What you absolutely MUST know before you Choose a Realtor. What’s a Dual Agency? What’s “Double Ending”? This may surprise you!

Choosing a Realtor

When you decide to buy or sell real estate you will have no difficulty finding a realtor, there are lots! It’s finding a good one that will take some work.  After nearly two decades of helping people sell and buy real estate I offer you some free advice on the best way (and the worst) to choose a realtor in helping you with one of life’s biggest emotional and financial decisions.

Choose a Realtor that has been recommended by family or friends. Family or friends who’ve had a good experience with a realtor are your best referral source. A good realtor will keep in contact with their past clients and ask them for referrals. This is a great place to start when choosing a realtor.

Choose a busy Realtor.  Realtors are busy when they are successful at their work. Ask about their experience. Experience and a steady track record are invaluable in terms of marketing and contacts. Ask how many homes they have sold this year and last. Ask how many they currently have listed.

Interview two or three Realtors. Tell the sales rep you are interviewing other Realtors. Let them know who they are competing against. Analyze their differences and pick the one that you feel most comfortable working with and whom you feel will best represent your interests or needs based on their skill level and experience.

Choose a full time Realtor.  Some realtor’s work only part time.  For them, your largest financial and emotional decision may be a second career. Choose a realtor who treats this as a business. You wouldn’t choose a part time surgeon to operate on you. A full time realtor means better market knowledge, better service, better marketing and better negotiating which means a better price for you, whether buying or selling.  Ask how often will you hear from them.  Do they have support staff to help them, help you? To do a thorough opinion of value for a client it takes me between one and two hours of my time and my staff’s time.

Choose a knowledgeable Realtor.  The realtor you choose should be able to explain the market as it relates to your sale or purchase. Have they sold or listed homes in your area? They should take the time to educate you as to the present market conditions and show you the best way to sell or buy given those conditions and the competition.  They should back up their explanations with current market data and be honest with you in interpreting that data. You should be able to understand what they are doing and why it is in your best interest.

Don’t pick a Realtor based on price.  When realtors are competing for a listing, some will give an inflated price just to try and get the listing, only to ask you for a price reduction a few weeks later. Realtors don’t determine the price for your home, the market does that! Realtor’s that don’t have much to offer in terms of experience tend to compete on price.  In other words, what you may gain on a cheaper commission fee, you will likely lose in overall sale price due to poor marketing and weak negotiating.  Part of a Realtor’s job is to interpret hundreds of sales as well as active listings. Therefore your prospective realtor should be able to explain to you what your specific market range is for buying or selling. A good realtor knows that every house has a price range which is determined by the seller’s motivation to sell and the buyer’s need to buy. Did you know that 70% of whether or not a property will sell is decided when the price is established. The other 30% is based on the realtor’s level of competence and negotiating skill.

Choose a Realtor based on their knowledge and success rate. All Real estate companies have good and bad realtor’s. Choose a successful company. A company with more agents and a larger market share will result in your property getting more showings and more exposure.

Choose a Realtor based on their marketing program.  How much time, how much money and what kind of marketing is your realtor suggesting for your property?  Every property is different and needs a tailored marketing program to sell it and attract the best buyer willing to pay the highest price.  People don’t buy bricks and mortar, they buy a lifestyle, an environment where they can raise their kids or a location where they can retire in style, with amenities they can use and enjoy.

Check References.  Ask the realtors to provide references and phone numbers of their most recent clients and then call them!

Pick one Realtor to work with. If you pick one realtor and they know and understand that you are working only with them than that realtor knows that if they can sell your property or help you buy one that is right for you they will get paid.   Not paid just once, but numerous times from the referrals you send them over the years because the realtor did a great job for you.  If the realtor knows you are working with 5 or 6 other realtors they figure they have about a 15 to 20% chance of ever getting paid and that’s about the amount of effort they put into helping you.

Call me at (604) 273-2002 & I’ll answer any questions you might have.