8 Critical Mistakes When Choosing a Realtor®
#1 Failure to interview multiple Realtors
- Just as you would for a home renovation, call at least 3 sales representatives and have them interview for the job.
- Pay attention to their style and personality. In the end, you will be spending a lot of time with/talking to the person you hire for the job until the property closes, so make sure it is someone you will want to talk to!
#2 Not asking the right questions
- If you are selling, you should find out what strategies the Realtor has in mind. Do they always use the same strategy? Why do they use that strategy?
- If you are buying, ask what the Realtor’s style is. Do they like to pick properties for you, or do they give you a whole list to choose from? Do they have any tools to help you in your decision?
#3 Focusing on the commission
- There are vast differences in the level of service you receive, and many times the commission dictates what service you will receive.
- Someone who lists a property for 1% just doesn’t have budgets for staging, marketing, and even high quality service.
#4 Failure to find out how the Realtor negotiates
- The single most important thing your Realtor needs to do is to negotiate your behalf.
- Ask them to relate stories of some of their more successful negotiations.
#5 Relying on your co-worker or family member who is licensed
- Just because someone has a real estate licence does not mean they are committed to the profession. Always make sure the person you choose to work with is committed to selling real estate, is knowledgeable and is compensated.
- That family member who does it for free may be well meaning, but it is real difficult to come to work with your A game when you are not getting paid to do so. Further, those paying customers will usually get priority.
#6 Not asking Friends and Family for to refer you to a Realtor
- Did you Yelp that restaurant you were planning to eat at? Did you check out the reviews of that TV you were planning to buy? You already check into see what another’s experience is with a product. Why wouldn’t you do the same thing with a Realtor?
- Ask your friends and family for recommendations of people they have used so you can get a firsthand account of how working with them will be. Don’t forget to interview at least three of these referrals.
#7 Choosing to only interview Realtors who advertise in your area
- If you feel like you want to work with that area specialist, then definitely interview them. But try to avoid interviewing three area specialists. Those who advertise tend to have a similar strategy to sell your house, so adding a referral or two in your interview process will help balance out the response you get from the area specialist.
- A Realtor who spends a lot of money on advertising typically needs to charge a higher commission and sell houses very quickly to remain profitable, so make sure this is in line with what you are expecting.
#8 Failing to examine the Realtor’s support network
- An important function of any Realtor is their ability to manage situations as they arise. A good network of supporting people such as lawyers, home inspectors, mortgage brokers, trades, etc. shows the Realtor can navigate even tricky transactions by having the right expert to go to for help.
Stefanos Papadopoulos - Real Estate Broker - Royal LePage Terrequity Realty, Brokerage*
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