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How to pick the right realtor


Dear Heather,

I am just about to sell my home. How do I go about picking the right real estate agent?


Dear Seller,

Buying or selling a home can be a complicated and stressful experience. There can be a lot of moving parts involved that may come as a surprise to people who have never been through the process before. This is why having a great real estate agent is critical.

Picking the right agent isn’t always easy. When choosing, you almost have to treat the process like a series of job interviews, asking them specific questions and outlining your expectations and needs. Here are seven signs that you’ve made a great decision in picking your real estate agent:

1. You like being around them

You don’t have to be head-over-heels in love with your real estate agent but you need to at least enjoy being around him or her. You will spend a lot of time communicating with your agent so the relationship needs to be a good one to help make the experience as painless as possible.

There’s nothing worse than dealing with a person who you don’t like being around, especially if the going gets rough (and it can). If you don’t cringe at the sound of your agent’s voice then you might have found the right one.

2. They’re responsive and available

This point is non-negotiable. A good real estate agent will make themselves available to you and won’t leave you hanging when you’re waiting for a response. If your agent is not communicating with you regularly, they’re doing something wrong. The right agent understands how important and serious a real estate transaction is, and will always make sure to make your needs a priority.

3. They’ve asked you to get preapproved

If you’re a buyer and you haven’t spoken with a mortgage professional before going out and looking at houses, a good real estate agent will ask you to.

It might be frustrating if you don’t understand the reasons why but a good agent knows that it’s for your own benefit just as much as theirs.

There are a number of important things you might find out by going through the preapproval process, many of which you should know before spending any of your time searching for a home. A good agent knows this, and wants you to know as well.

4. They’re proactive and not just reactive

This is one indicator that will set the right agent apart from everyone else. The right agent will not just go through the motions and take orders, they will be proactive in marketing your home or helping you identify and find the right property for your needs.

For instance, instead of just sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring, the right agent will talk to you regarding a marketing plan for your property. Being proactive is a mark of a true real estate professional.

5. They’re honest with you, even when it hurts

Honesty in any relationship is imperative and this also applies to honesty in a real-estate relationship. The right agent will tell you the truth when you need to hear it, even if it’s inconvenient for them.

It takes a lot of guts to be honest with someone when it might cost you money, but it’s also an ethical imperative, and a great agent will always put their own character, honesty and integrity ahead of making money. And if they have to tell you the harsh truth — that your house is overpriced — the right agent will do that too.

6. They don’t give up easily

A real estate transaction very rarely goes off without a hitch these days and sometimes it feels as if the universe is conspiring to keep you from buying or selling a home.

But it’s much easier to throw your hands in the air and say I give up or someone else can figure this out, than it is to buckle down and come up with a solution. The right agent doesn’t give up, and will uncover a way to keep things moving even if it takes some creativity and some fortitude. The right agent fights for you, and doesn’t throw in the towel as soon as there is a blip on the radar.

7. They want to build a relationship

One of the best signs that you’ve picked the right agent actually occurs either before or after you work with them on a deal.

Even though real estate is transactional, the best agents look to build a relationship with their clients instead of just working with them on a deal and then disappearing.

If your agent stays in touch, presents themselves as a constant resource, and is in it with you for the long-haul, then you’ve definitely found the right one for you.

Heather Chilvers is among Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty’s leading sales representatives. She has been working in real estate for 27 years. If you have a question for Heather, please contact her at hchilvers@brcl.bm or 332-1793. All questions will be treated in confidence. Read this article on Facebook: Ask Heather Real Estate