When you are buying or selling a property, the outcome of your real estate experience can result in a huge change in your life. You want to make sure your expectations are met in every way, and that what was promised gets delivered.
Before you start working with a realtor ask him/her these five questions. There are no right or wrong answers – the questions are to ensure you receive your desired outcome and the level of service you are seeking:
Will I be dealing with you throughout the entire process?
Many realtors work on a team, and therefore the realtor you meet with initially may or may not be the realtor you deal with throughout the buying/selling process. To ensure you continue working with the realtor of your choice, ask if you will be working with them directly, or if they bring in their team members at any point.
You do real estate full-time, right?
If you are a serious buyer or seller you want to make sure that you are working with a full-time realtor who dedicates their day to studying the market and identifying opportunities within it. There are some people who do real estate part-time and work at another job Monday – Friday. As a consumer, you have the option to have a full-time, seasoned expert working on your behalf. Make sure your realtor is informed and can act quickly on opportunities as they present themselves. It’s a good bet when it comes time to negotiate that the other party has professional representation from a full-time realtor – make sure that you aren’t left at a disadvantage with someone who is still “learning on the job”!
What is your website and will you list my property on your site?
A professional realtor will have a professional site where they display their current listings. You want to ensure your property has the most exposure possible, and therefore ask if the listing will appear on their site, their company site, and the MLS site. You want your property to be listed on multiple sites for maximum visibility in the market. Top realtor websites are connected to the IDX – this is the “Information Data Exchange”. The IDX system places your property on 70% of all agent websites and real estate portals. Ask if your property will participate in the IDX program. If the person you are talking to does not know that is, that’s a huge RED FLAG.
What is your success ratio, and how do you stand out in the market?
You will want to ensure your agents’ listings to sales conversion record is solid and they have a good reputation in the industry. You may be surprised to learn that not every property sells – even in the hottest Sellers Markets, over 10% of listings do not sell, and this number greatly increases in Balanced and Buyers Markets. If an agent claims they have always sold all their listings, they may be new and/or have not listed many properties. With that said, listing your property on the MLS is the best way to sell a property, and generally, brings the highest possible price with a minimum of hassle. Make sure your realtor will provide unique solutions that will make your property stand out and gain traction over the competition. Finally, don’t be shy about asking for examples of their past sales performance and copies of marketing materials as a reference.
What is it that you will do differently?
Real estate as an industry has seen enormous innovation and growth in the past 10 years. On the Selling side, high-quality marketing employs the use of interactive 3D VR Virtual tours of properties, video and drone footage, dedicated micro-websites with search engine optimization (SEO), Google Mapping, and background analytics of your properties’ marketing performance. As a Buyer, you should expect up-to-the-minute updates on new listings. Top realtors will connect you to systems like the Toronto Real Estate Board Collaborate Portal, which offers enhanced MLS information. You should also ask about their experience with different types of inventory (freehold, condo, commercial), and ask about what professional designations they have. Leading experts in the field will connect you with reams of curated information that will better position you to make your next move your best move.
If a realtor is hesitant to answer your questions, you should keep looking until you feel 100% comfortable. This experience is all about YOU, so take the time to find the right partner – it is worth the wait! For all your real estate needs contact Shirriff Wells today.