How to find a realtor that’s right for you

So you’ve decided to buy a home or perhaps to sell your current one.

Now the million-dollar question eats away at you.

Who do I get as a realtor to represent me in the homebuying or homeselling process?

After all, this is the biggest monetary investment an individual will ever likely have in their lifetime. You’ve made the decision that entrusting this process to a realtor, who is experienced in this area, is the common sense thing to do.

Now what?

Where do you find the right realtor for you? And how do you ensure you pick the right realtor?

Pat Hare, who owns RE/MAX Real Estate (Central) with his wife Denise, has built an incredible business model as Central, with 285 realtors, continues to excel in the real estate industry.

Recently, it captured the award as the top-producing single RE/MAX office in the world in 2017. Realtors with the local firm, which began operations in 1984, were involved in 5,046 transactions last year. And it was the 19th consecutive time the firm has captured that honour.

So Hare knows a thing or two about the industry and the market.

When it comes to finding a realtor, he says the consumer has to look at a few things.

“What’s their knowledge of the area? How long have they been in the business? What are the plans for the sale of the home? What are they going to do with the listing? What’s their track record? What’s their experience?,” says Hare.

And when it comes to real estate, Hare has a favourite line.

“People will go to three stores to buy size one shoes. But they’ll walk into the first house they see and buy it for $850,000 from an individual they’ve never met before and a house they’ve never seen before.”

So doing your homework as a buyer or a seller is extremely important. With the spring real estate market upon us, more homes are going to be listed. More homes are going to be bought. And realtors will be lining up to forge relationships with more clients.

The Alberta Real Estate Association says consumers need to find the perfect fit for their personality and their needs as choosing a realtor is a personal decision.

Prospective realtors can be found through referrals, word of mouth or marketing and advertising channels.

Next comes the interview process and here are some suggestions AREA has for consumers to ask potential realtors:

  • How long have you been in real estate?;
  • What is your average list-to-sales price ratio?;
  • How will your marketing plan meet my needs?;
  • How will you ensure I find a place I love?;
  • Do you have any references?;
  • What separates you from your competition?;
  • May I review documents I will be asked to sign?
  • What sort of referrals will you make?;
  • How much do you charge?;
  • What sort of guarantee do you offer?; and
  • What haven’t I asked you that I need to know?

The Real Estate Council of Alberta says written service agreements are required in the province when you are the client of a residential real estate professional.

“After you choose a real estate professional to work with, one of the first things they should show you is RECA’s Consumer Relationships Guide (Guide). The Guide is a mandatory document, which real estate professionals must provide to, and discuss with, consumers they’re working with,” says RECA.

“The Guide will help you understand your legal relationship with your real estate professional, and explains the three types of relationships you could have with your real estate professional: 1) An entire real estate brokerage can act as your agent. This is a common law agency relationship and means you have a relationship with all of the brokerage’s real estate professionals. 2) An individual real estate professional (or team of professionals) can act as your agent. This is a designated agency relationship. 3) You can be the customer of a real estate professional. You do not have an agency relationship with anyone at the brokerage; they are not acting as your agent.”

 

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