No agent can do it all. There. We said it.
An Ontario real estate license allows a person to sell everything from farms to large commercial buildings. (Those are just the facts; we have opinions about this, just as you likely do!)
The reality is that each type of property requires a certain depth of knowledge and understanding. Most agents self-regulate and try to focus on a niche where they can provide the best service. Some branch out mainly into commercial, others residential. Each of those sectors can be broken down further into sub-types.
When selling, you will want to work with a realtor who knows how to prepare, market, and sell what you own.
With so many age` out there, how do you choose the right one to handle your transaction? We have made a list of things to consider to help you narrow the field.
There are a few things that should make up the bare minimum requirements for an agent in 2020 and beyond.
1. Your agent should work at it full-time.
When your house is up for sale, you need to know that someone is there to handle potential buyers, answer questions, and deal with issues as they arise. In our fast-moving market, you cannot afford to have to wait for your representative to get off shift at a second job to take an important phone call.
2. They should have knowledge of the local market.
Just because a sales representative can sell anywhere in the province doesn’t mean that they should. For best results, it is important to work with an agent who knows your area and has access to local market data, activity, and recent sales numbers.
3. You should see a solid, proven marketing plan.
Buyers engage in predictable behaviours. Agents who understand how buyers shop will provide you with a marketing plan that includes a prominent online presence and wide exposure to potential buyers.
4. Your agent should be tech-savvy.
From a basic ability to communicate electronically to an understanding of the power of online marketing, technical skills get more important with each passing year. Often, this means having access to someone on a team who handles ‘the technical stuff’ for them. More on teams later!*
IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER
Besides basic competencies, there are other factors that will help you determine if an agent is a good fit for you. Here are some things to think about:
5. Referrals and reputation.
You would never ask a complete stranger to invest $10,000 for you without checking their reputation. How about $500,000? What is your home worth? You are considering putting its entire value in the hands of someone you may not know. This is why it’s so crucial to dig into the reputation of any agent you are considering for the job. Check online reviews. What do their past clients say? A solid referral from a trusted source can be worth its weight in gold!
6. Honesty and trust.
This could easily have gone under the “Non-Negotiable” heading. Since trust is often a gut-feeling, though, we’ve listed it here as a more nuanced consideration. Your realtor should always leave you feeling that you got the whole story. Being honest means letting you know what your property is really worth, not inflating the potential selling price to secure the listing. It means telling you what buyers might take issue with, and what problems you might be able to anticipate. An honest agent will present you with pros and cons, and make you aware of potential risks involved with making certain decisions. They know when to call in a lawyer, accountant, contractor, home inspector, or other professional to answer questions when they are not qualified to do so.
7. Personality and comfort level.
The relationship with your realtor, even if you sell quickly and don’t stay connected for more than a few weeks, should be comfortable. This is the person who will help you deal with, not only marketing and showing your home, but also with any problems that may arise during a potentially stressful time. Do you prefer a more conservative, patient, measured manner? Or do you appreciate a more aggressive, risk-tolerant type of person? On some level, it is important to “click” with your agent. This will mean something different to everyone, and only you know if the energy between you is good.
8. Communication style.
Open and regular communication from beginning to end of the process is key. Problems can be nipped in the bud. It also goes a long way toward keeping some inevitable anxiety under control. Try to convey what type of communication you prefer, and see if your potential agent can provide that. Do you need daily updates by phone? Would you rather have written messages by text or email as things happen? Would you like to hear all the feedback on your listing? Or do you want to be left alone until there is big news? One way to find out if you will enjoy your agent’s communication style is to read their blog (if they have one). Another is to ask questions about the process, and see if you feel satisfied with the answers you get.
9. Support System.
This is where we talk about teams.* There are some successful and highly skilled solo agents. Even if they are not part of a team that includes other realtors, though, chances are that they have a highly efficient group of people in the background without whom they could not do their jobs nearly as well! A single real estate transaction involves much work behind the scenes: administrative, legal, creative, and technological. All of it can be time-consuming. Having a team that includes both administrators and multiple licensed agents ensures that there is always someone available to you, the client, when you need them. If you are looking to buy at the same time as you are selling, you need to know that someone is available to show you available properties when they come up. And if your primary agent is tied up when you have an urgent question, it is very helpful to have a backup person who can help you out.
We understand that selling your home is a huge decision. No matter how ready you are to move on, the investment of time, energy, and money you will make is significant.
We are always happy to provide references and details about our services to help you decide if our team is a fit for you!
Ready to Sell? Reach out Today!