How to Find a Seasoned Real Estate Agent in Canada
Have you ever wondered how to tell if that real estate agent across from you knows their stuff? Experience matters in this business, and working with a seasoned pro with a proven track record of success can mean the difference between getting top dollar for your home and leaving money on the table.
You want someone who has been around the block a few times, knows the ins and outs of the local market and neighborhoods, and has a roster of happy clients they can reference. Spotting the telltale signs of a savvy, experienced real estate agent versus a flashy newcomer is key to getting the best results and the smoothest transaction. Here are a few tips to help you determine if that agent has the chops to sell your house at the best price.
Look for an Agent With Experience
Look for an agent with years of experience in your local market. Seasoned agents know the ins and outs of the neighborhood and have a proven track record of success. They’ve been through the home buying and selling process many times and can anticipate challenges, solving problems before they even arise.
An experienced agent also has an expansive network of connections which helps in many ways. They can connect you with the best home inspectors, mortgage lenders, contractors, and more. Their contacts make the transaction run smoothly from start to finish.
Beyond connections, veteran agents are skilled negotiators. They know how to determine a home’s fair market value and won’t let you overpay. They also know the strategies to get the best deal on your desired house. When it comes time to sell your home, a seasoned agent will price it right to maximize your profit.
Look for things like years of experience, strong reviews from past clients, a record of success in your local market, and professional designations. An agent with all these qualifications will guide you expertly through what can be an emotional and complicated journey.
Don’t gamble on an inexperienced agent. For the biggest financial transaction of your life, go with someone who has been there and done that. A seasoned real estate agent is worth their weight in gold.
Ask About Their Track Record of Sales
To find an agent who will get the job done, look for experience. Ask about their track record of sales, specifically:
- How long have they been selling real estate? An agent with years of experience will have valuable industry knowledge and insights to help you navigate the process.
- Do they specialize in your area and property type? An agent focused on residential, commercial, or luxury homes in your target neighborhoods will know that market inside and out.
- What’s their sales volume and number of transactions? Higher volume and more deals closed signals an agent is active and successful in the current market.
- Can they provide references from recent clients? Speaking to former clients is the best way to gauge an agent’s work ethic, communication skills, and ability to deliver results.
An experienced agent will also have valuable relationships and connections to help you:
- Gain access to new listings before they officially hit the market. The best deals often sell fast, so getting a head start is key.
- Navigate competitive bidding wars and multiple offer scenarios. Seasoned agents will know the strategies to make your offer stand out.
- Negotiate the best price and terms. Experienced agents have been through many negotiations and know how to advocate for their clients’ needs.
Real estate is a high-stakes investment. Work with an agent with a proven track record of success and sales to guide you through your life's most significant financial decision. Their expertise and know-how can mean the difference between a good deal and the deal of a lifetime.
Seek Out Excellent Client Testimonials
When searching for an experienced real estate agent, look for glowing reviews and recommendations from their previous clients. Satisfied customers who rave about their agent are sure you’ve found a pro who will work hard for you and get results.
Ask the agent if they have a list of references you can contact. Speaking directly to someone who has recently bought or sold a home with that agent can give you valuable insight into what it’s like to work with them during a stressful process. Did the agent communicate frequently and respond quickly to questions or concerns? Were they able to negotiate the best deal? Did the transaction go smoothly from start to finish? These are all things a reference can confirm from their own firsthand experience.
You should also check sites to read reviews from the agent’s other clients. An agent with a track record of success and a roster of happy customers will likely have overwhelmingly positive reviews highlighting things like:
- Their knowledge of the local real estate market and neighborhoods
- Strong negotiation and communication skills
- A high level of professionalism, responsiveness, and customer service
- A knack for solving problems quickly and facilitating a smooth transaction
Of course, no agent is perfect, so look for a healthy mix of reviews that point out specific things the agent did well. A few less than 5-star reviews are OK as long as the agent responds professionally and works to resolve any issues.
The experiences of an agent’s past clients are the best indicator of the level of service and results you can expect. When you find an agent with a proven history of exceeding their customer’s expectations, you’ve seen an agent poised to get you the most for your money on the sale or purchase of your home.
Verify Their Knowledge of the Local Market
To find an agent who will get you the best deal on a home, look for one with deep knowledge of your local market. Ask candidates about:
Trends in home prices and inventory
An experienced agent will know the ins and outs of home values and supply in your target neighborhoods. They can tell you whether prices are rising or falling, how long homes sit on the market, and spot good deals. For example, they may know that home prices in a particular suburb have jumped 10% in the past year due to new businesses moving in or that a surplus of condos downtown keeps costs flat.
Ask the agent about recent sales of comparable properties to the ones you're interested in. They should be able to provide details on the selling price, days on the market, and the properties' conditions. This shows they have their finger on the pulse of current market activity. If they struggle to give specific examples, they may have a different level of experience than you need.
Their track record
Feel free to ask for references from recent clients. A seasoned agent will have a proven track record of success and happy clients. They should be able to provide reviews, testimonials, or referrals from people with needs like yours. An agent's experience and expertise will save you time, money, and frustration. While a newer agent can still do a good job in real estate, as in many areas, there's no substitute for experience.
So do your homework—vet each agent's knowledge of today's market factors, recent sales, and referrals. The right pro will have the expertise to spot opportunities, foresee obstacles, and negotiate the best deal for your needs. An agent well-versed in current trends will guide you to a home that holds its value for years.
Make Sure They Have a Proven Marketing Strategy
You need a real estate agent with a proven marketing strategy to get the best results when selling your home. Look for an agent who:
Has a strong online presence
In today’s tech-savvy world, most buyers start their search on the internet. Find an agent who actively markets their listings on websites like robgolfi.com and their professional site. They should post high-quality photos, video tours, and detailed property descriptions to attract interested buyers.
Uses social media effectively
An experienced agent will leverage social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to increase visibility for their listings. They frequently post photos, share details about the property’s amenities and location, and engage with interested followers. Look for an agent with a solid social following and high levels of engagement on their posts.
Employs direct marketing techniques
In addition to online marketing, the best agents use proven direct marketing methods like email newsletters, postcards, and yard signs. They have a robust database of active buyers, investors, and people interested in the local market to whom they directly market their new listings.
Holds open houses
Open houses are a tried-and-true way for agents to simultaneously showcase a home to many potential buyers. An agent who commits to holding multiple open houses, especially on weekends, has a proactive plan to get buyers in the door. They are also present at the open house to answer questions and gather feedback to determine motivated buyers.
Has a track record of success
The most compelling evidence of an effective marketing strategy is an agent’s track record of successfully sold homes. Ask the agent about their recent sales, including properties comparable to yours. See how long their listings stayed on the market compared to comparable properties. An agent with a proven strategy will consistently get homes sold at or above the asking price.
A seasoned agent with the right marketing techniques can get your home in front of qualified buyers. Make sure any agent you’re considering employing has a multifaceted marketing approach that utilizes the latest technology and tools to sell your home quickly and for top dollar.
You've learned why experience matters when hiring a real estate agent. Seasoned agents have the knowledge and skills to guide you through the complex process of buying or selling a home. They understand how to price properties accurately, negotiate the best deals, and avoid mistakes that could cost you money or time. Even if their fees are a bit higher, the results they deliver will more than make up for it. So take your time to find an agent with a proven track record of success.
Meet with a few candidates, check their references and credentials, and trust your instincts. The extra effort will pay off when you hand over the keys to your new place or count your sales profits. With an experienced real estate pro in your corner, you can sit back and let the magic happen.