Choosing the right REALTOR® to sell your house is critical to a successful real estate transaction; here are our top five tips.
Google Reviews for Real Estate Agents
Google Reviews are a very reliable source. In fact, the algorithms are so advanced that we’ve even had legitimate reviews from happy clients filtered out, and Google wouldn’t reverse it; once they’re gone, they’re gone! Facebook and Yelp are next for reliable feedback when shopping for real estate agents.
We always recommend taking each review with a grain of salt. No one review indicates what to expect, but looking at several should provide a general overview of what to expect. Who knows, you may even see a review from somebody you know, and then you can seek first-hand feedback.
Another thing to look at, which is more important than the review itself, is if and how the real estate agent responded to the review, especially negative reviews.
Pro Tip: When looking at reviews on a real estate agent’s website, unless it’s a Google or Facebook plugin that links directly to the reviews on those websites, don’t pay any attention to them. Many companies will manually input reviews with no link to the review on a reliable source, making it worthless.
Critical Analysis of Online Listings
The first place buyers will see your home for sale is online, followed by in-person. We suggest looking at both to see how a real estate agent represents and prepares their real estate listings.
In this day and age, real estate agents should be investing in several features to enhance the listing and provide it with more exposure; here are a few things to look for:
While it may not be immediately noticeable to the average person if a property is staged, it will often be evident if little to no effort was invested in this step. Staging is a crucial component to enhancing the appeal of a property, and it’s a service that’s provided more frequently now than ever.
Photos & Video
Critique the quality of their photos and videos. Whether it’s an in-house media department on a large team or a third-party photography company, there are plenty of reasonably priced options, and there’s NO reason a REALTOR® should be taking photos with their cell phone (see if you can catch them in a mirror!) Take it from a seasoned pro: many buyers will not give a property a second look if the photos don’t captivate them, especially if several options are available.
Floorplans and Virtual Tours
The same company typically completes floor plans and virtual tours, so if you have one, you will likely get both. Floorplans with proper measurements are an essential selling feature. It makes it feel more like the experience of purchasing a new-construction home; it provides a quick and easy understanding of the layout of a property and is a great selling tool.
PRO TIP: Be weary of a listing that doesn’t have the square footage listed or if you see funny words like “total living space.”… the square footage may account for areas that it shouldn’t, providing a surprise when visiting the home.
After viewing the listings on REALTOR.ca and other real estate websites, visit the real estate agent’s social media channels to see if the houses are listed there. You never know where the ultimate buyer of a house is coming from, and adding it to their social channels is an effortless step that will connect your home with many more people. Who knows, maybe a follower or friend of the realtor sees your house on Facebook and knows a friend who would love it!
Visit the Real Estate Agent’s Open House
This was strategically placed after the critical analysis of the REALTOR’s® online listings. This step will provide insight into how clean a property is, whether there are marketing pieces in the home to further increase its appeal and a visitor’s experience, and it will help you compare the house in person to the one you saw online. Are you underwhelmed? Was it what you expected? Were you more impressed? These feelings are exactly what buyers who visit the property are experiencing, too.
Interview multiple agents
It’s always a good idea to talk to several agents before deciding. You want to work with someone you’re comfortable around and can connect and work with. This often comes down to personality, but you also want someone who inspires confidence.
It doesn’t hurt to take notes so you can compare their answers and your impressions to determine who is the best fit.
Determine if they have a structured process.
At its core, a structured process is about efficiency, consistency, and a proven track record. You want to find out what services the REALTOR® offers. If you sign with them today, what’s the first thing that will happen, and what’s the timeline going forward?
Homeowners are often anxious to move ahead quickly. Selling a house is stressful. Find a REALTOR® you trust, one with a process, follow their lead and take the proper steps to prepare your home for sale.
Remember that you’re hiring a professional sales representative to represent you in what is most people’s largest asset. While you may want to voice your opinion and disagree with some of their suggestions, trust in them to get the job done.
PRO TIP: While price is an important factor, both the cost and selling price, what people tell you and how they perform can be very different. If one agent of three is telling you a price that significantly higher than the others, dig deeper to find out how they came up with that number to ensure it’s not a way of them trying to ‘buy’ your business, only to do a price reduction 30-days later.
Hopefully, all of these tips will have you well on your way to connecting with and choosing the perfect real estate agent to get the job done! We’d love your feedback and questions, so please leave it below.