Hiring the right real estate team is not something you should enter into lightly. You’re hiring a professional service that is responsible for:
- Understanding your needs and wants to help you achieve your goals
- Helping you avoid potential red flags possible with every Toronto property transaction
- Advising you of the best Toronto neighbourhoods as well as the ones to avoid
- Leaving no stone unturned throughout the entire process to ensure your purchase/sale goes off without a hitch
- Expert strategy to ensure you rule supreme at the negotiating table
- Referring you to their network of real estate professionals so your team is the best of the best throughout every step of your transaction and move
- Explaining how the latest market and mortgage news will impact your sale/purchase
These tasks are not just tasks. Instead, they are attached to a strategy based on your specific needs. And not all real estate agents get that. Your goal is to either sell for the highest price and best terms or buy for the lowest price with the best terms ideally in record time. This ensures you remain financially viable, while also reducing stress and providing peace of mind. It’s a tall order to fill, so you should be “When Harry Met Sally” specific on that order to ensure you get exactly what you need. And so, without further ado, we offer 10 pro tips for finding the best Toronto Real estate team in your neighbourhood.
1. Make Sure They are Border Line Obsessed with Your Neighbourhood
A team that puts too broad a stroke on the areas they cover might lack the knowledge you need. Your real estate agent should have intimate knowledge of your neighbourhood, including the best place to grab a coffee, and the quietest street. When selling, this ensures your home is listed at the ideal price while ensuring you get what you want. When buying, you’ll know you’re in a safe neighbourhood within your price range that has everything you need right down to that local dog groomer you are dead set on finding.
2. Choose Someone with Actual, Proven Experience
Although it’s a nice thought you want to give a newbie their first sale, this is a scary prospect when you consider everything involved in a real estate transaction. Finding or listing a home is only the first of many steps. Things start to get really intense, and it’s important to have someone in your corner who knows exactly what they’re doing. Ask them how many sales they make a year, not just how many sales they’ve made in general. This will give you a real feel for their level of experience.
3. Avoid the Awkwardness of Working with Family and Friends
Because this is a business transaction, you really shouldn’t mix business with pleasure. Avoid working with family and friends so you can maintain a strictly professional relationship without worrying about stepping on toes. Enough said.
4. Don’t Get Obsessed with Commission
Understandably you want to walk away from the sale with as much money in your pocket as possible. But be warned — when you go the discount broker route, you’re going through a minimized, conveyor belt process. You pay less because they aren’t investing time and money to get your home sold quickly and profitably. A full-service broker is always your most direct route to a profitable sale as we provide:
- Market research to ensure we list at the right price
- Staging to get your home primed for over-asking offers
- A negotiation strategy that aligns with your goals
Sure, you pay higher commission, but you’ll make a quicker sale and come out ahead because we set the groundwork to ensure you get the best price.
Read our post: Are Discount Agents Worth the Risk here to see why you shouldn’t obsess over commissions.
5. Read Those Reviews
Online reviews and client testimonials are the new picture worth a thousand words. Rave reviews are the cornerstone of finding any product or service today. If someone refers you to an agent, that’s great. Just follow up with your own research to confirm they are everything they are cracked up to be.
6. Ask Who You’ll Be Dealing With
This might seem like an odd thing to ask an agent. After all, they’re the ones sipping tea in your living room and discussing your needs. But here’s the rub. Many top realtors are very good at getting new clients, but then pass their clients on to junior team members who handle the work. You see them once or twice, and then poof! They’re replaced by an assistant who answers your calls, informs you of viewings, drives you around town looking at homes, etc. Since you’re choosing someone based on their expertise, make sure they’re the person working with you.
7. Avoid Side Gig Agents
You want a professional, full-time real estate agent. An agent who “does real estate” as a side gig hasn’t made enough sales to quit their day job just yet. That’s never good. And they won’t be around when you need them.
8. Exceptionally Responsive
The best real estate teams make it easy to get a hold of them, while also maintaining ongoing communication. They keep you in the loop, so you always know what’s happening. If you find it’s hard to set up an appointment with an agent or after your initial meeting it’s deadsville and they’ve become incommunicado, you can expect the same poor communication throughout your relationship.
We hate to say it, but not all Toronto real estate agents are created equal. Read our 6 Signs You Might be Working with a Bad Agent here.
9. Give Your Agent the Third Degree (ish)
Don’t feel shy about asking your agent some difficult questions. You don’t want to make them feel like they’re being interrogated, as they might feel uncomfortable working with you. But some questions you should ask include:
- What experience do you have in my neighbourhood?
- How long have you been a real estate agent?
- How many sales/transactions do you have a year?
- What services do you provide?
- Can you provide some referrals or testimonials from past clients?
- Who will handle my sale/purchase?
- Do you work with other professionals in the real estate industry, i.e., mortgage professionals, real estate lawyers, stagers, etc.?
- How can I contact you?
This will provide the details you need to make an informed decision.
10. Gut Reaction to Personality
Before you commit, make sure you feel comfortable with the agent. You’ll be spending a lot of time with them and need to trust them. Red flags to watch for are agents who are too pushy and aggressive, agents who are too agreeable and eager, and agents who have vague answers without any proof of their success.
If you want to find the best Toronto real estate team, you need look no further than The Christine Cowern Team. Give us a call at 416.291.7372 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to work with you!