When it comes to choosing a professional real estate team – from a Realtor to a lawyer and home inspector, what do you need to know before selecting who you are going to work with?
While there are a number of variables – if you’ve worked with the individual before, if they come referred by someone you trust and how much time you have to spend interviewing – there are some questions that you should ask before making any decisions, says Phil Dorner, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association.
“For starters, there are over 55,000 Realtors in Ontario so narrowing down your search can be a challenge! Look for someone whose knowledge and expertise best suit your needs by doing your research first and asking lots of questions,” says Dorner.
Here are some specific questions to ask Realtors, lawyers and home inspectors, courtesy of the Ontario Real Estate Association:
What to ask a Realtor:
- Registered in Ontario and a member of a real estate board?
- Credentials, background and references?
- Years of experience and area of focus?
- Recent sales and listings in the neighbourhood?
- Track record for getting list price?
- Knowledgeable about the market and financing options?
- Opinions on marketability of the home?
- Types of services on offer to assist with the buy/sell process?
What to ask a lawyer:
- Real estate experience? Number of real estate transactions handled?
- Availability outside working hours?
- Fee structure and services provide for fee?
- Estimate of all associated legal costs?
- How/when will you be alerted, should costs appear likely to exceed estimates?
What to ask a home inspector:
- What does the home inspection cover? Not cover?
- If further inspection is required, what then?
- Experience and qualifications?
- Cost of the inspection?
“The right real estate team will help guide you through the nuts and bolts of the transaction and really simplify the process – but be sure to ask all your questions up front and choose your team carefully,” says Dorner.