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How to Hire a Good Realtor

How to Choose a Realtor Who's Right For You | Fox Marin Blog

Is Your Realtor Right for You?

It’s astounding how little research people do when it comes to hiring their real estate agent. Buyers and sellers don’t take this important relationship as seriously as they should! Just think – this is likely one of the biggest financial transactions of your life. Your mom’s cousin’s friend probably doesn’t know downtown real estate as much as you think they do. This is why you should be putting quality time and research into choosing your realtor.


5 Things You Should Think About When You Choose Your Realtor

Whether you’re looking at Toronto real estate for sale or a property to invest in, take the time to do your homework in choosing a realtor who will make the buying or selling process easier for you. To help with your realtor search, here’s a Coles Notes version to hiring a real estate agent.


1. Some online snooping goes a long way!

It’s pretty easy to learn about a person before you meet them face-to-face – so, why wouldn’t you? And, if you’re looking for a realtor, it’s imperative that they have an online presence. If they don’t, you’re not working with the right person. Think about these questions when you’re doing your research – does the real estate agent have an up-to-date website? When was the last time they updated their social media accounts? Do they have good online reviews on Google, Facebook or Yelp? You’ll want to look for quality content and samples of their work and get a feel if their brand identity is the right match for you.


2. Interview 3 or more realtors, whether you’re buying or selling.

Meet in person over a cup of coffee or a cocktail (we love the latter) – trust me, it’s worth your time! This will give you a sense of who they are and if they really are, right for you. Keep in mind – is your potential realtor prepared for your first meeting? You’ve done yours, but have they done their research?

Coming from experience, your real estate agent should be prepared with updated housing market materials and a portfolio of their work, in addition to data and statistics to guide your buying and selling decisions. Your potential realtor should be asking you what is most important to you in the buying and selling process, so they can meet your wants and needs from start to finish. Ask questions and challenge them to think on their feet. Of course, communication and trust are the most important qualities in a working relationship. You should feel 100% comfortable with who you choose to go with – they will become your advocate, your real estate coach, your taxi driver, your confidant, and sometimes even your therapist – at least, that’s who Fox Marin is when we work with clients. We know, they probably won’t be seeing you at your best because buying and selling (especially in the Toronto real estate market) isn’t a cup of tea. So, you need to know this person can be with you every step of the way. After meeting with a few agents, you’ll know who you connect with and who is a right fit for you and your goals.


3. Real life experience counts for something!

It’s important to know your realtor’s professional background and why they may or may not be experts. It’s valuable to know that your agent has had real life work experience before entering the real estate sector. There’s so much involved in a transaction where a business background plays a huge role – pricing analysis, transaction management, market competency, negotiation skills, communication, and everything else in between! More than this, you might want to know if your future agent has ever bought or sold property for themselves. It does make a difference to work with someone who understands the highs and lows of buying and selling.

What else should you look for? You might want to work with someone who specializes in neighbourhoods that they personally know. For example, Fox Marin takes downtown Toronto real estate to the next level because we were born downtown and live downtown. This means, we have a solid understanding of the pros and cons of the neighbourhoods, including schools, transit, development plans, local amenities and much more! Wouldn’t you want to know these things from your realtor?


4. Does the realtor ride solo or with a team?

There’s been a huge shift in the Toronto Real Estate market over the last five years. We’re seeing more and more real estate teams trending with services and expertise vertically integrated under the agent’s umbrella. It’s actually really hard to be an independent in this place and time. In fact, it’s almost impossible for one individual to provide all the services you need to buy and sell property if they’re a busy agent with multiple clients at the same time. Make sure that your agent is focused on your real estate goals without distractions. So, ask your potential realtor what type of support they have. You’ll want to know that there’s a team of people working with you on the backend to ensure everything is progressing forward. You should feel like you have a lifeline whenever you have a question. The Toronto real estate market moves quickly and we never want to see you miss a beat!


5. It’s always a good thing if they have a sense of humour.

Last but not least, it’ll make the buying or selling experience that much better if your agent is charismatic, engaging and full of energy. Find someone who will make you laugh. Any real estate transaction is a partnership, a relationship and a team building exercise. Whether you’re buying, selling, renting or investing, you’ll find yourself spending more time than you thought you would with this person. That’s why it’s imperative that you can be transparent with your realtor and tell them when things are working and not working. A good real estate agent will be able to listen, provide guidance, and strategize with you – all the while, keeping you in good spirits! So, keep this in mind when you’re choosing your realtor.


This article is written by Kori Marin, Managing Partner and Broker at Fox Marin Associates. With a passion for Scandinavian design and all-things-Toronto, Kori brings her own brand of charismatic energy, creative integrity, and expertise to her work.