10 Essential Questions to Ask your Real Estate Agent (Buyer Edition)

With the sheer volume of real estate salespeople currently working in the downtown core, how can you, as a buyer, find the real deal?

Whether you’re venturing into your first condo purchase or you’re a veteran investor, you might want to think twice about calling your cousin Bob the Realtor (and if you already have, make sure you grill him with our comprehensive list of questions below!)

And don’t forget to bookmark our website and sign up to receive all the latest listings, market updates, and more!

1.  Will I receive frequent updates on real estate activity in my desired area, including price changes, new listings, and properties that have returned to the market?

We’ve all heard the story – a “show and sell” agent who only shows you properties when you reach out and ask them to. Maybe you got the new home you wanted at the time – but did your agent do everything in their power to ensure your search was comprehensive? Or did you have a nagging feeling of “missed opportunity”?

You want to make sure that your agent is working hard to get you the very best home for your money – prioritizing YOU and your family, even when you aren’t watching.

2. How will you make sure my needs are attended to during and after my home search?

An important aspect of the home search is being adaptable to change – you may find that you don’t think you need a balcony, but then you see a condo without one and… you want one! That’s a standard part of the process. You don’t want your real estate agent to become your tech support, so ask what systems they have in place to send you available listings, AND if those systems are adjustable from your end.

Once you have a firm deal, does your agent have a dedicated operations/admin team, who will watch over your deal and guide you through the closing process? Given that most real estate agents are often working outside of the office, you want to make sure someone is always on top of your deal, who can communicate with you consistently and handle any bumps along the way. You may also feel awkward calling or messaging your agent for smaller questions like, “How do I change my address?” and “How do I book my moving elevator?” – and these questions do need answering! An administrator/operations team is the perfect person to direct these kinds of questions to.

3. Are you a full-time real estate agent, or part-time?

You’d be surprised how many real estate agents see their profession as an “extra” source of income – often holding other part-time jobs on the side. Industrious though this may be, when it comes to the purchase of your new home, do you want to run the risk that when you need them, your agent is busy on shift elsewhere?

4. Are you a solo agent or do you work with a team?

When you imagine your “ideal” real estate agent – is that agent running around juggling an overload of listing, buyer and lease clients? Or do they have a consistent work schedule, a dedicated role within a cohesive team structure, and an administrator that is always available to help you? Ask your agent how a team structure works to your advantage as a buyer.

5. Besides MLS, what other sources do you use to find properties for sale?

What resources does your agent utilize to find available properties, besides the standard MLS parameter search? What relationships and search systems does your agent have within their brokerage that they can leverage to find you the best new home? Does your agent have connections that could help get you access to exclusive off-market and pre-construction listings?

6. Do you specialize in working with buyers or sellers, purchasing condos or houses?

Be sure to ask your agent what their area of focus is in the real estate business – do they have experience writing offers for condos or houses, and getting those offers accepted? What track record do they have that demonstrates this? Are they well-versed in the purchase side of the real estate transaction?

7. How many properties have you sold this year? In the past 5/10/15 years?

When it comes to choosing an agent, past performance is an indicator of future results. If their number seems low, why might this be? If it seems high, what follow-up systems do they have in place to manage a large database of clients?

It’s always good to get an idea of your agent’s historic performance, as knowledge of market change and growth is essential to maintain a grounded and informed perspective.

8. What is your availability to show me homes?

Is your agent prepared to be available whenever you need them? After all, you never know when the perfect property might pop up! And just in case your agent is busy, do they also have a team of knowledgeable agent contacts who can help you in a jiffy?

9. Do you have associated vendors/lawyers/mortgage brokers who can advise me?

Ask your real estate agent what kind of support staff and associated vendors they have available to help you. For a home or condo purchase, you will need a lawyer and a mortgage broker at minimum, and this can be intimidating if you don’t already have these contacts at hand. You definitely want to look for similar qualities in these professionals that you look for in your agent – responsive, knowledgeable, and reliable.

10. Will you keep in touch with me after the sale or will I have to find another agent when I’m ready to sell my home?

After a home purchase, plenty of real estate agents are content to leave their clients’ names collecting dust in their database. Ask your agent how they maintain long-term relationships with their clients (and if they don’t, ask yourself why those one-time clients might not come back).

With this list of questions at hand before you meet a prospective agent, you will be more than prepared to get a well-rounded picture of their business.

If you have any questions about buying or selling real estate in downtown Toronto, you can reach out anytime directly at 647-973-8392, via email at livelovetorontoteam@gmail.com, or you can connect with us through our website aCondoInTheCity.com.


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