Here are 10 considerations to bear in mind when you speak with an agent.
1. Know your needs first
Is your timeline urgent or more relaxed? Do you have kids or pets to schedule viewings around? Have you already sold your home or do you need a new home quickly?
When you understand your needs, you can ask the right questions. If agents have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, everyone starts on the same page. Then, you can learn how each agent will adapt their real estate services and process to work for you.
2. Agents must be tech savvy
A REALTOR®’s success depends on how well they find and market homes. Online advertising and property websites are now a basic requirement in modern home buying.
Will your agent harness social media outreach? Do they use professional photography or drones to give listings visual appeal? You want an agent who understands how to use the latest technology and marketing to ensure your home sale succeeds.
3. All REALTORS® aren’t equal
Although agents become certified in the same foundational program, this only covers the theory and foundations of the business. Real estate changes daily because of new laws and market trends. Ask REALTORS® what additional training, experience and local connections they maintain to make sure their knowledge is always up to date.
4. Communication is key
The real estate process goes through several stages. A good agent will guide you through each one, from scheduling viewings to helping you understand every legal document you sign. How will they keep you in the loop with changes? How quickly do they respond to emails or calls? Select an agent who communicates well to eliminate confusion.
5. Hire a specialist
Real estate is a massive industry, especially in major urban centres like Vancouver. Markets differ daily based on new laws, developments and housing trends. You want a REALTOR® who knows the ever-changing neighbourhoods inside out, and who has worked with homes just like yours. Their specific experience will give you an edge in finding or marketing your home.
6. Ask for their strategy
Agents need a plan and should have tried and true marketing strategies on hand. What is their timeline for promoting properties? Might they be able to show you new listings before they even hit the market? Will they host open houses and will they provide staging services? What price negotiation tactics could help with your situation? If they have a solid strategy, it’s a good sign.
7. Hear what others have to say
The best way to know what it’s like to work with a REALTOR® is to hear it from someone who already has. Real estate is a people-centred business. Good REALTORS® often have repeat clients and will gladly provide testimonials. See if they’ve won any awards.
8. Make sure they’re supported
Some agents work with big chain brands, others with local offices. The most important thing is that they have the team and resources behind them to ensure your success. Find out how their office and community connections will benefit your home search or sale.
9. Home price isn’t everything
Everyone wants to get the most value, but the highest possible price isn’t always the best one. If a listing is over market value, it can linger, causing it to sell for much less in the end. Don’t select an agent solely based on how high they price your home; make sure to understand their method. When a home is priced right, it sells fastest for the most value.
10. Go with your instinct
Buying or selling a home is a major decision. You need to like and truly trust the REALTOR® that you work with. Personality and character are important traits to consider that don’t show up on paper.
When it’s time to buy or sell a home, choose a few agents to interview and keep these questions in mind. The right agent will give you the most positive real estate experience possible.
If you’re looking to find a REALTOR® that’s your perfect fit, Contact NAREIG with your questions.