Choosing A Real Estate Agent

I receive a lot of questions from friends and family about choosing a Real Estate Agent. I would love to service all of them but they are not in my designated area.

Choosing a Real Estate agent is like choosing a partner. Yes we all get caught up in the hype sometimes, but in the end you need to choose someone that is a good fit for you.

You have decided to use a Real Estate agent. How do you interview one? Where do you go? What makes a good agent?

There are many articles and everybody will give you advice on who to choose and why. I believe that it is very personal to each individual or family. You need to write down what is important. What service are you looking for? What is the most important quality when selling or looking for your house? Take your list of 20 questions to ask yourself and pick out five of them.

Here are some of my criteria that makes a good agent:

1. Does the agent answer the phone? (905-277-1805 do the Ernie Test) If not how long did the agent take to call you back?

I know this might sound very easy and simple. Does the agent have time to call you the customer back? If not why use them? If the agent doesn’t call you back how can you communicate with them? I’m an agent and I get frustrated with other agents. I can imagine how it must feel for some customers out there. It is my practice to text message my clients if I’m in a meeting. Sometimes I pre-warn them that I will be in a meeting all morning the next day or give them a run down of my week. I know this sounds bizarre but when my client calls and leaves a message they know I’m in a meeting, and that I will contact them as soon as I’m done.

2. Does the agent answer emails?( do the ernie test)  How long did it take the agent to return yours?

Let’s face it, in this day and age there should be no more delay to answer an email or text message as there is to answer a phone call. I believe that it is easier to answer an email then a phone call. Most times you can’t answer the phone but you can answer an email. Seriously if the agent is not answering your email how can they answer an offer for you? Even a quick response, “I’m in a meeting I will call you in a bit, or respond to your email shortly!”

3. What kind of phone does your agent have?

Ok so the first three criteria I have are in regards to communication. Does the agent have a smart phone? If you agent only has a regular phone, this is a need for an upgrade in phone and agent. I’m not saying you can’t get the job done with a regular phone but wouldn’t you rather use an agent who has technology to provide you with the best service?

4. Social Media

Does your agent have a twitter, Facebook, blog, flickr, and word press account? If so, do they promote them self and their properties on there? Does your agent blog about open houses they have? Do they know what a blog is? Do they have a flickr account to post pictures of your house on the web? Do they have more than 500 contacts on Facebook? Can they send a post to a large amount of people in one click? If not, how will they get the word out there about your house? If they say the newspaper walk out the door!

5. Website

What kind of website do they have? Is it a good one, or is it made by the people who made netscape? How old or cheap does it look? Usually good looking websites have great functionality and are used to promote houses properly. What services are attached to the site? Can you check out how many schools are close to a listing? Can you see the neighborhood, is there a link to google maps? Usually an agent that has web presence knows what is needed in their site in order to promote your property. Is the site properly promoted?

6. Google your agent!

This is the first thing you should do. When considering an agent google them. Why? Well if an agent doesn’t have at lease two pages of google to them self, then you should ask how are you going to market my house when you don’t know how to market yourself. MLS is not the only answer these days.

7. Have a normal conversation with them

Seems simple right. Most people do not have a good conversation with their agent. If the only thing your agent can speak about is their sales, their time spent on selling, and how many sales they completed this month, run for z hills. Your potential agent will only care about their commission not selling your house. Yes past sales is important but you are an individual not a Wall-Mart Shopper.

8. Commission

Are you interviewing discount agents? Is you agent working for nothing? I’m not saying not to negotiate everything but, If your agent can’t negotiate their commission, their pay, what they pay their bills with, how can your agent negotiate your selling or buying price of your house? Do you think an agent you negotiated down to nothing will care what you sell your house for? Its just another listing to them. They make their $500 bucks and move on. Meanwhile you just sold your house for 50 grand less than it should have sold for.

9. Is your agent way out of their designation?

It is important to be very familiar with the area of selling or buying. Why would an agent sell in the suburbs then go to the city? It doesn’t make sense they do not know anything about the city if they sell in the burbs. Find an agent that is working specifically in your area. An agent that is a little out of the area is ok but 100 km is going too far.

Anyway there are a lot more criteria which I can speak about but you’re better off to just send me an email and I will go over it with you personally. Take a look at my website in the meantime

Thanks for Reading, look out for my E-zine newsletter Friday’s

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