Tips on sizing up your agent. The 5 C’s

The process of buying or selling your home, researching neighbourhoods, crunching numbers and committing to one of the biggest purchases of your life is intimidating if you're working alone. Choosing to hire a Real Estate Agent whose attitude and availability motivate your trust can help make this complex, overwhelming process much easier. Choosing a great Real Estate Agent can make it feel almost effortless - and that is exactly what you want. The 5 C's are easy to remember and hard to ignore when interviewing a Real Estate Professional.

1. Credentials

Verify that your potential representative is in fact licensed. In Ontario, RECO is the governing authority. The public has the ability to conduct a search on the RECO website, using the Real Estate Agent’s first and last name, where registration verification and any infraction information is provided. This information will help you determine if he or she is the right fit for your transaction.

2. Chemistry

Your instincts will tell you if you can work with this person. If the conversation is flowing, and you’re feeling a personal connection, then it is likely you will have a great working relationship. Remember, when buying or selling a home, divulging personal information is a part of the process, so trusting your agent is essential. With any business transaction, there are obstacles and hurdles to overcome, which is precisely why your Agent needs to be your team member, after all, they will be going to bat for you.

3. Communication

How an agent responds to your questions and concerns will tell you a lot about how they will act on your behalf. Your agent should be providing you with critical updates and answering all of your calls, emails, and questions promptly. You should never have to chase down your agent for information. In the event that your agent is exceptionally busy with other clients (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), they should ensure their support staff is available to inform you and assist with anything they can in the meantime.

4. Connections

The Canadian Economy is dominated by the service industry. Have you ever heard the term “I know a guy” or “I’ll give you my guy’s number”? The act is ‘Networking’ which is the exchange of professional information to develop relationships, opportunities and potential business ventures. It is imperative that your Real Estate agent has a vast network of loyal experts, including other agents, who may be necessary for part of helping see through a successful transaction. There are many divisions in the Real Estate Industry – construction, renovations, investment, mortgage, and decor to name a few, and you never know when you might need ‘a guy’.

5. Clients

An Agents client base is their portfolio. How many properties have they sold in the last year? How many listings do they have currently? Where do they rank amongst their peers? Ask your agent for previous listings, repeated client listings and sold property listings to help make your decision. The more, the better. This will also give you a general guide as to what types of properties your agent has worked with. Ask your friends, family, and co-workers for referrals and testimonials. The best source of information is from those who have experienced what you are experiencing.