It is important to hire a Haliburton real estate agent that is up for the job. Ask your potential agent these 7 questions to help you make your decision.

Haliburton, a small town situated in Haliburton County, Ontario, is a favourite destination for people who love rural living and everything that comes with it.

Located a couple of hours away from Toronto, Haliburton is far enough away from the big city to give you access to tranquil lakes and abundant green spaces but close enough to make it relatively easy to visit when you want.

If you’re thinking about buying a waterfront property or a cottage in Haliburton, you’ll want to find a real estate agent who knows the area. He or she will have the expertise to help you navigate the real estate market.

In order to find the right realtor for your needs, here are seven questions to ask before you choose the realtor who will help you.

1. Can You Show Me Your Real Estate Agent License?

Just because someone calls themselves a realtor doesn’t necessarily make them a realtor. You’ll want to find a professional who is licensed before you sign on the dotted line for the representation you require.

If they can’t show you documentation proving their credentials, then your best course of action is to look elsewhere. A licensed realtor will be able to prove without a shadow of a doubt that he or she is licensed.

2. Have You Sold Any Homes in Haliburton?

It’s also important that you find a realtor who has actually sold properties in the region. Each market is different. So success in one real estate market doesn’t necessarily mean success in another real estate market.

What this means is that you’ll want to know that the realtor you hire knows the Haliburton real estate market. Otherwise, you’ll be at a disadvantage.

If you want to find a cottage by the lake, for example, then it makes sense to find a lakefront real estate agent who has experience representing people who buy or sell such properties.

The realtor should be able to provide proof of homes he or she has sold in Haliburton. It’s also a good idea to find a realtor who has been representing people looking for properties in the area for a long time. Experience counts.

3. Do You Have Any Referrals?

Whether you want to find a home builder, a flooring professional, or a skilled landscaper, you’ll want to know you’re making the right choice. This is why getting referrals is so important. The same applies to finding an agent.

You won’t want to find just any agent to help you through the buying process. You’ll want to find the best real estate agent to represent you. So ask for referrals.

When you get some referrals, call some of the agent’s former clients. If the agent cannot or will not provide you with some referrals, look elsewhere.

4. Can You Share Your List-to-Price Ratio?

You should also ask any real estate agents you contact for their list-to-price ratios. This refers to how many homes are put on the market versus how much these homes are ultimately sold for. You’ll want recent data, of course.

What should a good list-to-price ratio look like? While the specific real estate market factors into the equation, the list-to-price ratio should close to or greater than 90%. A really low list-to-price ratio is a red flag.

If you find an agent with a list-to-price ratio exceeding 100%, be wary. Some agents seek to get their clients to price their homes too low. This can result in sky-high list-to-price ratios.

5. What’s the Average Number of Days on the Market for Your Listings?

It’s also critical to ask any realtor you’re considering about the average number of days their listings remain on the market. Do they sell quickly after being put on the market or do they remain up for sale for a while?

The agents you’re interviewing should be able to provide printouts that back up whatever they tell you. You’ll be able to compare different agents in this way, and this will help you to whittle down your list of prospective agents.

6. What Are Your Realtor Fees?

You’ll also want to know what realtors charge for their services — and what they will do for the money you pay.

It’s common for agents to work on a split-commission basis where the listing agent splits the commission with the agent who represented the buyer.

But while considering the commission amount, focus on other things as well. An agent who charges a higher commission might go over and above the call to duty than an agent who charges a lower commission.

So a slightly higher commission might actually be a better overall deal for you.

7. Are You a Full-Time Realtor or a Part-Time Realtor?

It’s also important that you find out whether a realtor works full-time or part-time in the industry. Do you want a jack or jill of all trades who is a master of none of those trades? The answer is probably a definitive, “no.”

What you’ll want to find is a realtor who is a full-time agent. You’ll want to be able to get in touch with him to her, so you’ll want to know the agent’s full-time job is helping clients with their real estate needs.

Do You Want to Find the Right Haliburton Realtor?

When you’re ready to work with a dependable and reputable real estate agent in Haliburton, get in touch to learn how we can help you find the property you’re looking for. Also, feel free to check out our blog.