Home Sellers: 5 Questions to ask Prospective REALTORS®

Whether you’re new to selling your home or you’re a “seasoned veteran,” you deserve an experience that’s enjoyable, straightforward, successful and satisfying. And to help you achieve that goal, we’re pleased to highlight 5 questions that you should ask prospective REALTORS® before choosing the professional home selling partner who is right for you:

1. “How much experience do you have in MY neighborhood?”

While overall experience is very important and should certainly be on your hiring checklist, there’s simply no substitute for choosing a REALTOR® who has in-depth experience in your neighborhood. Ensure that you’re partnering with a professional who really understands local nuances and dynamics, and can use that experience to your benefit.

2. “What online marketing tools will you use to help sell my home?”

Most REALTORS® use some form of online marketing to sell homes – but there are huge differences in approach, coverage and strategy. For example, if a prospective REALTOR® says that she’ll be using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms, ask how many followers, fans and subscribers she has. Or if a prospective REALTOR® offers to build a dedicated website to sell your home, ask him how many visits on average his websites typically receive. Refuse to be impressed by buzzwords and technical jargon, and look for clear, practical answers to your important questions.

3. “What offline marketing tools will you use to help sell my home?”

As with online marketing, most REALTORS® use some form of offline marketing – but (again) this can and does vary widely. The answer you want to get here is one that essentially speaks to four components: alerting the neighborhood, typically through flyers and/or going door to door; photos taken by professionals and NOT amateurs; professional staging; and open houses. For this last component, you may not be comfortable with holding open houses – and this is perfectly fine. Your REALTOR® should completely respect your views and never be pushy or aggressive. It’s your home, after all, and a REALTOR® who cannot adjust to your preferences simply isn’t the right partner.

4. “How much contact can I expect us to have?”

While it’s perfectly fine if a prospective REALTOR® works together with his or her team to provide you with enhanced services and value, under no circumstances should you accept being “handed off” to an assistant after signing the listing. Ongoing and responsive communication with your dedicated REALTOR® is the key to a successful selling experience. What’s more, it’s your right!

5. What if I change my mind about selling?

Imagine this: you’ve signed a contract with a REALTOR®, and you suddenly learn that your brother is moving back into the city and wants to buy your home privately. Or perhaps your job transfer is unexpectedly put on hold, and you no longer need to relocate after all. Regardless of the scenario, you want to work with a REALTOR® who understands that long term relationships all that matters – which means that it’s OK if you change your mind about selling. Not only that, but if you’re in a tight situation, you should be able to count on your REALTOR® to do his or her very best to help you without regard to commission.

Next Steps: Check the Website & Interview

So now that you know the 5 key questions to ask, where do you start looking for the ideal REALTOR®? For starters, check out various websites and ask yourself:

  • Is it easy to navigate and organized?
  • Can I find the information I need quickly and easily?
  • Am I being told about what makes this REALTOR® different and unique?
  • Are there testimonials that I can read from different kinds of clients?
  • Would it reflect well on my home to be featured on this website?
  • How does this website look on an iPhone, iPad, smartphone and tablet? (Note: this is important because an increasing number of buyers are using these devices to house hunt!)

Once you’ve created your shortlist of prospective REALTORS®, be sure to interview all of them to get a sense of who they are personally and professionally. Be sure to pay attention to authenticity — or lack thereof. If at any moment you feel like a generic “file” instead of a unique person, that’s a sign that it’s time to move on.

Get the Advice and Insight You Need

For more than 40 years, REALTOR® Niraj Sharma has helped families across Toronto get the enjoyable, straightforward, successful and satisfying home selling experience they deserve.

If you have questions, and need advice and insight that you can trust, call Niraj today at 416.762.8255, or visit online at www.nirajsharma.ca.