The most important thing you can do is invest the time to interview and evaluate up to five Realtors. Not all Realtors are the same. Just because one Realtor may dominate your neighbourhood doesn’t mean they are the best Realtor to sell your home. The only way to know for sure is to interview several of them.
The best place to start is by getting recommendations from friends, relatives, acquaintances who have recently transacted in real estate. Realtors particularly appreciate clients that have been referred. You can also note who has been selling homes in your area or go online to search out those who have been busy in your community or neighbourhood and contact them directly.
Meet with several Realtors. As many as it takes until you feel the fit is just right.
Remember that your Realtor will be your trusted counselor, guide, voice and negotiator. Feel good about being with them because they will be right there with you for some time. Be selective in your choice. You don’t have to love, love, love them or their personality. You do have to respect them and have complete confidence in their abilities. Please don’t choose a Realtor just because they gave you the highest price estimate on your house. In fact, be very wary of a Realtor whose valuation is considerably above the others. Ask for justifications.
My close friend/relative is a Realtor, do I use them?
Selling a home is very serious business. Sometimes it is not the best strategy to mix business with friendship or family. If something goes wrong or if you are experiencing challenges along the way it is much easier to objectively confront a detached professional rather than someone with whom you will be sharing the next holiday dinner. Sometimes, friends and relatives would work particularly diligently for you too and would be the best choice. Objectively assess their capabilities and past performances with others before signing on the dotted line. If you feel obligated to use a friend/family member but you don’t think they will do the best job for you, rest assured that there are alternate ways to involve them in the transaction. It is not unheard of for two Realtors to split a listing or for one Realtor to pay the other a referral fee. Discuss the options with the Realtor that you would prefer to use.
QUESTIONS TO ASK REALTORS
- Here are some questions you can ask Realtors to see if they are right for you:
- What is your track record? How many homes / condos have you sold over the last two years?
- How many homes similar to mine have you sold?
- Would you mind if I speak with one of those past clients?
- What specific services will you provide me?
- Will I be dealing with you or your team/assistant throughout the process?
- How would you go about pricing my house?
- Are you a full-time Realtor?
- How long do you expect it would take to sell my house?
- What exactly will you do to prepare and market my home? Do you develop a unique, custom marketing plan for each home?
- What team support do you have in place to assist you in your efforts to sell my house?
- What are your fees? What will they be if you find the buyer?
- Is there anything extra that I will be expected to pay for?
- How do you communicate with your sellers? How frequently?
- Do you have any statistics pertaining to Days on Market for your listings and how closely they sold to their asking prices?
- What role will your brokerage play in the transaction?
REALTOR REVIEW QUESTIONS
Here are some questions you can ask yourself about each candidate afterwards:
- Does the Realtor work for a respected and reputable Brokerage?
- Did you trust that Realtor?
- Does the Realtor appear to be honest?
- Is the Realtor familiar with your area?
- Has the Realtor sold comparable properties to yours or did they just give you a song and dance routine?
- Is the Realtor professional?
- Is the Realtor a good listener?
- Is the Realtor organized?
- Is the Realtor genuinely interested in helping you achieve your goals?
- Does the Realtor quickly return your calls / e-mails?
- Did the Realtor ask you appropriate questions?
- Does the Realtor explain things well?
- Does the Realtor seem knowledgeable?
- Does the Realtor make you feel comfortable when spending time with them?
- Do you think the Realtor would be willing to diligently work on your behalf until your needs are fulfilled?
- Does the Realtor come referred?
- Does the Realtor have sufficient experience?
- Does the Realtor work full-time in the real estate profession?
- Does the Realtor possess knowledge in your marketplace?
- Does the Realtor appear to be too busy to do a good job for you?
- Did the Realtor provide straightforward and reliable information?
- Does the Realtor have your respect?
- Does the Realtor have a detailed and specific marketing plan?
- Does the Realtor have a digital marketing initiative?
- Does the Realtor have a communication procedure in place to keep you updated and informed?
- Does the Realtor have a summary of how close to initial asking price their listings have sold?
- Does the Realtor have a summary of how many days it has taken to sell their recent listings?