HIRE A GOOD REALTOR (CANADA AM MARCH 12, 2014)
I know that sounds rather elementary, but it is really important that you hire a licensed realtor to help you. What you are looking for is a realtor who answers your questions to your satisfaction, who responds to you in a timely fashion and, more over, one that has your best interest at heart—besides the requisite knowledge and expertise, of course.
How do you know if you have a good realtor? Well, it can be true when working with a pro in any industry, you won’t know you had a bad professional until you’ve had a good one. Here is what I think you need to know before you choose your realtor. If you are a buyer, expect to be invited to a meeting before you ever look at a property. During this meeting the realtor should be offering you information about what you can expect throughout the process, what is expected of you, and an explanation of the paperwork you will be expected to sign.
If your realtor does not explain a Buyer Representation Agreement to you and does not ask you to sign one, you should wonder why. The BRA (the name changes province to province) protects you as a buyer. It obligates your realtor to perform at a higher standard, and if they don’t understand the form enough to explain it to you, then you need to keep looking for another realtor. I offer a 30 day contract to my clients. During that time they can try me on for size, see if I can walk the talk, and I can learn how they operate as clients. If we are not happy with each other after 30 days, we can move on. If we want to continue we just sign another BRA.
As for sellers, demand a full explanation of their services and marketing plan, what advice they will be able to offer, with all promises in writing including their service guarantee. Ask them how often they will contact you and how they will keep you updated with their marketing efforts. You need to know where to price your home and you need to see the statistics to prove it. You should be educated about the average days on market for a home like yours in your neighbourhood, how to improve your chances of selling for top dollar and an accounting of how much money you will net. Once your home is listed on MLS check the listing for quality of photos and the integrity of the information.