ask the people you know for the name of their agent- even if it was a couple years ago- and ask them to describe their experiences with this real estate agent. Look for the one who went above and beyond for her client.
- Customer testimonials: As you look at individual Realtor pages on the company website, many include their customer testimonials. This often gives you some insight as to whether they are simply nice and get the job done or if they really worked hard for these customers to make something happen.
- Attend a couple of open houses: When you go to an open house you meet the listing agent and there is no pressure to choose them or sign on the dotted line to anything. Collect business cards and make notes on them. If you’re thinking about selling your home, pay attention to how the agent is showing the home. Is she polite and informative; appear knowledgeable? Does she have professional-looking promotional material about the home? Is she trying to sell features of the home and making the showing a good experience for you? If she is just sitting there and leaving you on your own, this may not be the best one for selling your home. Look for the one that connects with the customer.
- Look for a sign: Pay attention to the listing signs on the lawns in and around your neighborhood. Make note of when they go up and how quickly the sold sign appears. Make a note as to how many times you see a certain name. Some agents could be “specialists” in your neighborhood. Call and ask them about their experience.
The next step is to set up a meeting with a couple of your top picks in Realtors to get to know them in person and ask some questions. You want to know things like how long they have been an agent and any specialized training they have. You also want to know that you can feel comfortable talking with this person and saying what you really want. Once you find the right connection you are on your way to a successful real estate transaction and the next step in your journey.
Rob Longo, Sales Representative ABR, GREEN, RSPS Magic Realty Inc. 805 N. Christina Street Sarnia, Ontario www.roblongo.ca www.magicrealty.com