Choosing a Realtor when selling

I can’t believe it is almost June. Life has certainly taken precedence over this blog lately. Getting my condo ready for sale took longer than expected. I also ran into a few somewhat unexpected issues.

All is now sorted and my condo is about to be listed. Choosing the right Realtor can make or break a sale, therefore should not be done lightly. One of the keys is to ask them plenty of questions, the more the better. You also need to do your own research about them.

  • Your Realtor needs to have a track of sales. This sounds obvious, but it is not always easy to verify. Don’t just rely on what the Realtor says. Ask for some tangible proof. If you live in the Greater Vancouver area, you can check the Medallion Club. The site lists the top 10% of sellers.
  • Real-estate needs to be their full-time job. Real-estate involves more than just selling or assist in buying. The regulations are also constantly changing and you need someone who is up-to-date and licensed.
  • They need to to be working where your property is. Each city and neighborhood are different. Buyers and prices will vary. If a Realtor doesn’t know the city and the neighborhood, they won’t be able to market and sell it at the right time, for the right price.
  • They need to charge a regular commission. The standard in BC is 7 % on the first 100K and 2.5% on the remaining balance. A Realtor splits the commission with the buyer’s agent. Some brokerage firms charge a flat dollar amount or they charge 2 or 3%. From a financial perspective, it is very tempting, but you are not helping yourself here. Let me elaborate a bit. If a Realtor charges you 2 or 3% of the selling price, the buyer’s agent is not getting much. I saw listings with a buyer’s commission at 0.5%…ridiculous! Buyers’ agents are not going to show your property if they won’t make any money! You probably won’t get much from your Realtor either, in terms of Marketing and Advertising. Ultimately, you get what you pay for.
  • They need to give you a realistic listing price. This is the most important point, and sometimes, the most difficult point for the seller. A lot of home owners have an inflated idea of what their home is worth. In a red hot market like Vancouver, it can be really exacerbated. Unfortunately, plenty of Realtors are more than happy to go along. It is called “buying a listing”. You are not helping yourself either here. If the price is too high, your home will linger on the market until your lower the price. Doing so will hit you further as prospective buyers may think you are desperate and open to low offers. Ask for a Comparable Market Analysis – CMA or Comps-. A CMA will tell you the recent sale price of similar homes in the area.
  • They need to have an actual marketing strategy. A sign on your lawn and a listing on the MLS won’t cut it those days. A new listing will get the most attention in the first month. After that, it becomes somewhat stale. Ask them how and where they will market your property, both online and offline.

Selling your home can be an emotional roller-coaster, particularly when you are attached to it. Choosing the right realtor can help you alleviate the stress. Ultimately, you need to work with someone you like and are comfortable with….as well as someone who does all of the above.

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