When buying or selling a home you must take great care. This is most likely the biggest investment that you have ever made so you want to make sure you do your due diligence not only on the home you are buying or selling but with the Realtor that is assisting you through the process.
Hire a Full-time Agent
Make sure the first question you ask your Realtor is if they work full-time or if Real Estate is just a part-time hobby for them. Full-time Realtors are constantly in the know about what competitive properties are selling in your neighbourhood. This will help make the most informed decisions possible as they typically live and breathe Real Estate. They will also never have a conflict of interest when it comes to spending time showing you properties or researching neighbourhoods and homes you like. You should always be their number one priority.
How will they market your home
What type of marketing do they do? If you are looking to sell your home, marketing is extremely important, even in a hot Real Estate market. In addition to listing your property on MLS, what other types of marketing does your Realtor do? From the tried-and-true old-fashioned advertising methods to the more current up-to-date online marketing and social media venues, a good Realtor will tap into every corner of advertising to the get the word out about your home. Professional photography is a must to showcase your home in its best light. If your Realtor tries to take pictures of your home with their cell phone camera cancel your listing with them immediately and hire an agent that will value just how exceptional your home is.
Friends and Family are not always the best option.
It is so easy to work with your best friend who just got their Real Estate license or your uncle Phil who is a top agent in Orilla, but would they really be able to provide you with the best service? As a buyer, the market moves quickly so you want an experienced agent that knows how to handle multiple offers scenarios and also knows the houses in your preferred neighbourhoods. Selling your home is a business decision so it is best to remove personal relationships from the equation. When hiring a Realtor, make sure they have lots of experience and specialize in your preferred neighbourhood. When selling your home your best friend or uncle may be able to give you a friendly discount on commission but are they a master negotiators? Do they have the sphere of influence that could best showcase your home for sale and get you top dollar for it?
Many agents are so desperate for a listing that they will agree to an above market listing price just to make the sellers happy. This is typically called “buying the listing". In a hot market, such as it is right now in Toronto, homes that are priced right typically sell for asking price or over asking with multiple offers. If a house is overpriced it will sit on the market and the longer it sits, the fewer buyers that want it. Even in a competitive market, buyers are smart when it comes to paying market value for a home and potential buyers may look elsewhere if a house is overpriced. The longer the house sits without a sale the more buyers and other Realtors question what may be wrong with it. Eventually, the Listing Agent will suggest a price reduction and the whole showing process starts over again. Selecting an agent that prices your home accurately using competitive market data could end up saving you lots of time, hassle and put thousands of dollars more in your pocket.
Know your rights
Not everyone is a lawyer and Listing Agreements, Buyer Representation Agreements and Agreements of Purchase and Sale can be complicated. When selecting a Realtor, make sure you work with an agent that explains each legal document fully as well as your rights and obligations as a buyer and/or seller. Failure to not fully understand the consequences of each action when buying or selling a home could end up costing you thousands of dollars and many years of legal issues. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything you are unsure of.
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