By Geoff Kirbyson
If you want to find the best REALTOR® to help you buy or sell a house, take a look in the mirror.
No, this isn’t a call to go out and get your real estate licence.
But people who are like you — or are in a similar life situation — can often be the most suitable REALTORS® for you because they know precisely what you’re looking for.
“We have REALTORS® with young kids and the bulk of their business is with people who have young children. They relate to them, they get what they’re going through,” said Catherine Schellenberg, president of WinnipegREALTORS®.
“They understand the importance of main floor laundry and a safe play area for the kids. You might not have that kind of connection with somebody who is older.”
By the same token, if you’re looking to buy a house and then strip it down to the studs, you’re probably going to want to work with a REALTOR® who has a lot of experience with renovations.
“They have a Rolodex of contractors that they can rely on,” she said.
Another significant portion of the population do their research the old-school way and talk to friends and family about who they’ve worked with in the past and whether they’d recommend working with them in the future.
Every REALTOR® worth their salt has a website, complete with pictures, a biography, their area or areas of expertise and some testimonials from clients. You can search for REALTORS® on the Real Estate News website (winnipegrealestatenews.com) that contains comprehensive details and bios for almost all the members of WinnipegREALTORS®. Regardless of where you find REALTOR® information, this is the first step people take towards qualifying a REALTOR® and it’s typically followed up by a phone call and then a face-to-face meeting.
This is a far cry from the pre-Internet days when REALTORS® would actively seek out business by knocking on doors in particular neighbourhoods and dropping off brochures in mailboxes.
Schellenberg said most REALTORS® try to include as much information about themselves as possible because you never know what the touchpoint will be with a would-be homeowner. Your research could also include checking out Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
“Somebody might connect with a REALTOR® because of a hobby they list on their website. They might be a cyclist, plant a garden every summer or love to travel. That’s why some REALTORS® are on social media, to put out there what they like to do and take pictures while travelling,” she said.
Choosing the right REALTOR® for yourself is the primary step when you’re trying to buy or sell a home. Every REALTOR® will ensure your real estate transaction will be completed professionally and compentantly. A REALTOR® will be with you every step of the way, taking care of the details with expertise and experience. No matter which REALTOR® you choose, you will find a professional committed to serve with integrity and competence.
Once you have narrowed down a few potential REALTORS®, interview them to determine if they are the right fit for you. REALTORS® are professionals who wish to work with you to create a mutually beneficial partnership. Questions you may ask include:
“How familiar are you with my area?”
“What kind of marketing plan will you use for my property?”
“How much do you charge?”
“Will you provide references?”