False promises OR proven results?

Boundary Country Real Estate Tips is a monthly article providing advice and insight into the state of real estate.

Mr. REALTOR (R) says: “You should list with me as I can sell your property in 6 months or less.”

Mr. REALTOR (R) says: “If you list with me I can get you the max price for your property as I have 3 buyers just waiting to buy a place like yours.”

Mr. REALTOR (R) says: “Your house is easily worth $$$,$$$ so we should try even a bit higher on the listing.”

Be warned, don’t fall victim to false promises and quick sales gimmicks. Selling Real Estate is about a time and effort to get proven results. So don’t be afraid to interview the REALTOR ® when going to list your property. Here are some basic but important questions to ask:

1. How long have you been selling real estate? While years of experience is no guarantee of skill, real estate … like many other professions … is mostly learned on the job.

2. How many properties did you and your real estate brokerage sell last year? By asking this question, you’ll get a good idea of how much experience the practitioner has. And how much of a market share the REALTOR ® has in your community. Bottom line, the more listings a REALTOR ® has, the more buyers they get usually.

3. How many days does it take you to sell the average property? How does that compare to the overall market? The REALTOR ® you interview should have these facts on hand, and be able to present market statistics from the local MLS to provide a comparison. If a property is taking years to sell it’s probably over priced for the current market.

4. How close were the final sale prices of the properties you sold to the initial asking prices? This is one indication of how skilled the REALTOR® is at pricing homes and marketing to suitable buyers. Of course, other factors also may be at play, including an exceptionally hot or cool real estate market.

5. What types of specific marketing systems and approaches will you use to sell my property? You don’t want someone who’s going to put a For Sale sign in the yard and hope for the best. Look for someone who has aggressive and innovative approaches, and knows how to market your property competitively on the Internet. Buyers today want information fast, so it’s important that your REALTOR ® is responsive.

6. What does the listing contract entail? What is the starting and expiry date on the listing? What is your commission and is it negotiable? When you sign a listing contract with a REALTOR® make sure they explain it and your obligations. There should be no blank lines in a contract to be filled in later. And there is no standard in commission, its an agreement between REALTOR and Seller. So ask and understand why they price it where they do and what services you get for that price.

7. What’s your business philosophy? While there’s no right answer to this question, the response will help you assess what’s important to the agent and determine how closely the agent’s goals and business emphasis mesh with your own.

8. What is your marketing strategy? These days having your property listed on MLS© is usually not good enough. Find out about and review the REALTOR’s ® website (s) and how many they have, Google ratings, newspaper ads, tourist guides, TV / radio ads, custom signs and social media, etc. How many buyers are in their data base system?

ASK for the proof, not just ‘poofery’. Because the more the REALTOR ® is found online by the public, the more your listing is found. Request market reports, active web counts and copies of newspaper ads. If you get resistance or excuses then you need to proceed with caution as you probably won’t be getting those services from that REALTOR ®

9. How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction? How frequently? Again, this is not a question with a correct answer, but how you judge the response will reflect your own desires.

Do you want updates once a month or do you prefer not to be bothered unless there’s a hot prospect? Do you prefer phone, e-mail, text, or an in-person visit?

10. Could you please give me the names and phone numbers of your three most recent clients? Ask recent clients if they would work with this REALTOR® again. Find out whether they were pleased with the communication style, follow-up, and work ethic of the REALTOR®.

Boundary Country Real Estate Tips is a monthly Real Estate article brought to you by Jennifer Brock of Macdonald Realty Ltd. and is not intended to solicit properties already listed for sale.