Award winning Oldford Team – 2017
Woooweee! #37 out of almost 18,000 Royal LePage realtors across Canada based on the amount of properties sold!!!
In the same year that both Nathan Lang and Clayton Oldford turn 37 years old – coincidence?! Fate?! Celebrate! It was a day of celebration, to be sure, for the Oldford Team for our best performance ever! We are humbled that so many of our local neighbours and friends turned to our team for help. Thank you to all who have stood for us and with us as we continue to serve. Learn more about our history of achievement here.
At the Oldford Team, we strive to want to work with every seller and buyer in our area and to meet and exceed their expectations. We continually work improve our processes and to implement the leading business practices. We understand, though, that choosing a realtor can be a difficult process from your end. Different realtors can offer different opinions, different approaches, different opportunities for you and your property. You might even know a few different realtors or be related to more than one. No matter which direction you choose to move forward, here are some great interview questions for your potential Realtor partner:
What is your experience and education?
Experience is about more than how many years a Realtor has been in business. Take the time to learn, or outright question the Realtor, about the types of properties they typically work with, which geographic areas they know, how many homes they helped buy or sell in the past year, and any additional expertise or skills.
For example, if you’re looking to purchase a rural home, specific input that can benefit you may be available from one Realtor that’s not available from a Realtor who focuses on condo sales.
While all real estate professionals must meet educational requirements to enter the profession and take mandatory continuing education to remain registered, a Realtor may have additional skills that can benefit you.
What is your approach to the buying or selling process?
Ask what you can expect during the buying or selling process. Can the Realtor give you a guideline of the ups and downs of a typical buying or selling timeline in the local area? Be careful if the Realtor offers too many absolutes or exactly defined answers – the market is volatile and any answer is an educated estimate based on knowledge and experience.
If you’re buying, ask how the Realtor will help you search for suitable properties and aid in negotiations. If you’re selling, ask how the representative will market your home to help attract prospective buyers. By understanding the Realtor’s approach, you will be better able to determine which Realtor’s philosophy and methods align with your own preferences.
What services will be included?
It’s critical to discuss your particular needs and expectations with a Realtor that you are considering working with. A Realtor may have their typical system and plan ready to put into place to help you, but if that plan doesn’t align with your needs, it’s not a good plan. Like they say on Sesame Street – “Cooperation makes it happen!”
Some questions you could pose might be about having professional photos taken? Open houses? Advertising locations? Understanding exactly what services will be provided, and later documenting it in your written contract, will help avoid misunderstandings later on.
Which neighbourhoods do you primarily work in?
Does the Realtor have a working knowledge of the area around your property? Does the Realtor typically work in the area where you’re looking to buy or sell? A Realtor who has extensive knowledge of the area may be able to suggest neighbourhoods that will suit your preferences while also pointing out potential drawbacks and pending activities or changes in the area. Also, do they have experience with the type of home you’re looking to buy or sell? What about the Realtor’s knowledge of pending activity in the area or knowing what resources to investigate to find out this information by checking in with municipalities, newspapers, local community groups, registry offices, etc? These can all factor in to the ease of your purchase or sale.
Can you provide a comparative market assessment (CMA)?
When selling, you’ll want to understand where your home fits in the marketplace. Through a CMA, a Realtor will explain where they see the market, where your property fits in the market, and help you understand why. You should get a sense of how long homes typically take to sell and an expected price range. Every Realtor should have the same information available to them, but their interpretation of the market may differ.
As a buyer, you’ll want to get an understanding of market conditions in the area where you’re looking to buy. Will you be under time pressure to act? What are the expected costs of the buying and inspection processes as well as other related expenses?
Do you work on your own or as part of a team?
Some Realtors work as part of a team to be able to provide seamless service during sick days, holidays, or when the market may demand attention to multiple spots at the same time. To confirm your chosen Realtor’s day-to-day involvement in your process, it’s important to have clear lines of communication and share your expectations. If possible, before committing to a representation agreement, set out in writing who your primary contact will be at the brokerage and what their involvement will be throughout the process.
Ask how many other clients are you working with at this time? While there is no right or wrong answer to this, it’s a good gauge of how much time a Realtor may be able to dedicate to you versus how many streams of real estate business that Realtor may have at their disposal in their search for a buyer for your property or in finding a new listing for you to view as a buyer.
How will you keep me informed?
Communication is key in most relationships, and this one is no different. Will the Realtor meet your expectations for market updates? Every Realtor and every client will have different thoughts about what ‘regular contact’ is and how frequent it will be. Will you receive updates on a pre-defined schedule or will it be on an as-needed basis? Will they contact you via phone, email, text message, or other? What hours do they keep? Are they accessible early in the morning, in the evening, and on weekends?
What are the fees that I will need to pay?
Real estate service fees can vary between brokerages and even between Realtors, so be sure to understand what services you will receive and at what cost. In Ontario, as of 2016, commissions can be a flat fee, a percentage of the sale price, or a combination of both – all subject to agreement between you and the brokerage. Keep in mind that, as with most things, the cheapest deal is not necessarily the best deal. Ask one realtor to compare and contrast their service offering with that of another. Can the realtor give you an estimated net cost for a sale or purchase.
Many Realtors may even offer a set of different fee structures depending on the sale process, how many Realtors are involved, the timing of it all, and other factors. Make sure they are all spelled out clearly.
Do you have references?
As with most job interviews, getting in touch with references or examining reviews is an important step before hiring someone. Ask the Realtor what input they can provide. The Oldford Team tries to keep an up to date of voluntarily provided reviews here: www.oldford.ca/testimonials
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