What should I look for in a Realtor?


Dear David: This entire city seems to be filled with real estate advertising. I need an agent to sell my house, but I’m not sure how to narrow my choices. What should I be looking for? –  UNCERTAIN

DEAR UNCERTAIN: With over 2,500 local Realtors and close to 100,000 agents registered across Ontario, the options can feel overwhelming. Every Realtor will tell you to choose them of course, but before you make a commitment, you’ll want to do some research and make sure you’re covering the basics.


Your home sale will likely be one of the largest transactions of your life. To make the most of it, you need a Realtor who is fully immersed in the industry, makes strategic decisions on the fly, can recognize subtle changes in the marketplace and provides intelligent representation when juggling 5, 10 or 15 incoming offers. A Realtor with decades of experience has probably seen it all and done it all, and they’ll know what to do if you happen to hit a snag. Ask family, friends and co-workers to recommend Realtors they use and trust, then Google those names and check their qualifications. Go a few pages deep in the search results to get past the paid ads. Also check the agent’s LinkedIn profile, which is like their resume.


I don’t think real estate is a part time profession, and it certainly isn’t nine-to-five. Opportunities come and go quickly, often outside of traditional business hours. If your agent is out of the loop or difficult to reach, you could be missing out. Make sure to choose someone who is accessible and communicates in a way that works for you. Also ask potential picks whether they’ll be working with you personally, or passing you off to someone else.


Before deciding on an agent, ask to see their last half-dozen listings. These will indicate how long the properties took to sell, and the list-price-to-sale-price ratios. If the descriptions are sparse and the photos look like they were taken on a cell phone, it’s a clue as to how your home will be treated. I recommend using professional staging and photography, virtual tours, descriptive writing and social media for every listing, and posting MLS listings on multiple real estate boards (including the GTA) to drive buyer engagement. Once your home is on the market, digital showing information and virtual signings can make the real estate experience virtually seamless. There is no reason to accept anything less.

PRO TIP: I often hear people say they “need to talk to three Realtors.” Remember, this isn’t a roofing estimate or a quote on snow tires. It’s a personal relationship, and much like dating, when you meet the right professional, you’ll feel the connection. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.