Buying or Selling your House in Western Newfoundland and Labrador

Finding the Right REALTOR® for You: 10 Important Questions to Ask

December 7th, 2023
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Buying or selling a property requires fiery passion, steely confidence, curiosity, research, and trust in your REALTOR®. Once you go beyond casually browsing listings on, you’ll want to get in touch with a REALTOR®. All REALTORS® are held to the same professional standards, but as with anything, you’re going to click with certain people better than others. Plus, you’ll likely want a different REALTOR® if you’re buying a cottage deep in the country compared to buying a sky-high condo in a downtown core. 

Here are 10 questions to ask a REALTOR® to help you find the best fit for you and your needs.

Learn how your REALTOR® prefers to communicate

1. What kind of communication can I expect?

No one likes feeling ignored, so finding a REALTOR® who meshes with your communication style is key. 

“Clients want to know how much time you’ll have for them and this is quickly determined by your response time to calls, emails or texts,” says Jane Gardner, a REALTOR® and salesperson with Royal LePage Wolle Realty, Brokerage in Kitchener, Ontario

It’s also good to ask how your REALTOR® prefers to communicate. Are they a texter? Emailer? Phone caller? Can you get in touch with them at any time or do they only operate within set working hours? All scenarios are valid, but you’ll want to find someone who operates the same way you do.  

Understand the working style of the Realtor

2. What’s your working style?

Some people prefer a go-getter who’s going to hit the ground running. They’ll push, negotiate, and hustle until you find exactly what you need. Others may take a softer, more relaxed approach and let you navigate slowly, while still advocating on behalf of you and your specific needs. Think of it like a speed boat down the river versus a leisurely paddle board. Both get you to the end, but they’re different levels of intensity. If you need your home sold fast because you’re being relocated for work, the long winding, scenic route may not be for you.

Remember, REALTORS® are given the tools they need to be adaptable. They’ll work with you to find the best system and style, but asking this question can help ensure you’re on the same page from the start. 

Ensure the Realtor® is well-connected for referrals, particularly for home inspections and structural engineers

3. Are you well-connected?

Can the REALTOR® provide referrals for home inspectors or structural engineers? Can they confidently recommend local roofers, plumbers, or electricians with reliable track records? 

Wendy McAdoo, a REALTOR® and salesperson with Re/Max Hallmark First Group Realty, Brokerage in Kingston, Ontario, says she was “raised in real estate development” which allowed her to establish a network of industry connections to reliable professionals. 

This type of network can come in handy when it comes time to hire other professionals for your home buying experience, and can also help later down the line when it comes to renovating your home or making repairs. Most REALTORS® will have an address book of people to choose from, but if you’re buying a fixer-upper, a REALTOR® who has those specific connections might be a better fit for you.

For older or fixer-upper homes, choose a REALTOR® knowledgeable about project needs

4. How much do you know about home renovations?

If you’re buying an older home or a place you’re planning on fixing up, having a REALTOR® who understands what needs to go into the project could work in your favour. What do they know about updating knob and tube wiring? What would it cost to replace windows or insulation with higher R-value? What are the permitting requirements in the neighbourhood?

While it’s unrealistic to expect a REALTOR® to provide a bang-on estimate for every whim you might have, they can be a guide and help flag potential issues a home inspector might catch to save headaches in the long run.

Evaluate whether REALTORS® have in-depth knowledge of their communities

5. How are you involved in the community?

REALTORS® know their communities. Ask your agent about local festivals, neighbourhood associations, after-school programs, doctor’s offices, and even the best place to get a slice of pizza. Your REALTOR® should be able to help you find a neighbourhood that suits your needs, and they can provide support as you settle in after you buy. 

Though they’re not obligated to do volunteer and charity work, many REALTORS® also pride themselves in giving back to the communities they live and work in

For example, Gardner’s brokerage supports community initiatives like the Waterloo Region’s food bank and the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation—the largest public foundation dedicated exclusively to funding women’s shelters and violence prevention programs. 

It can be important to some people to find a REALTOR® who matches their own personal community involvement, which is why asking this question may help lead you to the right REALTOR®. 

Discover your REALTOR's marketing approach, and operations through their social media use

6. Are you on social media?

Understanding how a REALTOR® uses social media (if at all) could give you added insight into how they operate, what they’re like, and even their approach to marketing.

Choose a REALTOR® with rural experience for insights into land-related matters

7. What’s your professional area of expertise?

If you’re seeking a farm property or heritage home, both involve unique considerations. Finding a REALTOR® with rural experience can help you refine your search and provide you with educated answers surrounding land surveys, zoning, soil tests, wells, and history of the land. Likewise, a REALTOR® with knowledge of century homes should have current information on local heritage committee grants, exterior renovation allowances, asbestos removal, or estimates for replacing boiler systems and radiators.

If you have specific needs, it can be helpful to understand the REALTORS® background and complementary skills.

There are also additional REALTOR® designations to consider. To name a few, REALTORS® can obtain training as a(n): 

  • Certified Negotiation Expert
  • Military Relocation Professional
  • Accredited Land Consultant
  • Certified Leasing Officer
  • Senior Residential Appraiser
  • Certified Condo Specialist
  • Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
  • Certified New Home Specialist

Ask your potential REALTOR® about their designations, and how they might benefit you in your sale or purchase. 

Check if the realtor emphasizes clear communication and openly advises when a home may not suit your needs

8. What sets you apart from everyone else?

Lindy Brown, a REALTOR® and broker with Peak Realty, Ltd. In Waterloo, Ontario, is known for dropping tulips off on her client’s doorsteps. It’s an extension of her friendly nature that’s helped her establish quick trust in “a market that you don’t have time to take things slowly in.” 

McAdoo relies on clear communication and openly advising clients if a home doesn’t suit their needs. It’s about relationship building that continues long after the sale.

Discover the motivation behind their choice to become a REALTOR®

9. Why did you become a REALTOR®?

The stories are as varied and colourful as the clients a REALTOR® engages with. Maybe they built and sold doll houses as a kid. Maybe it’s a generational career bloodline. For many, it’s a desire to help others and be an integral part of a life-changing, celebrated purchase. Find a story that resonates with you.

Give your REALTOR® the opportunity to share their own story

10. Is there anything else I should know about you?

Give your REALTOR® the chance to share their story. Maybe they have a personal connection to the town that you relate to. Maybe they did the same type of move as you (interprovincial, downsizing, etc) and can offer some first-hand knowledge. 

It’s never too early to get in touch with a REALTOR®. Having an expert by your side while browsing listings on is the ultimate combination: access to information and tools like neighbourhood data, nearby amenities, demographics, and calculators at your fingertips, and, if you have any questions, your REALTOR® is only a phone call, email or text away!



Article by Jules Torti

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