Selling a home can be exciting and at times stressful. It’s essential to have great communication between yourself and your realtor. Trust must be built. In order to facilitate open communication and trust, you must be comfortable asking your realtor a number of questions. Transparency is key, it isn’t necessarily common but it is key for a successful sale – we see this as a typical issue behind breakdowns in communication. If you are not confident in the answers politely decline and find someone who is truly a professional with relevant experience.
4 essential questions to ask your realtor when selling your home:
1. What differentiates you from the 53,000+ realtors in Toronto?
Yes, you read that correctly there are more than 53,000 in the GTA! There is a shape and size for everyone. Keep in mind the average realtor does less than 2 deals a year. Like any industry, there are the truly elite, hard-working pros and the others who may have a full-time job doing something outside of the real estate industry to pay the bills or they are not fully committed to building their business. A truly professional realtor will be able to detail how they can serve you and your needs as well as state their unique point of difference in the marketplace. If they cannot detail this clearly, imagine how in the world they would be able to differentiate your home from other 90,000 transactions a year in Toronto? It’s important to challenge the status quo – demand a true pro! Here is a list of the mistakes when selling your home.
2. Describe the primary and secondary buyer demographic for my home
You realtor must understand not only the market but the psyche, habits and expectations of potential buyers. This has a direct impact on marketing, positioning and overall strategy. You must know who you are communicating to and how they like to be treated – otherwise, your likelihood of success will be poor – ie. this will cost you money.
3. What should I expect starting now through to an offer being accepted?
Managing expectations is what each and every professional (no matter what the industry) will do. Hopefully, you have already been told what to expect in an earlier conversation, however, if you haven’t you need to know what is happening and a timeline. A professional realtor does many transactions a year – you likely do one every 5-10 years so you may need a refresher and the market may be different which means expectations need to be revised so that you aren’t sitting around wondering what is happening.
4. What are the pros and cons of this strategy?
Always, always, always take the necessary time to understand the market strategy. What is the upside? What is the downside? Are you comfortable with this balance? If you price to low and don’t get an offer you cannot raise the price – realtors and the public sees right through this decision. It will cost you money – if any decides to come to see the house again. We see this all the time – it creates stigma (not to mention a lot of eye rolling) and people will avoid the property as it’s clear the value expectations are not in alignment with the market. Know your options and understand them clearly. Pricing slightly higher may be wise – you can always come down in price. This is a fine balance as pricing is one factor while your non-monetary criteria may weigh on you as well. A truly communicative, professional realtor will happy you balance what decision factors are necessary for you to make a great move and feel comfortable with the pros and cons. If you are wondering why your house isn’t selling read this.
These questions are by no means exhaustive, however, the answers will give you a very clear sense of who you are dealing with and whether or not you believe that they are up for the task. When we work with your clients we detail these answers (and far more!) within our first presentation with a potential client. We believe it’s essential to communicate directly and effectively so that our sellers know that they are in good, competent hands every step of the way.