There are probably more #1 REALTORS in Toronto than there are REALTORS. I’m always amused at the number of agents who claim to be the “#1 agent” (*in 2007 sales in E5 Toronto district for the office I work in which is part of a bigger brokerage).
But do you really want to work with the top guy? Sure, he sells a lot of houses. But does he have time for you? I’ve heard so many stories of Sellers who hired the #1 agent…and never heard from or saw them again after they signed the paperwork. Is that really the experience you want?
I’m not the top selling real estate agent in Toronto. Sure, I sell a lot of houses, lofts and condos – but not so many that I don’t have time for my clients. BREL clients appreciate that they can reach us 24/7 – by phone, text, email, chat or Facebook – and know that we’ll always be available to answer their questions or concerns.
Here are our Top 5 Things to Consider when Choosing a Real Estate Agent:
1 – Experience. While you might not want to hire the #1 agent, you do want to hire someone who has lots of experience. Unfortunately, the average Toronto REALTOR sells less than 6 homes in a year (and we sold that in the last 10 days!).
2 – Expertise in your target neighbourhoods and experience selling the type of home you’re looking for. Not everyone sells condos, and not everyone sells houses. And an Ajax agent isn’t likely an expert in downtown Toronto (and vice versa). Go with someone who doesn’t try to be everything to everybody.
3 – Someone you trust. I can’t overemphasize the importance of this one. We all know someone who had a terrible experience with an agent (and if you don’t, check out my rants). Buying a home is the kind of decision that will impact your life for years to come – do it with someone who you trust is giving you sound advice and guidance.
4- Someone who communicates with you how you want and when you want and has time for you. Communication with your REALTOR is critical! Email, text, phone, chat, Facebook – however YOU want to communicate is how your REALTOR should communicate with you. Want daily updates about your house sale? Or just a weekly update? Make sure the agent you decide to work with respects how often you want to hear from him.
5- Someone you like. Let’s face it: buying a house is personal, it’s not just a business transaction. Finding the home and neighbourhood where you’ll be able to live the kind of life you want to live is about a lot more then numbers. Look for a REALTOR who listens and understands you and ‘gets’ what you want. You don’t need to become friends with your real estate agent – but it helps if you don’t mind spending hours driving around and looking at homes with them.
For a detailed guide to selecting a REALTOR, check out our earlier blog: How to Pick a Great REALTOR.