Choosing a Realtor
As a seller, your relationship with a REALTOR® is vital – so meet with several before making a final decision. A good place to start is right in your neighbourhood. Check “FOR SALE” signs to see which REALTORS® are doing business in your area. Ask them about their track record, their knowledge of neighbourhood selling prices and other reasons why you should list with them. Choose a REALTOR® you feel comfortable with: one who will handle the sale of your home as if it were his or her own.
What to Expect
Your REALTOR® will help you understand the selling process. He or she will provide you with a full explanation of what to expect so you are not faced with any surprises along the way.
Getting to Know You
One of the first things your REALTOR® will ask is “Why are you selling your house?” Your REALTOR® will also explore your future plans, financial situation and any time constraints you may have. It’s all part of getting to know you so the sale will be handled to your complete satisfaction.
Setting a Price
Arriving at an accurate estimate of value for your home is one of the prime tasks of your REALTOR®. It involves analyzing your home and comparing it to other similar houses for sale or recently sold in your neighbourhood. It may also include a broader market survey, using sales statistics available only to REALTORS®.
In the end, you will be sure the price you set reflects the true value of your home under current market conditions.
The Marketing Plan
Depending on your circumstances and the prevailing market, your REALTOR® will develop a plan to help sell your home quickly and effectively. This plan may include:
A listing on the MLS® (Multiple Listing Service®) to maximize your home’s market exposure. MLS® is a valuable sales tool that REALTORS® use to make the details of your property available to a whole network of local real estate professionals looking to match your home with a buyer.
Promotion on REALTOR.ca, a public portal which averages more than 4 million unique visitors monthly.
Open houses for other REALTORS® and the public.
Advertising in newspapers, specialty publications and other media.
Home preparation – your REALTOR® will help you with advice to enhance your home’s “saleability.”
Your REALTOR® knows how to separate the “lookers” from the “buyers,” identifying those who are likely to be interested in your home and qualified to buy it. This will ensure only serious buyers visit your house.
Pre-qualifying Potential Buyers
Your REALTOR® has the knowledge and experience to negotiate an agreement on your behalf according to your instructions. He or she will assist in negotiating a better offer, act as mediator between you and the buyer, and will participate in drawing up a legally binding contract that protects your interests
You hire a REALTOR® to sell your home by signing a “Listing Agreement.” This is a legal contract that gives your REALTOR® the right to act as your exclusive agent in the sale of your house for a specified period. The listing agreement spells out what your REALTOR® will do on your behalf and he or she will take the time to explain it to you.
The agreement will also specify the amount of professional fees to be paid to your REALTOR® from the sale of your home. Usually, fees are set as a percentage of the selling price of your home. The agreement will also spell out the formal agency relationship between the real estate company and you. Under the relationship, your REALTOR® is responsible for looking after your best interests, including full disclosure of any information that may influence your decisions and maintaining confidentiality.