It would be nice if everyone with a qualification was a consummate professional who went above and beyond for their clients, but everyone knows that this is not always the case. Sometimes education and even experience don’t inspire individuals or companies to do their best work. Unfortunately, this is also true in real estate. First time home buyers and sellers are at particular risk for ending up being taken advantage of by these lacklustre representatives, as they do not specifically know what to look for when hiring an agent. This is unfortunate, because having a great real estate agent can make a big difference financially, practically, and emotionally when the time comes for the big deal to go down. Here are some tips on sorting out the diamonds from the duds when it comes to real estate agents.
As a dedicated professional in the Kitsilano real estate market, one mistake I see many first time buyers and sellers make is employing the real estate agent who is showing the first house that really catches their eye and sticking with them. For one, it absolutely pays to shop around for a Realtor of excellent repute and qualification. For another, while this Realtor was obviously picked by these sellers for a reason, it may not be a reason that applies to you. Maybe the agent has extensive experience selling the suburban homes in one neighbourhood, but little to no idea about selling a downtown condo. Maybe they were buddies with the seller in high school. You have no idea much of the time, and making sure you know why you are hiring a specific professional can make all the difference in the quality of service that you get.
So what will great agents have? For one thing, you should be able to find testimonials about their services, either on their website, on an online review site, or from someone you trust. Word of mouth is incredibly important to the real estate business, and no news is NOT good news.
Second, when you meet an agent they should be attentive and focused on your needs. They should be able to give you advice regarding the optimization of your property for sale, understand what you need from the property you are going to buy, and answer any questions you have about either process. If an agent seems distracted, is exceedingly difficult to reach, or seems to have little to say in response to your questions, drop them. Do not feel obligated to stick with an agent that doesn’t make you feel entirely confident.
Finally, your agent should do everything they can to promote your property and find you a new one that will meet your needs. Home showings should not be rushed or abbreviated beyond what is necessary for appointment purposes. When you are in a new home, you agent should be advising you on what they know about the property. They should be prepared to answer your questions about it, and help you understand fully if it is the right property for you. Agents should not push or bully you into choosing a property that isn’t right or accepting a bad offer. A good agent will focus on meeting your needs, even if it takes a little longer to collect their commission, because they want to build a long term relationship and they value you as a client.
I hope these tips help you find the perfect real estate agent for your needs!