Finding a good real estate agent is sort of like dating.
The first thing you want to make sure of is that your prospect has a stand-up reputation and is not immoral and prone to shady business of any kind. Unethical sales reps may or may not be a thing of the past but for some reason that stereotype still haunts the housing profession. Make sure your realtor has integrity.
An outgoing personality also helps as does some kind of appealing trait such as a sense of humour, a compassionate demeanour or pretty eyes. Let’s face it, you’re going to be seeing this person possibly as much as your family so it helps to find a connection, however small or seemingly trivial. Forging a connection will help in your relationship and will assist in what can be a very stressful and often-times highly emotional transaction.
Let the realtor get to know you, if only a little. It doesn’t hurt to explain that the house you’re selling belonged to your great aunt Sally in the 1920s or that your trombone-playing neighbours three doors down enjoy regaling the block on Sundays as they practice one tune or another. These facts paint a picture for the agent to pass onto potential buyers. The more armed with detailed info, the easier and more fitting the sale. Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal.
So how do you guarantee your realtor is a reputable professional? Look for his or her real estate for sale signs in your neighbourhood. A name that comes up repeatedly is a good omen. Now go and interview the clients who used that agent. Ask questions and remember just because a realtor’s name crops up a lot, doesn’t mean he or she is the most qualified or suitable for you.
Speak with the homeowners of the last 5 or ten houses your prospective agent has sold. Question them about the agent’s performance, everything from tardiness to common courtesy to professional conduct can be addressed. Don’t be afraid to ask silly questions. If gum-chewing or nail biting bother you ask the realtor’s past clients about those pet peeves.
Before signing on the dotted line visit the Real Estate Council of Ontario’s (RECO’s) website. There you’ll find a list of recent convictions and charges against realtors, including information about codes of professionalism, how to file a complaint and more.
That old adage of one bad apple spoiling the whole bunch still holds true especially in sales-dependent industries such as real estate. As a client you’re best to do your homework first, before deciding to go with Uncle Ross’s second cousin once removed.
Rob Golfi of The Golfi Team is a Sales Representative with Remax Escarpment Realty Inc, your real estate expert servicing the Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Grimsby and surrounding areas. You can contact Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org