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Thanks to Canada’s real estate boom, finding a real estate agent seems pretty easy. Almost everywhere you go in a major city there’s an ad for an agent or a team who’s willing to take your business. But if you’re buying or selling a luxury property, you don’t want just any real estate agent, you want someone who knows the luxury market, especially in the region you’re looking. For example, the Vancouver luxury condo market is quite different than the high-end resort property market in Ontario’s cottage country. Here’s how to find, and vet, your next agent.

Go to luxury open houses. Make a point of scouting open houses for properties that are similar to the one you’re planning to buy or sell. The agent conducting the open house likely works for a brokerage that’s experienced in selling similar homes and they probably know the local market. 

Ask in your building or neighbourhood. If you own a luxury home or condo and are planning to sell, ask local residents if they have any recommendations. It can really pay to find an agent that knows the ins and outs of your particular street or building. Don’t forget your concierge! After all, they’re in charge of signing agents in and out and might know who is an expert in your particular building.

Ask your professional networks. Sometimes it pays to think outside the real estate world. Your golf or recreational friends already have common ground with you and they might have some contacts to recommend. Don’t forget about any professional associations or networking groups you belong to.

Use social media, but with caution. The pervasiveness of social media has enabled real estate agents everywhere to put themselves in front of millions of eyeballs. And while tapping into certain hashtags or online groups might turn up lots of “luxury” agents courting your business, keep in mind that anyone can call themselves a luxury expert. Make sure you look at their past sales and do some research on their brokerage before making their decision. Then, ask for references.