TORONTO – So, you’re in the market for a new house. You’re going to need a real estate agent, but how do you go about finding one? How do you know which one will be a good one? Finding a good agent isn’t easy, but there are ways to do it.
One of the best ways to find an agent is to ask an agent. Often, you’ll be able to ask a good real estate firm to refer to you a list of agents they’d recommend, even from firms other than their own so you can compare real estate agents to find one you want to work with. A referral agency gets a small portion of the referred agent’s commission paid upon closing, but there’s no cost to you as the buyer or the seller for this service. When you’re the buyer, the referral service and the subsequent representation by the referred agent is of no cost to you. The referral agent is paid a percentage of what the listing agent receives from the seller when the transaction is complete. Using a referral service is a good way to ensure you are getting a reputable agent and to get the best representation possible. The referring firm won’t steer you wrong because doing so would only serve to damage their own reputation. They want to ensure that you have a smooth transaction, the foundation of which is a great agent.
One word of warning: Always be sure that you are working with a referral firm who screens their agents based on their availability at the moment. In other words, ensure that the agent to whom you are being referred actually has the time to work with you on the buying/selling of your home. There’s no point in being referred to even the best agent if he doesn’t have time to dedicate to working with you.
Another way to find a great agent is simply to ask a trusted friend, family member, or colleague for a recommendation for someone they have used in the past. This is a great way to go, because the person from whom you are getting the recommendation is someone you trust, and you know that their recommendation is one that you can trust.
Buying and/or selling a home should always be transacted under the careful, experienced eye of a qualified agent, as well as reviewed by an attorney and an accountant. That way, all parties’ interests can be protected during the transaction. It can be daunting to try to find an agent you feel you can trust with this big purchase. Using these guidelines, however, you should be able to find an agent you trust and feel comfortable working with. And remember: If you don’t feel comfortable with the agent once you start working with them, you don’t need to continue working with them. Trust your instincts.