With so many real estate brokers and sales representatives for you to choose from, how can you assess the quality of service and professionalism that you need in a real estate expert when it comes time to sell your condo or buy one?
An agent’s success can be measured by their track record and professional history. As with any professional adviser, you want to feel confident that you are well represented throughout the entire process. After all, real estate transactions rank as the largest expenditure most people make in their lifetime. It’s often an experience wrought with emotion and worry.
Considering that you may be working closely with your real estate agent for an extended period of time throughout the selling and/or buying process, it’s important that you have a strong rapport. Do you feel confident that your requirements are understood and that your questions and concerns are answered with clarity and a thorough knowledge of the marketplace? Because real estate transactions often take place over long distances, you also need the reassurance that your representative will be available to you, or will at least have appointed an equally capable alternate to assist you in their absence. To this end, many real estate professionals work with a team of qualified associates and assistants to provide clients with effective and relevant backup support.
Knowledge of the marketplace cannot be overstated since each neighbourhood and type of property has inherent qualities and history that a well-established real estate agent will be able to communicate to you. Condominiums and lofts in the downtown core, for example, offer amenities galore – some within the development itself, some at your doorstep, and mostly anything you need on a day-to-day basis is well within a few city blocks. Some welcome pets and others may not be so amenable to them. Some have fitness and pool facilities for your convenience. As a purchaser, you can see how important it is that you develop a list of necessities, as well as the additional perks that you hope to find in your new home.
Whether selling or purchasing, your real estate agent will develop a plan of action to help you realize your goal. If you are selling, the agent will prepare a list of recently sold properties comparable to your property, in addition to a selection of comparable properties currently listed, in order to establish a listing price for your own property. They will also schedule an agents’ open house to introduce the new listing to colleagues who in turn have purchasers that may be interested in viewing your condo. Naturally, colour feature sheets identifying the features and benefits of your property will be available for visiting agents showing your property to prospective buyers.
As a purchaser, your agent will listen to your requirements and review current listings that meet as many of your criteria as possible and preview a selection of listings before scheduling a series of showings for you to view these properties. Within the first few showings it’s beneficial to communicate your impressions so that the agent can continue to fine-tune the search for you in a timely fashion.
Because your agent spends a great deal of time researching and preparing for you to sell your home or buy one, loyalty to the agent is requested. When you involve several agents in your search to purchase without disclosing this to any of them, confusion ensues. In all fairness, you might consult with two or three agents before the work begins to identify an agent who readily gains your trust and confidence.
Real estate is a serious business indeed, yet you want to be able to relax and enjoy the company of the agent with whom you will be spending time. As much as this relationship should involve mutual respect and the desire for a positive outcome, there’s always room for a good sense of humour!