Old Realtor®, New Realtor®, Local Realtor®, Your Realtor®
As a first-time home buyer you might be wondering, how do I decide which Realtor® to work with? Well, there are a number of factors that could speak to you, so I put a few tips together to help guide you through the decision-making process.
First, if you don’t know a trustworthy Realtor®, then there are many ways to search for a Realtor online. Try throwing “Real estate brokerage” and ‘Kitchener”. Skip the ads, and the top of the list will be the brokerages who have really great SEO and have positioned themselves to be a leader in today’s digital world. That’s not necessarily to say these are the best options, but that’s what reviews are for. Do a bit of research, read real reviews for these Realtors® and brokerages.
I also say - go virtual shopping! Speak to a number of different Realtors®, a number of different Brokerages and see what feels like a good fit for you. If you decide to speak with brokerages, they will be able to understand exactly what you need and will, hopefully, pass you off to the Realtor® who would be best suited to fit your needs. Follow up with a conversation with that Realtor® to ensure that you think that they understand what it is you want and build a rapport with them. This is a two-way street. The Realtor® that you decide to work with also wants to ensure that they are able to build a rapport with you. This will lead to more productive conversations with you, enabling them to better understand what you’re looking for, and making it easier for them to properly search for the property that you’re looking for.
Another way to find a great Realtor® is to ask those you trust the most - friends and family. This might seem obvious, but many people like to keep friends and business a little separated. The best Realtors® obtain almost all of their business from referrals. Those who have had the actual experience of working with someone previously will always be your best source of a true experience.
Now, like any job, people always want to work with someone who has some real-world experience. Careful here, because in the world of real estate, what does experience actually mean? Would you prefer to work with someone who might not stay on top of the market daily or might be “too busy” to spend the appropriate amount of time explaining everything to you? Just because someone has been doing something for a number of years, doesn’t mean that they know what they are talking about in today’s world. A combination of continuing knowledge, adaptation to a changing industry, true product expertise and level of experience all combine for the perfect Realtor® - not one exclusively.
One comment I will make here is that if you choose to work with a newer Realtor®, they will most likely dedicate way more time to you and your search. In my experience, a well-trained newer Realtor® will work harder to make sure everything is done right. No bad habits, no complacency, just trying to do things right and put a beautiful smile on your face! This is where brokerages also come into play. Most brokerages throw new Realtors® to the wolves, whereas the next generation of brokerages take new Realtors® under their wing, train them, and truly support them through their first few years.
How about a specialist in a particular area or product type? This is incredibly important as this Realtor® will know the answers to most of your questions, but more importantly, will also know where to find these answers when they don’t. Always choose a local Realtor®, but certainly niche down even further if you feel your search requires it.
I hope this helps and I hope you find your perfect Realtor® match, it might even be me!
Alexandra Visosky - Realtors - Buying/Selling