Qualifying your realtor has never been more important.
The spike in market activity has caused a surge in the number of working realtors, many of whom are inexperienced and trying to capitalize by venturing into different avenues. So, how do you determine what realtor to work with and who has the experience you need?
We did some research, and here are five tips to get you started.
#1: What have they actually done?
Make sure you ask to see their track record for the last 60 days AND their year-to-date. This gives you direct insight into their ability to pull through for you. You want to work with someone who is consistent.
Confirm that the sales report you receive lists the deals they’ve closed personally. Often, realtors will get grouped together and the reports will reflect the company they represent, rather than their personal sales. In the end, you will be dealing with an individual, not the office, so make sure the reports you receive reflect that person.
» What type of sales are they in? Is your property type their strong suit?
Most realtors will try and sell a variety of different properties, but often they don’t have the property knowledge to be selling every type.
» What’s their listing to sale ratio?
They may have a decent sales volume, but there could be hundreds of listings that fell through. You don’t want to be one of them.
#2: Don't Judge a Book...
Remember, this is a business decision. Think of your realtor as an employee you’re hiring. You would expect a job applicant to provide references and the same goes for your realtor. Realtors negotiate for a living. There’s a good chance that some will exaggerate their successes to win you over. Don’t be fooled by their pearly teeth & designer suits.
» Ask for 5 references and make sure they tell you their
relationship with each.
#3: ASK ABOUT PAST EXPERIENCES.
A great way to get a more reliable perspective is to ask a realtor to see their testimonials/reviews. Going over insights from people who were in your exact position really helps solidify your decision. If a realtor has a long list of positive reviews, it reinforces their credibility.
» Ask for a minimum of 5 recent testimonials—more is always better!
Furthermore, ask your potential realtor to recall their client stories. If they remember personal details it shows you’re not just a number!
» Find out what the realtor was able to negotiate in the past.
Are they able to get a deposit sent directly to you? How long were the completions? Are there any hidden or controversial clauses in their contract?
#4: Are they a winner?
There are a lot of people working in real estate, but how many of them have won an award? To help you find a quality realtor, find out who has been recognized provincially or nationally. Be careful not to get too impressed by awards given out by their brokerage or company or given to their brokerage or company. These are often generic and do not reflect the individual. Because you will be working with one person, look for their personal history. Award winners are working hard in their field and you want someone with ambition selling your property!
» Awards are important, but they aren’t everything.
They are a good, factual place to start your research, but in the end you want someone with the aforementioned points as well.
#5: CALL THEIR MANAGING BROKER
If you’re still not sure, call their “boss.” They will give you an honest opinion of the realtor you are considering and may be able to provide additional information. Remember, just because an agent’s name is on a sign, doesn’t mean they are the best person for your area or property type.