Blog by Laura Barkman

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4 Things to Look for in a Real Estate Agent

Having professional help can get you closer to landing your dream home quickly and easily. 
Buying a home can be an exciting, yet extremely stressful time in your life. But before you sign on the dotted line, one of the first, and most important decisions you will have to make is trying to find the right real estate agent for the job.

Here are a few things to consider before you start your search for a real estate agent.

1. Time and expertise
Some agents sell real estate part-time as a hobby, for extra income, or because they are semiretired. Full-time real estate agents will be more in tune with the ins and outs of the market. They will also have ongoing and established connections within the industry, and will be more easily accessible when you need them. 

That said, part-time agents might have more time to dedicate to you. The real-estate market can be unpredictable, and it can also move fast -- so it’s important that your agent is able to connect with you in a timely fashion. There is nothing more frustrating than inquiring about a property and not hearing back for days.

2. Location, location, location
If you are looking to purchase a home in a particular neighbourhood, a great option is to find a real estate agent who specializes in that area. When you find someone who has a consistent presence in a particular community, she will generally have the right market insight and knowledge that you need.

3. The right tech tools
The Internet is a huge marketing tool, and if your agent doesn’t have an up-to-date website, a smart phone or a social media presence, chances are he could be missing out on potential networking opportunities, business, and vital information. Ask how he stays on top of the market and clients' needs.

4. Personal fit
Chances are, you will be working with your real estate agent for months, trying to find that dream property. So make sure you take the time to get to know her and her style. Does she have your best interests in mind, or is she focused on her commission? How much individual attention do you want?

There is a huge range of professionalism, knowledge and experience when it comes to matching yourself with the perfect real estate agent. Some first-time homebuyers want to have their hand held through the entire process, while others are looking for a more independent buying experience. 

Great real estate agents will listen to what you want, and then tailor their skills and personality to the kind of experience you are looking for. 

What do you look for in a real estate agent?