From the yellow pages to magazine adds, open houses and asking references from a friend, there are many ways to find a realtor in a city like Calgary with more than 5500 realtors. But choosing the right realtor is not an easy task, and it certainly is an important one. After all, your home is most likely your biggest investment. How do you go about when choosing your realtor?
Always interview a few realtors and ask the right questions
What most people don’t know is that about half of all realtors only do 1 or 2 transactions a year, compromising the quality of their work. This might be your first and best question for a realtor. Are you full time or part time. A realtor might be in business 10 years but if that realtor has done very little business, he/she still has little experience, and may not be up to date with the ever changing rules. When choosing your realtor, choose a full time realtor that does business on a continuous basis!
Is the realtor full-time or part-time?
Marketing is a buzz word in real estate
Most marketing dollars go to self promotion of the realtor, not to your listing
On the contraire, it is important to find out how much care your realtor puts into listing facts about your home. For example, we still come across listings that show 3 bedrooms, while there are 4, or homes that are presented in the wrong community. With most people looking on the internet and using parameter searches, your home will never be found. You also should get a sense of how well your realtor picks up the phone or at least returns phone calls to potential buyers. When choosing your realtor, choose a meticulous realtor!
Do you work with sellers and buyers?
About half of all realtors only do 1 or 2 transactions a year
For both sellers and buyers it is important to ask about the realtor’s education. The basic education for a realtor is only 3 months. The Calgary Real Estate Board does offer many courses and some give credentials like a CCS or Certified Condominium Specialist. This may be a sign of how serious a realtor takes his profession. When choosing your realtor, choose a realtor that is continuously educated!
The Neighbourhood Specialist? Nonsense!
Some realtors try to promote themselves as the neighbourhood specialist. In our opinion the neighbourhood specialist is long gone. These realtors just try to narrow down their marketing dollars. With today’s technology every realtor can buy or sell in every neighbourhood. For all parties it is important to do their research, which is made easy by the internet for everyone.
Integrity and honesty
Is the realtor just saying what you would like to hear?
Presentation of the CMA
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Because real estate involves a lot of money, you want to know the background of the realtor and how good his/her negotiating skills are. A good negotiator can save you many dollars. We will never say that you should choose the realtor who has already been in business 40 years over the brand new agent. Many new realtors are often willing to walk a little harder for you, than those who have already ‘made it’. When choosing your realtor, choose a realtor with a valuable background and experience in and outside of real estate!
If you want to know more on this topic, please feel free to call or email us at anytime. Please also feel free to interview us if you are considering selling or buying real estate in the (near) future. It will be a pleasure to serve you!