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Alumni News

Finding a Real Estate Agent

February 14, 2013

Real estate services have changed dramatically over the past decade. Years ago, you called an agent and they did the work for you. Today, 88% of consumers, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), search for properties online at their convenience, often taking advantage of virtual property showcases straight from the real estate company’s website. But since over 90% of consumers (NAR) still turn to an agent for help, they should devote time to finding the right person for the job, says 1998 Marketing graduate, Andrew Brest, who created a company to streamline this process. Sundaybell (an anagram for “buy and sell”) is a free online service allowing homebuyers and home sellers to meet and interview real estate agents in their area while remaining anonymous. 

“With the market shifting towards online relationship-building, it makes sense to ‘match up’ buyers and sellers with appropriate real estate agents. You need to know that your best interests aren’t taken lightly when investing such a large amount of money,” says Andrew.
And, for the agents, finding a client who is looking for their specific expertise is a much more cost effective, results-oriented way of growing their business, as opposed to spending thousands on mass advertising campaigns that may yield low results.”

Here are Andrew’s tips for choosing a real estate agent:

  • Don’t treat choosing an agent as a secondary thought in the buying process.
  • Find an agent who specializes in the area you are interested in. If you want to buy a condo, don’t hire an agent who isn’t an expert in condos.
  • Clarify the commission arrangements right away. Remember that all fees are negotiable.
  • Ask the agent how well they know your preferred neighbourhood.
  • Ask the agent exactly how they plan to sell your home.
  • Find out what kind of guarantee the agent or agency offers and ask for copies of the documents you will be asked to sign.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. The more you know the more you will trust the agent you ultimately choose.

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