IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR REALTOR
Following last week’s "TOP MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN CHOOSING A REALTOR", we continue the conversation this week with questions you should ask when interviewing a realtor to represent you in the sale of your home.
1. DO YOU WORK ON YOUR OWN OR AS PART OF A TEAM?
If the broker you are interviewing works as part of a team, it may be that he or she will not be the only one handling the sale of your home. That can often be an advantage, as a team can usually offer a higher level of service. But not all teams are created equal. You should know up front exactly how the team functions and you should be able to meet the other brokers and support staff you will be working with.
2. HOW MANY CLIENTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY REPRESENTING?
There is no magic number to look for here. If the number seems very high or very low, consider both a red flag. You want someone with a thriving business, but who still has time to devote to guiding you through every step and making sure you are as prepared as possible to make all the important decisions along the way.
3. HOW MANY HOMES DID YOU SELL LAST YEAR?
This will give you an idea of the volume of listings a real estate broker or team is used to handling. This number alone is not enough to base a decision on, but keep in mind that a very high number may mean the broker is not able to give each client as much personal attention, whereas a very low number could be a clue that the broker is perhaps not a listing broker and works primarily with buyers, or is not a top performer. Asking for a summary of sold listings with the average number of days on the market and list-to-sale price ratio is a good way to gauge their track record and efficiency.
4. WHAT’S THE PRICE RANGE OF MOST OF THE HOMES YOU HAVE SOLD?
You probably already have a ballpark figure in mind for your home’s value. Does the broker you’re considering typically represent homes in that price range? If most of their sales are in a far higher or lower price range, they may not be as familiar with how to market your home effectively.
5. HOW MANY HOMES HAVE YOU SOLD IN MY AREA?
If the broker hasn’t sold many homes in your neighbourhood, they are probably not as familiar with the local market and probably don’t have a solid network of buyers. Knowledge of your neighbourhood and a good relationship with other local real estate brokers are huge assets that are often overlooked by sellers.
6. WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO DETERMINE THE MARKET VALUE OF MY HOME?
The realtor you choose to work with should ask you detailed questions about the age and condition of anything that could impact the sale price of your home. This includes things like the roof, heating system, windows & doors, as well as any repairs that may be needed. They should also have this information for all the comparable homes currently listed and recently sold in your area. Be wary of any broker that just looks around your home, pulls out a few comparable listing sheets and then throws out a price without having done the necessary homework, as this will greatly increase your risk of making a critical pricing error.
7. HOW WILL YOU MARKET MY HOME?
There is a lot more to marketing a house than putting a For Sale sign on the lawn. Do they offer home staging services? Will professional photos be taken? How about 3D virtual tours, floor plans and walk-through property videos? In addition to Centris, how many websites or social media channels will your home be featured on? What strategies will they use to attract the ideal buyer for your home? A good marketing plan can be the difference between an effective sale and a home that languishes on the market.
8. WHAT ARE THE NEGATIVES OF MY HOME?
You are not looking for rainbows and unicorns here. Any broker worth their salt should be able to name several potential drawbacks to selling your home, from repairs to location and decor. That said, you will be spending a good deal of time with your real estate broker, so seek out someone with a realistic but tactful approach.
9. WHAT TYPE OF SUPPORT STAFF OR RESOURCES DO YOU HAVE?
This could include anything from admin support, professional photographers, stagers, videographers, translators, contractors, tradespeople and assistant brokers who can all offer tremendous value to the process. A well supported broker will have more time to generate qualified buyers for your home.
If you are thinking of selling or would like some honest advice on how to get top dollar for your home while avoiding unpleasant surprises, feel free to reach out. Call 514-700-2604 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You should also consider joining the Homeowners Advisory Club. It’s the first real estate concierge service designed to help you protect and maximize the value of your home over time. We would be happy to offer our guidance and advice with absolutely no obligation on your part.