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If this is your first time working with a real estate broker, you may be considering interviewing a few candidates before signing a contract of exclusivity. Which questions should you ask to gage whether a real estate professional is the right choice for you and your home?
Here are the 4 questions we’d recommend asking each candidate.
1. How is your real estate team structured?
This question will give you a good idea of how your property will be handled after you sign a contract. In some bigger teams, the person shaking your hand at the initial meeting will not necessarily be the same person showing your home to potential buyers or communicating with home-hunters responding to your property’s ads. Other teams make sure that once a relationship is established between a broker and a homeowner, that one-on-one relationship is nurtured throughout the sales process until the final notarization. Each homeowner varies on their preferences regarding this matter- some don’t care who gets the job done as long as it gets done, and others like to know that the person they give their keys to will take care of their unit from beginning to end.
2. Do you have experience in this area?
Choosing a broker who knows your neighbourhood inside out is critical. Firstly, they will be able to give you a more accurate quote on your home’s worth. They know what homes go for in the area, and how much buyers are willing to pay. They also know what draws buyers to that area, making it easier for them to deliver a straightforward and effective sales pitch during the showing. Lastly, a broker with localized experience will be able to properly identify valuable assets in your home and distinguish its value from competition.
PS: It is the seller’s right to ask for references. If you want to be extra cautious, ask your broker to provide three references of recently sold units in the area!
3. How will you market my property?
In this day and age, it’s essential to choose a broker who does more than put a sign on your front porch. Does the candidate use online advertising? Does he or she have a mailing list? Is their business active on social media? An interview candidate should be able to clearly explain their marketing strategy, both online and offline. This includes a understanding of the target demographic at hand, and an understanding of how these buyers can be effectively communicated to. Working with a professional who gives you a clear and tested sales plan will help avoid some of the anxieties that come with putting a home for sale on the market. You’ll know the steps that will be taken to sell your home, and exactly when they will be effectuated
4. Is this a good time to sell?
One of the biggest perks of working with a (good) broker, is that they will be able to time your sale such that your profits are maximized. Knowing which month to put the unit up on the market, and knowing whether current market conditions are favourable to sellers can save you thousands in the sales process. Sometimes it makes more sense to hold off a couple of months and rent your unit in the meantime. Other times it’s better off to sell immediately with no further delays. A broker’s answer to this question will indicate their understanding of the market trends and demands.
And last but not least, keep in mind the broker’s charisma and likability during the interview. The person you choose to represent your home, will be someone you’ll be spending a lot of time talking to over the next couple of days/weeks/months. Will you feel comfortable calling them up, asking about the progress of your listing, and celebrating the sale with them? Also, keep in mind that if the broker doesn’t make you feel happy and at ease about the sale, they’re unlikely to make potential buyers feel excited about the purchase.