How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

Posted by Justin Havre on Tuesday, October 1st, 2019 at 9:24am.

4 Things You Need to Know When Hiring an AgentWhether buying your first home or selling a home, everyone should hire a real estate agent in order to get the best experience possible. However, it can be difficult for buyers and sellers to know which real estate agent is right for them. There are so many different agents all marketing themselves as the best, but not every agent is the best for every buyer or seller. When Varsity Calgary homeowners are looking for a real estate agent to work with, here are some things to keep in mind.

Read Reviews from Past Clients

Just about all real estate agents and agencies will have a page on their website dedicated to client testimonials to tell everyone how great they are. If a testimonial page can’t be found on their website or Facebook page (some agents will choose to collect testimonials there because it’s more accessible to a wider audience of people), it can be suspicious. Try looking the agent up on an agent review website to see what people are saying. Take special note of issues that come up in multiple reviews, because those are the most likely issues that will come up while working with them.

Look for an Agent With Experience

Just like no one would want a surgeon with no experience to operate on them, no one should want a real estate agent with no experience to help sell their home. In real estate, a good number to look for is a minimum of five years of experience. With that being said, buyers and sellers can still work with a newer agent—agents still receive training and work with an agency full of other agents who can help them if needed. However, newer agents are prone to mistakes that more experienced agents would know how to avoid.

Ask the Agent Questions

Before hiring an agent, all buyers and sellers should call the agent on the phone to speak with them. Ask them questions in order to get a feel for how much they know about the market and their agenting style. This tests their knowledge in a way that can’t be done by emailing them. Here are some examples of good questions to ask:

  • “How do you market homes?”
  • “How many other clients are you currently working with?”
  • “What separates you from other agents?”
  • “Do you know any neighborhoods with homes that are a good fit for me?”
  • “Do you specialize in buying and selling a certain type of home?”

These types of questions can help buyers and sellers get a better feeling about the agent, how much they know, and how they are to work with.

What’s the Difference Between Agents and Realtors?

“Realtor” and “real estate agent” may seem interchangeable, but they’re actually not, and one is not better than the other.  In order to become a Realtor, a real estate agent must join the National Association of Realtors and subscribe to the Realtor Code of Ethics. Great real estate agents can also be Realtors, but they don’t have to be. When choosing an agent, remember that neither is inherently better than the other, and don’t let it be the deciding factor on which agent to work with.

Choosing a real estate agent may not be as easy as going with the first result on Google, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Keeping these criteria in mind can help any buyer or seller find an agent who is a good fit for their needs.

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