choosing a realtor®
QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD BE ASKING
"Are you a full time agent?"
You want to make sure that your real estate agent is quick to respond and available when you need them. Working with someone who’s juggling another career or travelling regularly can be frustrating and end up affecting the deal at hand. Speed and availability in real estate is vital when it comes time to make an offer or negotiate. Furthermore, a full time agent doing regular deals will have more up-to-date knowledge on the state of the market and may know about upcoming listings of interest.
"Do you have referrals from past clients?"
A real estate agent should be able to provide you with various testimonials from past clients they’ve assisted, unless they are quite new in the career. Whether you read reviews on Google or Facebook, or ask for references, you will absolutely find value in asking for this information. Word of mouth goes a long way, especially in areas like Kingston, ON.
"How much do you charge/How do you get paid?"
In most cases, the seller is responsible for paying the full real estate commission, which is split between the buyer agent and the listing agent. However, the specifics of this commission may change depending on the transaction and the location. For example, the real estate commission charged in Kingston is different than in Ottawa and Toronto. Remember to ask the agent you're interviewing what you can expect to pay and if this amount changes under certain circumstances.
"Do you work with a team?"
You may find that you come across an agent who is in a partnership with another REALTOR® or part of a team of agents. It's important to know exactly who you will be working with and determine how well you connect with that person. You certainly don't want to be juggled between agents, based on availability.
"How long have you been an agent?"
Real estate agents vary widely in depth of experience, and you should consider whether you want someone just starting out in the field to help you navigate one of the largest financial transactions of your life – especially if it’s your first time and you’re not sure what to expect. An agent’s background and training can be really useful during negotiations or when evaluating properties during showings. A knowledgeable and experienced agent can point out red flags and protect your best interests throughout the transaction.
"What do you offer in terms of marketing a listing?"
Experienced agents should have a package to show you without being asked. You should ensure that you're getting a full marketing package which includes high quality photography, professional video and virtual tours, floor plans and social media advertising among other strategies. Your agent should also be available to host or organize open houses should you want to take this route.
"What happens if an unrepresented buyer wants to purchase my home?"
This is rare but does happen from time to time. You want to make sure that you talk to the prospective listing agent about this situation and know how they would handle it. It is important for the buyer and seller that there is no conflict of interest during the transaction. You should specifically ask the difference between client and customer representation and how much commission is charged under these circumstances. Determine whether or not you're comfortable with an agent double ending the deal or if you would prefer that your listing agent refers this buyer to a colleague.
I have been working as a Realtor in Kingston for over 6 years now and work under the Sutton Group Masters Realty Inc., Brokerage. I especially like working with first-time buyers, first-time sellers and clients interested in buying or selling condominiums in the area. I was born and raised in Kingston and know the city and local real estate market very well. If you are considering a move , please reach out to me by phone or email and I will answer any real estate questions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you!
Kim Purcell - Kingston Real Estate Agent
1650 Bath Road
Kingston, ON K7M 4X6