What you want is more than an agent. You want an ally. A partner who you can trust who will put your needs first. Most Vancouver realtors will say that they are looking out for you, but you need to make sure that is true-are they putting your needs before their own? Many people look out only for themselves, so you need to know where to look to find a realtor who recognizes and lives up to their duty to you. I think important characteristics of a good realtor are:
1. They are ethical. Your real estate agent should never be out for the fast money. They need to do the right thing, every time. When it comes to the agent-client relationship, it is much like a legal scenario, where you have an expert dispensing advice based on their experience. Trust is key. If you cannot trust your realtor, you should not listen to your realtor.
2. They have a legal background. Now most realtors are not going to be lawyers but a strong legal background and continually keeping up on real estate law is key. If you have the opportunity to seize a realtor that knows the fine details of a contract, or the environmental ramifications of finding an oil tank on a property, it can save you some legal bills and definitely headaches, down the road.
3. They should have lifelong or even better generations of experience. Again, not an absolute pre-requisite, but if you find someone who has a passion for real estate AND a long career in it or if you find one who has three generations of Vancouver realtor experience (ie. I watched my grandfather and father run their real estate companies-and have loved it my entire life), they might have more than a few nuggets of wisdom to pass on.
4. They know how to negotiate. A nice guy realtor will only get you so far. Even if you can trust him and he knows the market, if he has no teeth, he’s going to end up losing you money. You need a pitbull. Tenacious and fierce, but on your side.
5. They understand the market. It’s one thing to be fierce and another to have a savvy knowledge of how the market works. When to buy, where to buy. It’s this secret weapon style of insider knowledge that will put you ahead in the game.
6. They are one of the best. There’s a Medallion Club in Vancouver for the top 10% of realtors. Make sure your Vancouver realtor is in it.
If you can find a Vancouver REALTOR® that covers all of the bases above, you have yourself a gem, and I suggest you hang on to her.