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Best real estate brands of 2019

Royal Lepage
Coldwell Banker
Keller Williams
Engel & Volkers
Remax
Century 21
Home Life Realty
Souhebys

Popular real estate agents in your area

What to look for when choosing an agent

When buying or selling a home, it’s essential to choose the right real estate professional to have at your side. Every real estate agent is different with varying experience and knowledge levels. Some realtors are experts in specific local markets or have experience buying and selling certain types of properties.

    Expertise

  • Knowledge of the local market
  • Experience and sales history
  • Specialties and services

    Personality

  • Friendliness
  • Trustworthiness
  • Compatibility

    Attention to clients

  • Availability
  • Response rate
  • Method of communication

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How to hire a real estate agent

Your real estate agent is the person who will guide you through your home buying process. To help you find the best one, here’s a step-by-step guide to hiring a real estate agent:

1. Get a mortgage pre-approval – Getting preapproved before searching for a real estate agent shows that you’re a serious buyer and helps potential agents know your price range.

2. Find an agent – Search online for potential real estate agents or ask friends and family for recommendations.

3. Verify credibility – Check that their license with your local real estate regulatory body is up-to-date.

4. Interview potential agent – Meet and interview potential agents in person. Use this opportunity to get a sense of their style and expertise, as well as preferred method of communication and availability.

5. Check their references – Ask the real estate agent for references from previous clients and contact them.

6. Choose your agent – Choose an agent you trust and who has the knowledge and experience to guide you through the home buying process.

7. Review and sign the contract – Review the terms of your contract, including the commission and contract expiration date. Don’t be afraid to negotiate if you’re uncomfortable with certain terms.

Real estate agent frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between agents, brokers and REALTOR®s?

While these titles are often used interchangangeably, they’re aren’t the same. Real estate agents are the professionals who help you buy property. Agents work under a real estate broker, a professional senior to an agent or team. REALTOR®s are highly experienced agents who joined the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

What’s the difference beween listing agents and selling agents?

A listing agent, or the seller’s agent, is the agent who represents the seller. Meanwhile, a selling agent, or the buyer’s agent, represents the buyer.

Do I need to hire an agent?

While it’s not required to use a real estate agent to buy a home, help from a professional can be beneficial due to their knowledge and experience. A realtor’s job is to guide you through the process and find you the best property for the best value.

Can I hire the listing agent?

When the same agent represents the seller and the buyer, they are working under dual agency. This is not recommended as it may lead to conflicts of interest. Also, each province handles dual agency differently with specific rules and limitations in place.

What services are included?

During the interview process, it’s important to ask about the services provided. Some common services include finding listings before they hit the market, providing sales data, getting property history documents, scheduling showings, suggesting offers, and more.

Do I have to pay my agent a commission?

In general, home buyers don’t pay realtors directly. A real estate agent receives a commission on the property’s final sale price. It is usually between 3-7%, depending on the region and agent.

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