“It’s always a good idea to meet with at least a few different real estate professionals before selecting the one you’d like to work with,” says Joseph Richer, registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario. “You should also consider asking friends or family to recommend someone they’ve recently worked with.”
When you’re ready to meet with a few representatives, consider asking these questions:
- What is your experience? Experience is about more than how many years someone has been in business. Take the time to learn about the types of properties they typically work with, which cities or areas they work in, and how many homes they helped buy or sell in the past year.
- What is your approach to the buying or selling process? If you’re buying, how will the representative search for suitable properties and what is their approach to negotiations? If you’re selling, how will your home be marketed to help attract prospective buyers? By understanding their approach, you’ll know what to expect and will be able to determine which representative’s philosophy and methods align with your preferences.
- What services will be included? Discuss your particular needs and expectations with prospective representatives to ensure they are able to provide the services you expect. For example, when selling, will the representative have professional photos taken of your home? Will they host open houses? What about advertising? Understanding exactly what services will be provided, and later documenting them in your written contract, will help avoid misunderstandings later on.
- What are the commissions or fees that I will need to pay? Commissions and fees can vary between brokerages and for the services provided, so be sure to understand what will be provided, and what it will cost. Keep in mind that, as with most things, the cheapest deal is not necessarily the best one.
- Do you have references? As with most job interviews, getting in touch with references is an important step before hiring someone. So, speaking with past clients is a great way to learn more. Were past clients pleased with their experience? Was the representative responsive and easy to get in touch with? Would they recommend them to others?
“Buying or selling a home is a major decision, so it’s important to take the time to find the right representative for you,” says Richer.
Use the ‘real estate professional search’ feature to ensure your representative is registered.
There’s a lot of information out there about market trends and how to get the best price, but you also need to know about your rights and responsibilities as a home buyer or seller. The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) can help you with that.
When it comes to real estate transactions, the more you know, the better you’re protected. Visit RECO’s website to learn more.
Check out some helpful advice about whether to buy first or sell first as well as the 4 must-do tips before you start the home buying process.