What are the Non-Negotiables when selecting a Realtor?

Saturday May 30th, 2020


What are the non-negotiables when selecting a Realtor?

Buying or selling real estate is one of the biggest transactions you will ever make in your life, so having the right person to guide you through one of the greatest decisions in your life is key.  You could be spending a fair amount of time with your Realtor, so be sure that the person you choose to assist you is personable, enthusiastic and provides you with a wealth of real estate knowledge, in order to make your experience enjoyable.  

But where do you start? Often, people may select a real estate agent based on a recommendation from a friend or a family member.  This isn’t a bad place to start, but is the Realtor that your parents referred the best fit for you? You should do some of your own research to ensure you pick a real estate agent that best suits you and your needs.

Meet with several real estate agents before choosing one.

Think of it as though you will be hiring for a position within your company.  Be up front and honest to let the real estate agents know that you will be conducting a couple of meetings to get to know the potential realtors.  This is your time to ask questions and to learn more about their experience, how they run their business and working style.   The interview is meant for you to get to know them, but more importantly, for them to take the time to get to know you and truly understand your needs.  As you conduct this process, assess their ability and time to fully answer your questions.

Before wrapping up your meetings, be sure to ask for some references.   This is a great way to get insights on your potential Realtor.  Some questions you should consider asking the professional references are:

  • How long ago were they clients?
  • How was their home buying or selling experience? 
  • Are they good at imparting knowledge throughout the journey? 
  • Does the real estate agent you pick answer your calls, text messages, and emails?
  • How do they provide honest feedback and opinions?

The last question is particularly important because you want to get an idea on how they may share the downsides of a home that may impact their sales cycle, so you have the full picture.  On the other end, a solid Realtor should also be able to provide solutions and ideas for those downsides to make the right purchase.

An expert in the local market.

The person you choose to be your real estate agent should be able to answer your questions about the local market with confidence.  Here are some questions to ponder:

  • Does your price range limit you to a type of home or specific area?
  • What do the different neighbourhoods offer for potential (ie. Schools, parks, amenities)?
  • How much are the homes selling for?  
  • What is the potential for your investment to grow?

Being fanatically flexible and responsive.

Full-time agents typically have more time to work with you, and are more willing to work around the hours that best suit your scheduling needs.   If you work with an independent real estate agent, that typically means they will have flexible hours to work with you and they will be the sole person to handle your business.  But what does it look like if you choose someone that heads up a team of Realtors?  Here are some other questions to think about:

  • Does your agent work independently or part of a team?
  • After the initial meeting, are you passed off to one of their team members to deal with your business? 
  • If it is someone different, who is that Realtor, and what is their level of experience and knowledge of the market?

Communication is key.

Communication is the key to any relationship.  Time is important in the real estate game. You want your agent to communicate with you regularly with the information you need, when you need it, how you prefer to receive it (call, text, email, etc.)  If they are good at communicating with you, you can rest assured that they will communicate well with the other numerous professionals throughout your sale or home buying journey (ie. lawyers, home inspectors). 

Technology driven.

Who isn’t online today? We live in a world where technology is a useful tool in the real estate industry.   As we consider how technology is leveraged, you may want to consider asking the following in your selection process:

  • Is the Realtor taking advantage of the various forms of technology to be productive to obtain the best results for you? 
  • How attractive is their website and social media pages? (Are they up to date and current?)
  • Are you able to electronically sign documents?

All of this will help determine if the person you are working with is staying current in the real estate industry as well as current pandemic practices.

What are the non-negotiables when picking a Realtor?

Home buying and selling is the biggest financial transaction that many of us will make in our life.  It’s an exciting time to find your next home and it should leave you with a lasting impression, not a terrible one.  The real estate agent you choose should feel like a true partnership.  Take the time to do your assessment to avoid ending up with your parents’ first Realtor!

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