How to Find the Best Realtor in Kitchener-Waterloo

Buying a home is a major life milestone and a proud accomplishment. Picking a home is a huge decision and just as big a decision - picking a realtor.

Your realtor will be helping you through the entire process, so you want to make sure you have the right person by your side. A real estate agent is going to be able to help you from start to finish, whether it be buying or selling.

What Does a Realtor Do?

There is a lot your realtor can do for you. More than just putting up your for sale sign. You might think that skipping the realtor can help with extra expenses when trying to buy or sell a house. There are always ways to cut back on costs, but this shouldn’t be one of them. A realtor can actually help you save money by getting you the best possible deal.

Real estate agents help with the selling and purchasing of a home. They also have the most knowledge on the market and they are going to be the best source to try and find you what you are looking for while making sure you are getting the best price possible.

They will go to bat for you and as a part of your team, they are there to make sure you are completely satisfied, making the entire process much less stressful.

They know important things like what the area is like in the neighbourhood you are moving to. That could include the crime rate, schools nearby, and more. If you are not happy with a price, a real estate agent is there to assist in any negotiations.
How to Find a Realtor

Most anything that requires some thorough research can be accomplished through the internet. Just like most things you are looking for in the market, there will be competition. The same goes for real estate agents.

There is no shortage of them. Searching for one on the internet can be a quick way to find a list of them, usually with customer feedback, referrals, and recommendations.

You could also look for recommendations from close friends, neighbours, and family. If they had a particularly good experience with their realtor, you can trust their opinions.

Lastly, you could also go to a local brokerage. You can speak to someone there and they will have a list of credible companies, with real estate agents to choose from.

How to Pick a Realtor

With easy access to social media, you can tell if you have found a good realtor, based on their social media presence. It is a good sign when they have a number of followers that are engaging in their content and if they post often and up-to-date.

They should also have online reviews that you can easily look up. Only you know what kind of person is going to suit your real estate needs. It would also be beneficial if you could meet face-to-face to engage and ask questions.

Most realtors offer a free consultation, to find out your needs and that benefits both of you. If you are too busy to meet in person, you could always talk on the phone, or have a video call.

After you have taken the time and weighed out your options, you can choose which one best suits you. Don’t feel like you need to pick one right away, this is a decision that might take some careful time and consideration.


Important Things to Assess

Communication and customer service: Prompt, clear, and friendly communication. It's important to be open with your realtor, and in turn, them understanding your needs.

This means getting back to you in a prompt fashion and making snappy decisions when push comes to shove. Your realtor should know when something is time sensitive and when it is not.

Experience: Experience is very important - you can ask about the number of deals they’ve done, years in business, number of clients helped, etc. That being said, there is a point to be made about giving a new agent a chance. Often the case, new agents go the extra mile to make sure their customers are pleased with their service

Market knowledge: Ask about market prices, conditions, and trends. Ask about what your options are for buying (or if selling, what price to expect to get). This is the time to really use your realtor as an asset.

Knowledge of the buying/selling process: If buying, ask how they’ll help you find your ideal home. If selling, ask how they’re going to market your home and how they’ll ensure you get the highest possible offer on your property. Getting a better idea of what you are in for, so there aren't too many surprises along the way.

Good support staff and networks: Do they have a receptionist or admin staff? Or access to a lawyer, mortgage broker, home inspector, photographer, etc - ask about who they have on their team and in their network. These roles all play a part in the success of your selling or buying.

Presentation: How they present themselves visually and how their office looks. Looks and first impressions matter. They should always be on time for meetings and even if you need them at the last minute, they try their best to fit you into their schedule.

Their brokerage: It is important to note how their brokerage is reviewed and how it presents itself because the brokerage is not the same as the agent. It’s its own company, however, good agents typically gravitate toward good brokerages.

Your rapport: You’ll be working closely for the next few weeks and months with your agent. Getting along, while having trust and a good rapport is essential.

Trust your gut: Most importantly trust your instinct. Have a good feeling about the agent? You might be right. Does something seem off? You might be right.

Red Flags to Avoid With Agents

Pushy or salesy: Agents should focus on understanding your situation, educating you about the market, and putting together a plan for you to buy or sell a home. If you are finding that the focus isn't on that, and instead it's on getting you to sign on, that's a red flag.

Try to rush you: This is a big decision and they are there to guide you, not force you to make a quick and rash move.

Not there for you: Not readily available, unreachable, spotty availability. You also don’t want someone who doesn’t take the time to educate their clients.

Vague or not specific: You should get everything you need out of your experience with a realtor, after all, you are paying them for a job well done. When discussing numbers, logistics, or work that they’ll be doing for you, be thorough.

Bend the truth: Watch out for realtors that over-inflate the value of your home, promising you more than you can realistically get

Part-time or side-hustle realtors: Their hearts might not be fully into it and neither is their time if they are not full-time realtors.

Poor communication: Don’t put up with any slow responses, unresponsiveness, or lack of communication.

Discount realtors: Again, with such a huge milestone in your life, this is not somewhere you should try to cut corners. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Conclusion

There you have it. Whether you are looking to purchase a new home or looking to sell, the best advice would be to seek out a real estate agent. It is never too early to get in touch with someone who is going to make the entire process simple and painless.