There is nothing more exciting than stepping into the unknown, enjoying and trusting the ride. Selling a home and/or buying one are difficult waters to navigate in today’s real estate market and often require a complete leap of faith that we all take sooner or later in life, to build wealth worth spreading. This important decision will lead to one of life’s ultimate milestones of home ownership, that come with its own rewards, as well as its own lessons. Now that you know why and how you want to achieve your goal, it is crucial to figure out what steps you need to take to make this process seamless and stress free. Here are 10 tips for you to consider in your research for the right realtor for you.

1. Action plan

When looking for the ideal realtor, always ask for their action plan, marketing strategy and services they offer in the process of selling or buying homes. Of course, many realtors offer similar services. The difference lies is their plan of implementation, execution and ultimately results.

2. Availability

Select a realtor, who is available whenever you are. Regardless how good a realtor is, if she/he can’t meet you at your preferred time, the relationship will not work. You need someone who can work with yourschedule and be flexible to your needs. A conflicting schedule between you and your realtor will make the process difficult.

3. Commission

Don’t choose a realtor based on commission alone, although this seems to have become a trend in Toronto’s real estate market. Remember that the least expensive isn’t always the best choice. Always ask what services are included and/or excluded as part of their professional fee. Focus on what you will get and not what you give, don’t forget that wise saying that “we get what we pay for.”

4. Communication

Make sure you select a realtor who is a great communicator and one who listens and then asks a lot of quality questions. You can find out a lot about a person by their answers and questions. A realtor who takes the time to get to know you, your goals, and your priorities is building a successful pathway to a foundation of extraordinary customer service. A realtor who regularly asks about your expectations and your opinions on their recommendations usually means that they have your interests and satisfaction wholeheartedly in mind.

5. Database

Ask the realtor you are interviewing about her/his database of clients and current networking partners. You also may want to find out about the types of clients and transactions they specialize in. Do they network or know local business owners in the area? These businesses may not have been their clients, but having a networking relationship with other business owners allows your realtor to acquire valuable information on what they can do to best serve you as a client.

6. Market analysis

Any realtor you decide to work with should have an extensive understanding and perspective of the real estate market in your area. This isn’t just about market stats, as this information these days can be accessed from anywhere and by virtually anyone. It is the realtor’s ability to interpret and analyze the relevant real estate data that sets the experts apart and serves as the key to a successful client relationship and transaction.

7. Price range

While a realtor can’t give you an exact selling price for any home, you can always ask them to provide you with an estimated range. Depending on the location, dynamic and time of year of the real estate market, a realtor can provide you with a comparative market analysis including the recent sales activity in your area of interest, whether it is for sale or purchase of your next property.

8. References

Begin with reviews on popular online/social networking sites such as Facebook, Google etc. Ask for references from the realtor’s past clients. By reaching out and asking the right questions and reviewing the realtor’s references will allow you to discover a lot about them and their reputation and work ethic.

9. Track record

Make sure to ask for the realtor’s past and current performance report card during the interview process. Ask about the number of homes they have recently sold and the number of listings they currently have, their number of expired listings, their current selling to asking ratio, the average number of days of their listings on the market and any other questions you may have.

10. Your realtor of choice

Whether you’re planning to buy or sell, you will want to be able to build a good working relationship with your realtor, as often you could be working with them for weeks, months and sometimes years to come. Do not be afraid or uncomfortable to say “NO” to a realtor who happens to be a friend or family member.The realtor professionals in your personal social circle might be a great family friends and will remain so, but may not always be right person for the sale or purchase of your next home. Hiring a top performing real estate team or realtor with a proven track record is the other side of that coin.

Make sure your realtor of choice is able to devote the required time to service your individual needs and make sure you get to know who you’ll be working with directly. Not all realtors are the same, so finding the right match for you will make a big difference in your experience as a seller, buyer, landlord or tenant. Selecting a realtor who fits your needs and personality will help make the process seamless and stress free.

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With love & gratitude