When you come to buying or selling your home, it mind boggles me that despite this being one of, or THE biggest investment that you will probably make and for some reason, many people put less thought into which realtor to use; often opting for a family friend, friend of a friend, the cheapest or someone who will list their house for an unrealistic price.
Before you choose, here are 10 questions you should ask so that you can make a smart, informed choice:
1. What is their experience and education? Experience is about more than how many years they've been in business but at the same time it’s important not use someone with little or no experience just because you are friends or family!!!
2. Ask what you can expect during the buying or selling process. If you're buying, consider asking how they will search for suitable properties for you and their approach with negotiations. If you're selling, you'll want to find out how the agent will market your home.
3. What services will be included? For example, when selling, will the agent have professional photos taken of your home? Will they host open houses? What about advertising?
4. Which neighbourhoods do they primarily work in? Does the agent typically work in the area where you're looking to buy or sell?
5. Can they provide a comparative market assessment (CMA)? When selling, you'll want to understand where your home fits in the marketplace. You will get a sense of how long homes typically take to sell and an expected price range.
6. Do they work on their own or as part of a team and if it’s part of a team, who will you be dealing with day to day.
7. How many other clients are they working with at this time? While there is no right or wrong answer to this, it's a good gauge of how much time the agent will be able to dedicate to you.
8. How will they keep you informed? Communication is key.
9. What are the commissions or fees that you will need to pay? Commissions and fees can vary between brokerages and services provided, so be sure to understand what services you will be provided, and what it will cost.
10. Do they have references/testimonials. Speaking with past clients is a great way to learn more about the agent.