Without a doubt, the purchase of a home is among the most important events in anyone’s lifetime. You need to be assured that the professional you hire to take care of you at this crucial point in your life is reliable and has your best interest at the forefront.
I’ve put together a quick and dirty guide to help you weed out the imitators from the real professionals; here are 10 things to ask your Calgary Real Estate Agent before you give them your business!
What is your experience?
Real estate professionals generally have an area that they work in regularly and specialize in. They can often offer special insights and advice for the local real estate market that you’re looking to make your home. How many deals have they been involved in for your preferred neighbourhood?
What kind of approach do they plan to take?
It’s important for you to get an idea of what kind of tactics they plan to use to sell your home, or find the home that is right for you. For buyers, how do they search for properties/identify which property you might like. For sellers, what tactics do they plan to use in negotiations and how will they effectively market your home.
What commissions/fees are involved?
Commissions and applicable fees can vary quite widely based on your geographic location as well as the specific agent/brokerage that you plan to deal with. Of course, it’s important to know where your money is going, but it’s also important to know if you should expect any additional fees down the road.
What are their stats like?
Don’t be afraid to ask for specific statistics and figures. This can be a really practical way to find out what kind of outcome you can expect. What is their average sale price to listings price ratio? How long do the homes they represent generally stay on the market?
What percentage of their business deals with buyers vs. sellers?
Does the agent have a specialization one way or the other? The buying and selling sides of the real estate industry both have unique challenges and pratfalls that you need to be kept abreast of. Ensure the agent you’ll be working with has the right kind of experience to match your needs.
What technology do they plan to use?
Technology has become a huge part of virtually every industry these days. It’s impossible to get by in today’s past paced real estate market without being able to leverage the latest online techniques and technologies. You need to know that your prospective real estate agent keeps up to speed with the latest advances in technology and online marketing to effectively buy or sell your home.
Are there any additional services included?
Real estate agents were once the gatekeepers of the real estate industry; they provided inside knowledge on available properties and market conditions. Today, much of that information is available online, so what else can your agent provide? Do you they host open houses? Provide professional photography services? You need to know what you’re getting for your hard-earned buck!
Can they provide references?
Among the most tried and true methods to understand what experience you can expect is by getting in touch with past clients. Is your prospective agent hesitant to provide references? A good, experienced agent will have access to a number of testimonials from a range of clients at his disposal.
What separates them from other agents in the area?
Give them a chance to sell themselves. Look for unique angles or skills that they can leverage in your favour. This will also give you a taste of how they can handle themselves in a negotiation.
Do they have related service they can refer me to?
Agents often have related professionals that they can refer: from home inspectors to mortgage lenders. A quality stable of professionals suggests an experienced agent with a good reputation among his peers. A well connected agent can often broker discounted rates from frequent collaborators.
The agent you hire will become intimately involved with your financial situation so it’s imperative that you choose someone you can trust. Treat it like a job interview as the one you hire will be undertaking one of the most important jobs of your lifetime!