Friday, November 1, 2013

What to Look For When Hiring A Realtor

Many consumers do not know what to look for when they begin their search for a Realtor. Here are some of the key things to look for:

Large or Small Company? - Some consumers will automatically assume calling a Realtor from a large company is the best option. This is not necessarily the case.  Although it's important to have a Realtor who is with a reputable company representing you, the size of the company does not always play a role. Most Realtors are using the Toronto Real Estate Board's MLS system to market their listings.  All Realtors that are part of the Toronto Real Estate Board co-operate with each other on sales, so all Realtors have access to all the listings and all the property information whether they are with a large company or small company. Sometimes the smaller companies with less volume actually have more time to service clients and offer more personalized service as opposed to larger companies which have many clients to service and could get bogged down.

Time and Expertise - One of the most important factors when choosing a Realtor is to choose a Realtor that has the time to service your needs as well as the experience to make the process go smoothly. A full time Realtor is usually the best choice.  A full time Realtor is more active in the marketplace and is on top of the pulse of the market. A full time Realtor will also be available for you all the time and can provide valuable resources such as lawyers, home inspectors, and contractors which can assist you with your move. There are many part-time agents in the industry that sell real estate as a hobby so be very cautious in order to ensure your Realtor has the time and expertise to represent you effectively.

Personal Connection - You should interview your potential Realtor carefully and get to know the Realtor you are looking to choose. Make sure you can trust your Realtor and you feel comfortable talking to them. It is important to be open with your Realtor and be able to tell them exactly what your thoughts and needs are.  Buying or selling a home can be an emotional experience so you want to ensure you have the right connection with your Realtor.

Location, Location - If you are looking to purchase or sell a home in a particular neighborhood, a great option is to find a Realtor who is local and specializes in that area.  Although with technology these days Realtors are becoming well versed in handling a wider demographical area, it still helps to find someone who has a consistent presence in a particular neighbourhood and knows the area you are interested in.  They will generally have the right market insight and knowledge that you need.

The right tech tools - The Internet is a huge marketing tool these days, and if your agent does not have an up-to-date website, a smart phone, or a social media presence, chances are they could be missing out on potential networking opportunities, business, and vital information. Ask how your Realtor stays on top of the market and clients' needs.

After Closing/Follow Up - After you have bought or sold your home with your new Realtor and the deal has closed, issues and items that need to be addressed after the closing can occur.  A good Realtor will have a follow up program in place to ensure that you are happy with the service and there are no issues after the move has taken place.  A good Realtor will also keep in touch with you and continue a relationship with you after the deal on your new property has closed.