Finding The Right Agent

BY HEATHER KEHOE, THINKSASKATOON
PHOTOGRAPH BY DARIOSO PHOTOGRAPHY.

The Real Estate Relationship – Part 2 – Finding The Right Agent

Hello again. Here we are at Part 2! Congratulations! Your real estate relationship is starting to blossom. You’ve started to get to know about each other’s hobbies, family background and interests. Both you and the agent are feeling pretty darn comfortable and decide to take things to the next level. There are some very important questions you need to ask your potential agent and that they must ask you. This is a crucial time in your real estate relationship.

Let’s get down to business. Here is a list of questions you need to ask the agent;

1. How long have you been in the business? 

This is a tricky one. Just because someone has been in the business for 10+ years does not make them the better or right agent. A more experienced agent should have a wealth of knowledge and experience, referrals are important. A newer agent may have more time for you but lack experience. The most important question for you to ask a new agent is do they have a mentor and who is it. Real estate has changed drastically over the years and is changing every day.

2. References 

References are important because they provide insight. Ask if any of the references are related to the agent and if you can call them.

3. Marketing Plan/Strategy

As a buyer it is very important to know:

  • How will the agent search for your new home?
  • How and when you will be notified of houses that meet your needs?
  • Is the agent in the areas you are looking in?
  • Do they have good relationships with other agents to find out about properties that they may have coming to the market?
  • Do they have a specific mortgage broker, banker, home inspector, lawyer that they would recommend?
  • What is involved in the buying process, step by step?

As a seller it is important to know:

  • The specifics of how the agent is planning to sell your home.
  • Where and how often they will advertise your home.
  • How do you market online.
  • Do you have a professional photographer. (This is important, as buyers are very internet savvy and search properties online constantly. Great quality professional photos can be the reason buyers choose to view your home.)
  • Recommended brokers and lawyers.
  • What is involved in the selling process, step by step. 

4. Competitive Edge 

“I’m nice and a hard worker”, doesn’t cut it. This is where the agent needs to step up and tell you why they are different, their competitive edge. Most consumers say they look for agents who are available by phone, text and email; who respond as promptly as possible. Assertive, ethical , and straightforward, as well as friendly, down to earth and a good sense of humour. References will confirm this.

5.Brokerage/Listing fees

What are they? (We will cover brokerage and listing fees in another article!)

Pay Attention… 

This is a very crucial moment in your real estate relationship. A possible game changer. If the agent does not ask you a few crucial questions, that is a red flag!

Here are a few things the right agent needs to ask:

Buyers 

  • Are you pre approved? For what amount and from what broker/banker? May I contact them?
  • Who will be involved in the house buying decision?
  • If the right house comes along next week, are you prepared to write an offer?
  • What are your needs in a property? What are your wants?
  • Are you open to looking at any neighbourhoods close to your first pick?
  • Are schools important now or in the near future? Kids activities and or work near by?
  • What is your availability for property viewings?

Sellers 

  • Are you interviewing any other agents?
  • What is the timeframe you need to sell by?
  • Describe your property in detail. 
  • I will providing you with a full market evaluation and listing presentation, does that sound good?
  • Great, let’s book a date. 

There you have it folks, the real estate relationship is moving forward. Everyone is excited and giddy. Next comes the big commitment. That next big step. Taking the plunge. Yes, it’s the contract. Never fear, it’s there to protect everyone whether you are the buyer or seller. I am venturing off on the ice roads of Saskatoon. My clients need me and no pothole, big or small, is going to stop me. It’s Just Another Glamorous Day in The Life of The Saskatoon Realtor(R).