A good real estate agent is key when you are looking for that perfect home for you and your family. An agent will be able to show you houses in your price range, in your chosen neighbourhoods, with the amenities you need, and will be able to point out important factors when you are choosing between different potential homes. There are a lot of real estate agents, so it's important that you pick the one that will be the most helpful to you. Hopefully the agent you choose will have spent time using a custom designed real estate web site service so that finding your ideal home or condo will be simple and quick. (Click here for more on websites and search engines.) Here are some areas to consider when looking for an agent:
Referrals. Probably the most important factor when it comes to choosing an agent is the impression they've left with those they've helped before. If you have friends or family who have bought a home recently, ask whom they used and what they thought about the service they received. References from people you trust are by far the most reliable way to evaluate an agent; you may end up working with a younger agent who is relatively unknown but who is a super server, or a seasoned agent who really knows her way around the market. Either way, referrals are the best starting point when you are looking to choose an agent.
Experience. When you lack a network of previous home buyers in the area, the next best thing to consider is the experience of the realtor with whom you are thinking about working. The recent boom in London has led many, many people to give realty a shot as a career. Honestly, many of these people see being a real estate agent as a chance at some easy money. They don't know the ropes of the business; they have not seen everything a veteran agent has come across through the years. All other things being equal, if it comes down to an agent who has just started out in the field or one who has been active in the industry for five years or more, go with experience.
Attention. Some real estate agents will take on too many clients at once, in order to sell to a few. What you want is an agent who will make you a priority, and who can work with you one on one until you find your dream home. This is where a more experienced realtor might not actually be the best choice; new agents are eager to make a good impression and sometimes offer the best service in terms of attentiveness. Ask a potential agent if they truly feel they have the capacity to make the time for you in your quest for the perfect London home. It doesn't matter if you are looking for a small home in a quiet town or in a busy city, you deserve the same amount of attention from your real estate agent.
Contacts. Apart from all of these things, a really great agent will bring an extensive network into the process of buying your dream home. There are people involved well beyond you and the realtor when you are buying a home; lawyers, lenders, inspectors, surveyors, staging experts and handymen may all be needed on your side before the purchase of your home is truly complete. An agent who has solid connections in a lot of fields will be a tremendous help to you. The right contact in a hot market can make a big difference. For example, condos usually sell quickly in popular neighbourhoods. If your agent has good contacts she or he may be able to get the scoop before anyone else does.
Compatibility. Bear in mind that you may be spending a lot of time with this individual, and dealing with some very stressful and critical life decisions. Do not sign a contract with someone until you get the warm and fuzzy feeling that you'll make a good team. Finally, it doesn't matter if you are interested in buying a Chicago penthouse suite or an Ontario waterfront cottage, you need to have a good relationship with your agent.