Deciding to sell a home is one of the biggest decisions that an individual or family will make in their lifetime, and yet for some, little thought is put into choosing the person they’ll partner with on that journey.
There are reasons why this happens; perhaps you are approached by a Realtor® and are just relieved to be one step closer to achieving your real estate goals. Or, maybe you popped by an open house and felt inclined to use the same agent who is selling the home you’re interested in buying. No matter what the incentive, Faris Team recommends that you interview and compare the services of two or three Realtors® before committing to one to ensure that you find the best representation in the sale of your home.
Here are five questions you should ask when interviewing a Realtor®:
1. HOW MUCH EXPERIENCE DOES YOUR TEAM HAVE?
As is the case with most professionals, the more experience a Realtor® has, the better, whether you’re buying or selling. Having said that, the answer should reflect how many homes they’ve sold, not necessarily years of knowledge. Ask how many homes their teams sells annually. Numbers can often speak for themselves, but don’t be afraid to get specific; find out how many homes they’ve sold in the specific area you’re selling in so you can determine if their years of knowledge will directly benefit your real estate goals. You can also ask them for their average list-to-sale price ratio and the average days their listings stay on the market to garner confidence in their skills.
2. WHAT COMPLIMENTARY SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE?
In a hot market, homes sell themselves, right? Wrong – it’s rarely that simple. An area may be in high demand and collect offers just by putting a sign on the lawn, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best offer you can get for your property.
The fact is, the market isn’t always hot, so it’s important to ask your potential real estate partners which complimentary services they bring to the table. You want to look for a team that offers a portfolio of professional services including photography, videography and home staging. Ask if they offer services like aerial videography and photography, twilight photography and digital tours and floorpans of your home as these techniques give your property an undeniable edge on the market. These services are less common, but the top real estate teams in your area will have made innovation a priority and be poised to sell your home using the most-up-to-date tools available. Not all photography and videography was created equal, so get on their websites and compare.
3. WHAT IS YOUR MARKETING PLAN?
Providing you with the best complimentary services is only part of the equation, so make sure to ask your potential partners what marketing efforts they’ll implement to sell your home fast and for top dollar. In other words, what is the marketing strategy and how will it be used to create traction on your home’s listing? Presence on Realtor.ca is a given, but advertising your listing in a city-wide publication (like Faris Team’s Barrie Real Estate Guide) will go a long way when it comes to selling your home. Find out which publications your potential team invests in, what markets are being targeted, and how your listing will be positioned.
Next, ask how your property is being marketed to GTA and International buyers. Make sure you also review the Realtor®’s social media marketing on outlets such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If their social media presence is sparse or non-existent, you may be losing out on marketing to a tech-savvy demographic. Look at the team’s whole package when it comes to marketing: everything from the for sale sign, to the take away materials, to the team’s website should be professional and of the highest quality.
4. ARE YOU ADVERTISING TO GTA AND INTERNATIONAL MARKETS?
Exposure is an important area to explore when you’re interviewing representation. Asking which markets their team targets will give you an idea of the size of audience that will see your listing. In Simcoe County especially, you want to look for a real estate team that invests in Toronto advertising as more and more buyers are heading north for affordable housing. Low inventory of homes in Toronto lead to fierce bidding wars that become not only local but global news. Recognizing this as an opportunity, many investors overseas are scooping up real estate north of the GTA, so make sure to ask if and how your interviewee’s team positions local properties to the thousands of international buyers.
5. WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM NOT HAPPY WITH YOUR SERVICE?
This question achieves two things: knowing up front what your commitment to this Realtor® entails and getting a sense of what to expect with regard to customer service. First, you want to understand if you are bound to the exclusive services of this team for the agreed upon time frame no matter what or if there are conditions in which your agreement will be re-evaluated. For example, Faris Team offers a Best Experience Guarantee which allows clients to cancel their buyer or seller agreement with 24 hours’ notice at no cost to them.
Second, asking this question will give you a glimpse of the customer service you can expect from this partner. Do they outline the legalities of your agreement with confidence and kindness or are they evasive and answer you with vague promises? The right response is a well-prepared summary of additional services and strategies that the Realtor® and their team would pursue in order to help you achieve your real estate goals.
If and when you’re satisfied with an interviewee, ask your soon-to-be partner for testimonials from other clients. References and accolades should be readily available for you to review, and hopefully, after following these questions in an interview, you’ll be added to the roster of raving fans who are thrilled to recommend the services and results of the partner you so thoroughly selected.
This article appeared in the August issue of Faris Team’s monthly magazine, Barrie Real Estate Guide. You can view this and other content, like home values by neighbourhood, through the digital version here.
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