I think finding a broker is all about personality.
I don't want to be RUSHED into buying a house or condo. Its very awkward when someone is trying to pressure you into buying something you're not sure about, especially when its a big item.
Back in March my old computer died (waaaah!) and because I did it for work I ended up going out and buying a new computer fairly quickly. In that situation I didn't have much of a choice. I NEEDED the computer for work reasons and I didn't really have time to contemplate the issue.
Afterwards a friend of mine complained that I could have gone to him and got roughly the same computer for a couple hundreds dollars less, but that would have resulted in a delay of several days and it could have put stress on the friendship.
Thus when meeting real estate brokers my primary worry is how comfortable I am with this person and making sure I don't feel pressured. I want to feel confident about their abilities to fulfill my needs, but I don't want it at the expense of second guessing myself in a high-pressure situation.
I absolutely MUST have time to think everything over.
Take the computer buying scenario from the last March. I browsed the computers at FutureShop but didn't see any I liked. The guy in Best Buy showed me around at what was available and I hmm and hawed for awhile comparing them. The Best Buy guy wandered off to help other customers and I continued browsing and comparing the different computers before finally arriving at a decision. The extra decision making time took about 45 minutes.
In contrast it only took about 4 minutes to buy the computer and walk out the door with it, whereupon I bumped into my friend (who was there looking for a new X-Box) and then hailed a taxi.
Buying a house or a condo, as a first time buyer, I frankly think I would want a whole week to think about it. Maybe a month. I don't really know. Its such a huge step for me I certainly don't want to be rushing into it and overlooking things.
I want to know if the foundation is sound, does the roof leak, is there any problems with the house (ie. termites or cockroaches), is there something they're not telling me (its above a fault line or its... oooooooo haunted!)... and during this whole process the real estate broker will doubt be holding my hand.
I don't care if its a guy or a gal, but I have to be able to trust them. (My Aunt Edna was a real estate agent in Sudbury and frankly I don't trust her, even though she's family... or perhaps that is why I don't trust her. She has a bit of a bad reputation with the rest of the family and hasn't come to a family event in over 2 decades.)
Here's some tips I found online:
1. Referrals: A good real estate broker will have lots of referrals. Its how you know their customers are satisfied. That said you should Google their name and see if they have any angry customers...
2. Look for Experience: Younger real estate agents might have more time to talk to you, but you can never beat experience once you've got the agent's attention.
3. Attend Open Houses: This is a good way to meet real estate agents, other buyers and pick up lots of free tips and advice.
4. Track Neighborhood Signs: Keep track of who's selling what in the neighbourhoods you are looking at. Real estate agents frequently operate on their "turf" so there may only be a few working in the designated neighbourhood that you like.
5. Track Ads in Newspapers: Same idea as above, look for the real estate brokers who are operating in the neighbourhood you are interested in.
6. Recommendations from Pros: Ask brokers who their competition is and what they think of them. A good analogy I can think of is a Magnum P.I. episode from the 1980s where a woman was looking for a private investigator and she asked all the PIs in Hawaii who the #1 and #2 private investigators were. They all said they were #1... and they all said Magnum was #2.
Once you find potential brokers don't work with them right away. Gauge your need first and watch for red flags. Avoid agents who don't know anything about renovations or zoning laws (but may claim to know). Avoid agents who are not timely at returning calls or emails. (If its the weekend don't worry about it, but expect a call back on Monday.)
Advertising Amenities Architecture Bizarre and Interesting Real Estate Commercial Real Estate Condo Sales and Prices Construction Credit Dream Home Economics Electricity and Alternative Energy Flipping Properties Gardening Glossary Home Insurance Home Related Home Sales House Prices Housing Starts Interest Rates Landscaping Legal Issues Montreal Real Estate Mortgages Moving Notes Off Grid Homes Ontario Overseas Real Estate Parking Plumbing QUEST FOR A CONDO Real Estate Brokers Real Estate Bubbles Real Estate History Real Estate Humour Real Estate Investment Real Estate Quotes Renovations Renting Taxes The Home Office Toronto Real Estate Trends Urban Planning US Real Estate Vancouver Real Estate
Okay, maybe not worth dying for. After all if you're dead, you can't enjoy the beauty of these interesting and inspired kitchen desi...
If you've been following MY QUEST FOR A CONDO then you know I am trying to trade up and eventually get a condo in Toronto... via tradin...
The photo you are looking at above is a Google Street View photo of Antoine Berthelet Avenue in Montreal. The reason why is because th...
Did you know Toronto is one of the most expensive places to rent an apartment? In Toronto the average price of a two-bedroom apartment is $1...
CANADA - Looking to buy a cottage in Muskoka this summer? Good luck with that! (sarcasm) The cottage prices in the region are sky high (ie....
The Bank of Canada has raised interest rates again, making it more difficult for people to get a mortgage at an affordable rate. The key ove...
I was looking for something else when I found this artist's rendering of an architectural piece that looks like a King Cobra. I though...
Kyle MacDonald is a Canadian Blogger who created a website called "One Red Paperclip". What he did was barter and trade his 1 re...
Some people who are superstitious would prefer to avoid a house with a history... ie. its supposedly haunted. Wooooooooo... spooky! Others...
Whether you are building your dream home or looking to flip a house for a handsome profit, polished concrete is the way to go. I first s...