With So Many Realtor Out There How to Choose

In 2010 there were 86,170 real estate transactions in the Toronto Real Estate Association and during that period approximately 33,500 realtors were registered with the association. If I do the math on this it works out to 2.5 transactions per member. If this were actually the case then we would be seeing a convoy of agents, with their Hugo Boss suits and Mercedes, outside the local food bank. The truth is some TREB members do zero deals while others may do well over a 100. My point is that when you are looking for a Realtor you want someone who is willing to commit their time, knowledge and experience to finding you a home.

I always find it curious when my assistant and I are conducting an open house visitors inform me that their agent sent them to see the house. So let me understand this, the realtor you’ve hired does not have the time to actually show you houses; however, after you have toured dozens of homes on your own, then finding the perfect home, you are to call them so they can find time to put an offer together on your behalf. The realtor/client relationship is like dating: you both are required to continually put your best effort, energy and time in or else it’s doomed to awkward split.

So, what should you look for?

  1. The realtor should be working full time and with a nationally known brokerage.
  2. They should be able to communicate in a professional manner both in all spoken and written correspondence
  3. Someone who knows the type of property you are looking for and has a clear understanding of the market.
  4. You want someone who brings additional value, such as while you are looking at the layout of the house they are assessing the household mechanics.
  5. Do they have time to work with you through the process according to your established timeframe.
  6. We live in an ever changing technological world, have they kept pace with our mobile environment.
  7. Do they send automated listings out? If they say yes show them the door. A realtor should only send you listings which match your exact criteria and should include a personal evaluation highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the properties.
  8. If you decide to work with a realtor team, will one agent be assigned or will you be bounced from one to another according to their schedule.

For me, once I am hired by a client it is important that we establish a strong partnership at the beginning, which cascades down starting with mortgage pre-approval, buying timeframe, housing expectations, scheduling issues(clients and realtors take holidays block the time out), etc. Buying a home is learning process and during time I spend with my clients I find I come away from the relationship the better.