When selling or buying Windsor real estate, you want to be assured that you are represented by a top quality, professional agent. As an agent for over 25 years, there is no doubt that when a client comes to us, they are trusting us with their financial future. This is a huge responsibility and one that should never be taken lightly. But if a seller or buyer doesn’t do the proper research, they can hire an agent that may end up costing them not only in dollars, but in time and stress as well.
Don’t consider real estate agents who are not 100 percent committed to your efforts. Avoid the following:
1. Those agents that are out of touch:
Communication is key when dealing with all aspects of any real estate transaction. Whether you are a buyer or seller, you want an agent that will return not only your calls, but from other agents, banks, inspectors and appraisers as well regarding your transaction. If you have an agent that is unpredictable about getting back to you, then not only can you lose the home your found or a buyer for your property, but it can cost you financially as well.
It’s hard to work with an agent that only works part-time, especially if you are under a time constraint and need to sell or buy a property quickly. If your agent works another job or travels frequently, then you may not be their top priority. This is not to say that part-time agents are bad, but if they don’t have a capable assistant that gets back to you immediately, or if they are away more than they are at their office, you really should consider a full-time professional.
3. A friend or family member:
If you have a friend or family member that is a real estate agent, just a few words of warning: Make sure that you don’t mind that this person will know your financial information as well as any hurdles you may need to jump in order to buy or sell a home. Also, can your friendship or relationship handle it if a deal goes bad and you feel they are to blame? Unfortunately, we have seen many buyers and sellers go through family or friends because they feel it’s the right thing to do yet problems occur and relationships suffer. Again, this is not to say that hiring a family member or friend is a bad idea, just know what all it requires.
4. No online accounts:
When over 90 percent of today’s buyers are looking online, you want to make sure you hire an agent that is actively involved in social media as well as an updated website. If you have an agent that insists on several open houses and old-fashioned advertising methods, then you may want to reconsider. Open houses rarely sell homes anymore and buyers don’t look at newspapers anywhere near as much as they do online for homes.
Having said all of the above, how do you find a real estate agent that you can work with that best suits your needs and understands your criteria?
1. Get recommendations:
Good real estate agents depend on recommendations, so if you have a friend, co-worker or family member that has recently purchased a home, then ask them if they would suggest their agent. Ask them whether the agent did a good job, if he or she returned phone calls, showed up on time for appointments and negotiated fairly and well. If you are looking at a particular neighbourhood or area, then find someone who has expertise in that location.
2. Go online:
Look online to see the top agents in your area. Google and see what agents interest you. Make sure they have an active and current web presence by checking out their website. Do they have social media accounts? Are they updated regularly?
Narrow your search to three agents and then interview each one. Ask about their experience, background and how long they have worked with their agency. Ask for referrals, how they will keep in touch with you and their work load and availability.
4. Contact referrals:
It’s one thing to ask for referrals, but it’s another to contact them. Take the time to call these buyers or sellers and ask them about their experiences. What were the plusses and minuses of working with the agent and if they would strongly recommend him or her.