When you decide to sell your home, one of the first – and most important – decisions to make is to choose a REALTOR® to list your home. Prior to committing to work with any real estate agent, you should interview a few possible candidates. This gives you the chance to get a feel for the person and learn about his or her qualifications.
When interviewing, make sure to ask these key questions.
Experienced REALTORS® may have better knowledge of the current market, superior negotiation skills and a Rolodex full of professional contacts. But they may also not have time for you. Don’t discount the rookie REALTORS® who may have a more open schedule, be willing to do a bit more handholding, and are more tech savvy.
Many REALTORS® work predominantly in a certain neighbourhood. A familiarity with your neighbourhood means that the REALTOR® can offer potential buyers a deep breadth of knowledge about it, including information about the area’s schools, parks, or proposed developments. He or she may also have a roster of clients looking in that part of the city.
Does the REALTOR® work as part of a team? Does he or she have an assistant? While a “yes” to either of these questions may mean that the REALTOR® has more time to spend with you it may also mean that you’ll be passed off to some one else after you’ve signed on the dotted line.
Ask for details. Why didn’t certain properties sell? For those that did, what was the average days on market? What was the average selling price? Where were the properties located?
A REALTOR® should have a concrete marketing plan. In addition to your home being on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®), the agent should be promoting your home in other ways. If they’re promising a listing brochure, ask to see an example.
Since most people now find their homes online, it’s wise to look for some one that can tap into that market. Are they planning on using social media to market? Online classified ads? Virtual tours?
Ask if he or she is a part-time or full-time REALTOR® as it may affect how much time they have to spend with you and when. In any case, you should look for a REALTOR® that is available when you need them. Can you reach them by phone or e-mail at any time?
If the REALTOR® is gushing about how great your home is, be wary. A good REALTOR® will be able to pick out the potential your home has, as well as make suggestions on how it can be improved before the sale.
There are two separate schools of thought in real estate regarding open houses. On the one hand, there are those that think they are great a fantastic marketing opportunity as they are a relaxed environment for people to tour potential homes. On the other, there are those that think open houses are, frankly, a big waste of time.
If he or she plans on holding an open house, ask if it will be for the public or other REALTORS® only.
Be aware that there are REALTORS® that will try to “buy” your listing by suggesting an unrealistically high selling price in hopes of flattering you. These homes often end up sitting on the market for months on end.
Ask how they arrived at the suggested price. He or she should have comparables ready to show you what similar homes have recently sold for.
There should be no hesitation here. A good REALTOR® survives on referrals and should have them ready. However, a list of satisfied clients is not enough. You have to actually call them. This is one of the easiest ways to make sure you’re getting a quality REALTOR®.
"The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license."
"The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Associate (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license."