I am intending to buy a home soon.
I am intending to buy a home soon. What’s the best way to find a real-estate salesperson who will work well with me?
First of all, congratulations on deciding to buy a home. This is a significant financial investment, so it’s important that you are informed about the buying process. Hiring a real-estate professional is a good first step, and you’ll want to be sure the person you choose is the right fit for you.
The first thing you need to know is that all real-estate professionals in Ontario must be registered with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). RECO oversees brokerages, brokers and salespeople and ensures they comply with the laws and regulations that govern real-estate transactions.
With nearly 75,000 real-estate professionals in the province, choosing one might seem daunting. But as the famous quote says: “Preparation is the key to success.” Doing a bit of work up front will help the rest of your buying experience go more smoothly.
One way to find a representative is to ask for referrals from friends, relatives and neighbours who’ve recently bought or sold a home. This will be especially helpful if they bought or sold in the area you’re interested in with a similar type of home that you’re looking to buy. After all, someone working in a rural area that specializes in recreational properties may not be the best match if you’re looking for an urban condo. The best references are from people whose judgment you trust and who had similar needs.
You can also look at lawn signs and advertisements to see who is doing business in your area of interest.
Once you find a few real-estate professionals you think may be appropriate, interview them. A key consideration is their experience. Are they familiar with your location of choice and with the type of property you are looking to purchase? Do they have a track record of success?
You’ll want to understand the types of services that are available and which ones in particular they will provide to you. You’ll also want to know the fees they charge – most often, real-estate commissions are paid by the seller, but double check in case you are responsible for any of the expenses.
And finally, you’ll want to be comfortable with their communication style and their approach in representing you. If you prefer to do business in person, someone who relies on emails or texts may not be an ideal match.
After you narrow your selection, check the rep’s references. It’s a key step in any job interview process and will give you a chance to see if past clients were satisfied. Remember, it’s your decision and you are the only one who has to be happy with it.
As a final step, you’ll want to double check that the person you’re choosing is in good standing with RECO. The Real Estate Professional Search tool on our website can help with that, and an agent’s profile will let you know if their registration is active and whether they have previously been the subject of serious disciplinary action.