The search for a real estate agent can be daunting. There are thousands in Calgary alone, and sifting through every agent to find the one that is right for you can seem never ending. To help you choose the real estate agent that will best represent you, here are some tips to get you started.
The first step to finding a great real estate agent is to ask your friends, family and co-workers who they’ve worked with in the past. If you’re selling, you can gain valuable insights into their services before ever making a phone call. Ask about the effectiveness of the materials they’ve used to help sell (brochures, postcards, listing websites, etc.), if they hire a professional photographer or videographer, and if they provide home staging services. If you’re buying, the insights given by those around you can help you hone in on the sort of person you’d like to work with.
Check online reviews
Even though asking for referrals is a great place to start, it’s always good to do your due diligence and read about the experiences others have had. Check Google reviews, Facebook reviews, and Yelp for honest feedback on an agent. See if they have a website that gives an idea of who they are, what types of properties they work with, and the services they offer. If everything looks good, you can move on to getting in touch with them.
Choose a real estate you’re comfortable with
Whether you’re buying or selling, you will be spending a lot of time with your agent - so you’ll need to actually like the person. When it comes down to a final decision on an agent, your connection with them could very well trump their sales records or any awards they’ve won.
You should feel at ease talking to the real estate agent and asking questions. Choosing an agent goes beyond reasoning - simply follow your gut feeling. If it feels right, then they are the agent for you. If there’s any unnecessary pressure placed on you and you’re uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to move on to someone else if you don’t feel a connection.
Find an expert for your type of home and local area
There are thousands of registered real estate agents in Alberta, but only a few that specialize in your local neighbourhood and your type of home. For example, if you live in a single-family home on an estate property in the west end of Calgary, you won’t want an agent that mostly deals with buyers and sellers interested in condos in the downtown core. Find an agent who knows your region like the back of their hand so they’ll know how best to appeal to your target market or tastes.
Ask about their team
There are many moving parts when it comes to buying and selling a home. Beyond showing properties and responding to emails, agents need to research regional real estate activity, keep up with local industry news, and complete piles of paperwork such as real estate documents, records, agreements and many others.
For this reason, it’s always a good idea to ask a real estate agent about their support team. If an agent is supported, they’ll be far more likely to offer great support and service to you.
Get someone who aligns with your goals
Almost every agent you’ll come across has the resources to provide purchasing options that are right for you. Or, they can tap into technology to get your property is seen by a larger market. But there’s no artificial intelligence that has the human touch required to truly understand what your specific goals are. To hire the best real estate agent for you, find one that asks about your goals and desires, and truly shows that they understand.
Many new home builders offer a list and sell for free. This means you only pay the commission of the purchasing relator because you use the relator the builder provides. This can save you thousands of dollars, and is attractive to many people building a home. However, just because the realtor is provided by the builder doesn’t mean you can’t ask the questions suggested above. You home is likely your greatest investment, so doing your homework is important.