When you’re ready to think about buying or selling a home, one of the most important decisions you can make is who you will choose to help you with this large financial transaction. A real estate broker is a licensed professional that works for you, representing your interests at all times. In general, you are looking for a broker with good knowledge of the market who is confident in their ability to aggressively negotiate a transaction on your behalf.
But how do you select the right broker for you? Here are a few questions you can ask before you sign an agreement to work with a broker:
1. What services will you provide for me as my broker?
Make sure you are both on the same page as to what type of services will be provided, the frequency/type of communication and their hours of availability.
2. What kind of support do you have?
You want to understand how confident your broker is in their abilities to serve you as a buyer or seller. Some brokers work independently, and their time is divided between all their clients. You have one contact person throughout the process, but sometimes they are pressed for time with another client. Other real estate brokers work on a team, where each team member is responsible for aspects of the transaction. You get a specialist in each step but you may work with a variety of people/personalities (and schedules).
Members of the Fresh Look Real Estate team works as a hybrid model; each broker works independently with their clients, so you have one main contact person throughout the transaction.But each broker supports each other, in case of last-minute client needs. All Fresh Look Real Estate brokers are supported by a head office that ensures accuracy in paperwork and smooth transactions.
3. What paperwork is involved now and throughout the transaction?
Listen intently as the broker reviews the paperwork involved. They can provide examples of blank contracts, so you can read them thoroughly before ever needing to sign them. A good broker can confidently explain what paperwork is needed and walk you through each step. At this point, the broker will typically present you with a buyer’s agreement. The agreement defines how the broker is paid and commits you to them for a period of time, protecting both you and the broker. This allows them to work diligently on your file, knowing that you’re both committed to the process. Basically, you have “hired” the broker, usually for 6 months at a time, to represent you -- providing them with ample time to complete your transaction.
4. Can you please explain how you are paid?
Most brokers are paid on commission - they only receive payment once the home purchase is complete. Others use a fee for service or a team model. Understand how your broker is paid to fully understand their motivation. Brokers with Fresh Look are paid on commission (typically paid by the seller, not the buyer!)
Hired! Once you have chosen a broker, stick with them throughout the process as long as you see them working hard for you. Depending on the market, your financing and a variety of other factors, it could take up to 6 months to complete a real estate transaction. The next step is hiring your mortgage broker. Your real estate broker can refer you to a few and you can inquire with your primary bank for a mortgage loan. Check back next week when we’ll cover what you need to know about choosing a mortgage lender.
Fresh Look would love to help you with your real estate journey. Contact us today to get started!
Find a broker