How to Choose a Realtor: Expert Secrets

How to Choose a Realtor: Expert Secrets

The most important financial decision you will ever make is choosing realtors in brampton. We recommend that you interview several agents before making a decision.

Pre-screening agents online can help you get started. You should focus on key information.

We recommend Clever Real Estate’s agent matching service to quickly match you up with top agents in your area. Clever can also negotiate lower fees with local agents, saving you money.

After you have a few options to choose from, it is time to schedule interviews and compare them to find the best agent for you. Below is how it works.

A guide to choosing a realtor

Before you set up interviews, it’s smarter to vet agents online. This is how you screen agents quickly and easily.

Review past clients’ reviews

You can quickly identify poor real estate agents by looking at online reviews. You can search for reviews from past clients on sites such as Zillow, Trulia and Google.

Agents with low or no reviews are a red flag. This indicates that the agent is new, unproven or has no online presence.

Although it’s not unusual for agents to receive negative reviews from unhappy customers, a pattern of negative feedback can be more alarming.

These are some of the most common negative comments you should be aware of:

  • The client felt pressured into signing a listing agreement or buyer’s agency agreement.
  • Agent rushed to get a buyer to make an offer on a house.
  • The agent was too slow to sell the house or forced the client to accept a lower offer.
  • Agents who are not hardworking or a bit lazy.
  • The agent was slow or unresponsive to client calls and texts.
  • The agent failed to negotiate a contract.

Note: Agent Matching Services like Clever do the work for you. They filter out poorly reviewed agents and match you with the best in your market.

Determine whether you are full-time or part time.

Both homebuyers and sellers should work with a full-time, dedicated realtor. It can be difficult to verify work status, and most part-time agents won’t. Here are some tips.

Zillow shows the agent’s sales activity. An agent who has closed at least 10 sales within the last year is likely to be active and not just a side hustle in real estate.

Contact the agent during normal business hours. Agents who are unavailable between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. could be working on another job.

Browse through social media accounts. Part-timers are less likely to have active social networks accounts than full-time agents.

Searching an agent’s Instagram and Facebook pages can help you gauge their online presence (1-2 posts per day shows that they are active).

Find the most recent experience

In a changing market for real estate, it is desirable to have recent work experience.

To search for sales data, view each agent’s Trulia or Zillow profile. This will show you the number of sellers and buyers they have helped.

How to locate an agent’s transaction history using Zillow

  1. Zillow’s agent search tool can help you find the agent’s profile
  2. Scroll down to “Sold”, on the agent profile. Here you will find the sold date, addresses, closing price and the agent who represented the buyer or the seller in the transaction.
  3. Click on each listing to find out more about the transaction including the date and length of the sale.

You can also check their real estate license online to see when it was issued. This will show you how long they have been licensed.

Interview agents with at most 2 years experience and at least 1 closed deal within the last month. Also, be sure to mention your type of transaction (buying/selling).

Look for sales in your area

It is best to work with an agent who has closed at most 1-2 sales in your area within the last 1-2 months.

Agents who specialize in your area are able to value homes accurately and have likely built a strong network that includes inspectors, appraisers, contractors and appraisers to assist you with closing.

Zillow is an excellent resource for finding local sales. Zillow’s agent profile shows the most recent sales and their full addresses.

Do you need to search for real estate agents or realtors?

Realtor is sometimes used interchangeably with agent. This can cause confusion for home buyers and sellers.

A realtor is an agent who is a member of The National Association of Realtors (NAR). A real estate agent is anyone licensed to help people sell or buy real estate, but not a NAR member.

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The bottom line is that Realtors (NAR members), are bound by the NAR Code of Ethics. However, they are not necessarily more competent at their jobs than agents who aren’t NAR members. It is important to choose a good agent to work with.

How do you choose the right listing agent

Create listing presentations

Why it is important: To assess the personality, responsiveness and communication skills of your agent before you agree to meet and sign with them.

To test their responsiveness, call the agent and get their number. If they don’t respond to your call, you can send them an email or text message (some agents prefer these methods).

Although good agents may not always be available immediately, any agent who is interested in your business will respond within 24 hours unless there is a good reason such as a personal emergency.

Meet the agent at your home

Why it is important: To vet the experience, skills and real estate knowledge of agents. The agent will provide a market update, a report on home value and a net sheet and review the listing agreement.

How do you do it? Most agents will love to meet you if asked. You should confirm the meeting and let them know if you have any changes.

You should bring your home information and the agent will provide you with a CMA and a net sheet. They also need to show you photos and videos of their current listings.

Expert tip Ask each agent you interview for a seller’s net sheet. This sheet shows your estimated net profit after taking into account all expenses.

It could be that one of the seller nets you receive is higher or lower than the other. This could indicate that the agent either overpriced or underestimated your home or doesn’t know the local selling costs.

Follow up with the agent

Why it is important: The post-meeting call gives you another opportunity to assess the agent’s communication skills and responsiveness, and to find out if they are really interested in helping you.

How do you go about it? Call, text or email the agent within one day of your first meeting. You can see if they respond immediately or if it takes them a while to reply.

Text “Hi John”, and you will say, “Hi John! Thanks for meeting with us yesterday.” Based on our conversation about my house selling, I was wondering what [blank] is.

An agent who responds quickly and personally is a strong indicator that they will be available for you during the selling process.

It is a sign that the agent is not committed to your success.

Check out the listing agreement

Why it is important: The listing agreement usually spans 10-20 pages and details all your responsibilities and the duties that your agent owes you. It also outlines your initial listing price and when it will go live.

It is important to sign it as it will kick off the home-selling process and allow the agent to work for your benefit.

What should listing agreements include?

  • The agreement’s length (usually between 3 and 6 months).
  • The commission rate for agents.
  • You agree to pay the agent for the buyer.
  • If you are ready to leave the agent, the cancellation policy of that agent will apply.
  • How buyers will get access to your house for showings.
  • What services are included in the listing? Photos, videos, listing on MLS

What to do: Let agents walk you through the listing agreement during your first meeting or follow up phone call. A real estate attorney can help you go through the listing agreement before you sign.

Next steps

Are you still undecided about agents? These are some options for next steps.

  • If you are unhappy with your selections, find more agents to interview. Clever, an agent matching service that connects you with multiple agents in your area, can potentially save you thousands of dollars on realtor fees.
  • Verify the agent’s real-estate license. It should be in good standing and active.
  • You can review the listing agreement again carefully. For more information about exclusive rights to sell, call an attorney.
  • Ask each agent to provide the contact information. Refer to 3-5 previous sellers for references.
  • You can call 1-2 clients from your client list to further vet them (a random selection will prevent agents from cherry-picking references and give you a biased perspective).
  • If you are comfortable signing the listing agreement, consider interviewing other agents.