Wouldn’t it be easy if you knew when interviewing Windsor real estate agents that you were picking the right one? Whether you are hiring a repairman, an employee or anyone else, life would be easier if we knew we selected that best person that would save us money, work hard and overall make life less stressful.
Whether you are the seller or the buyer, hiring the right agent is critical in getting what you want in the real estate market. Hiring an agent, because “they are family,” or saying “eenie, meenie, miney, mo,” can pose big problems. This is why it is important, prior to the busy spring real estate season, to reiterate what you need to look for when hiring an agent. If you follow these tips, I doubt you will be disappointed.
1. Seek out other clients:
Ask an agent for a list of references and don’t hesitate to call and ask the hard questions. Agents rely on good recommendations as this is how they continue to stay in business. Ask other clients how long the house was on the market, what the home was listed at and what it sold for, was the home properly marketed and if the agent was responsive and answered questions in a timely manner? Even if you are a buyer and looking for a home this year, this information will be valuable.
2. Go for a winner:
Agents often get recognised for their hard work by being honoured by their peers and the industry. If an agent has been selected “Agent of the Year” or bestowed some other honour, take this into consideration as this is a big endorsement. If you were selecting a player for your favourite sports team, you would want him or her to be to be noticed by other coaches wouldn’t you?
3. Review license:
Do the research and determine that your agent is properly licensed. Look to see if there have been any complaints or disciplinary actions against the agency or the agent.
4. Look at their current properties for sale:
Take a good look at what the agent has for sale. A good place to start is online or the company’s website. Check to see that the site is easily accessible, after all, the 92 percent of buyers start their home search on their computer, so you want to make sure they can bring up your home in a matter of seconds. If an agent is representing too many homes, will they have time for you? Also, how are the homes profiled on the site? Are professional photos used? Are descriptions clear and informative? This can show an agent who takes their job seriously.
5. How long has the agent been in business?
Needless to say, you want to hire an agent that is experienced and well-connected in the real estate market. More than likely, they will have good contacts within the industry, and know a neighbourhood and price points immediately. Ask an agent how long they have worked, if they are part-time or full-time (you want an agent that is full-time), and if they have a staff that will be available in case the agent is not.
6. Good agents know what properties are available or coming up
If you are a buyer, you also want to select an agent that knows what homes may be coming on the market that are in your price range and location. Not only that, but an agent who also is well-informed on the current homes for sale, such as if the owner is motivated or the home is overpriced, can save you thousands of dollars if you make an offer. Any information you can gather from your well-informed agent can only be good for you, the client. An agent should be able to recite the statistics on a home in their area the second you ask them. This is an agent that does their homework.
7. Unique property? Find the right agent.
If you are selling a home that is in need of repairs and need to sell “as is” or if you are a buyer looking for a condo, then you may want to narrow your agent search to experts in these fields. There are specialists in the real estate market that focus on certain properties. Some will only work in certain neighbourhoods, others will concentrate on the condo market. If this is the case where you live, ask others who were once in your situation and ask for their recommendations.