Buying or selling a home is one of the most complex transactions most of us will ever make, and Coronavirus hasn’t made the process any easier. While some agents are advising their clients to wait until the pandemic and social distancing orders are lifted before proceeding with non-essential transactions, some people still need to buy or sell a home, and they need help doing it. As a consumer, you have a choice in representation. When choosing to work with real estate agent, you should expect a professional with market experience and an intimate knowledge of your preferred neighbourhood and housing type. Throw a pandemic into the mix to quickly find out which agents are worth their salt. Indeed, current market conditions have many people asking, How do you find a real estate agent virtually?
What is Agency Representation?
Agency Representation (or fiduciary representation), simply means that the agent you hire is legally bound to represent your interests. This involves the highest standard of care and loyalty to you, the “client.” Some agents will work with you as a “customer,” which carries a different level of responsibility. Most real estate professionals require a client relationship because it allows them to provide the full range of services to homebuyers. Your agent will discuss representation with you and will request your commitment in writing in order to receive this level of service.
Virtual Real Estate: The New Normal
It goes without saying right now, but we’ll say it anyway: technology is everything. Tech has long loomed over the real estate industry, and agents who have already embraced it in their day-to-day business are now reaping the rewards – and so are their clients. Social distancing measures have disrupted traditional real estate practices like open houses, showings and face-to-face meetings of any kind, but technologically adept agents have found effective ways to complete real estate transactions virtually and from a safe distance. Your search for a real estate agent should include a virtual consultation and preliminary interview. Make this your first evaluation point. How did the agent handle his or her technology? Did your video meeting run smoothly? This may be a good precursor for what you can expect during the transaction itself.
More Tips for Choosing a Good Real Estate Agent
Do your due diligence. Research real estate agents online, read reviews, and solicit recommendations from family and friends. Client and agent referrals account for 70 per cent of business.
Choose someone you trust. A home is a very intimate, very expensive purchase. It’s critical that your real estate agent makes you feel comfortable, listens to you and respects your views. Choose someone you trust.
Look for experience. Ask questions to ensure the agent is knowledgeable about current real estate market conditions and other factors affecting market activity, such as mortgage rates. An experienced, full-time real estate professional will likely have already experienced market ups and downs, and will know how to navigate current conditions to negotiate the best deal on your behalf.
Undivided attention. While you want an agent with lots of experience, ask how many other clients he or she is working with currently. Generally speaking, if it’s a high number of homebuyers or sellers, question whether you’ll get the attention required. Pilon Group agents who carry the ABR designation (Accredited Buyer Representative) are skilled in understanding and responding to the specific needs of buyers.
Regardless of the market conditions or the specific details of your purchase, the right real estate agent will ensure that your interests become their interests.
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