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Here are some of the most important aspects to speak to your REALTOR® about:
Getting back to Step 2, what kind of motivation and commitment are you willing to make to ensure your home is show-ready? All of these factors should play a role in the REALTOR®’s recommendation for a listing price which will ultimately affect the anticipated sale price.
Current Market Conditions
What is the market like in your city, in your area and most importantly, in your immediate neighbourhood? Markets may be affected by local conditions, global conditions and foreign investment – what’s happening in these realms? Is it a Seller’s or a Buyer’s market, or is the market currently balanced? Perception of the market is also a key factor, as the public perception can make or break a market. Your REALTOR® should give you a complete overview of the market in your area.
Marketing Strategy for Your Home
In recent years the internet has changed how REALTORS® market and sell residential real estate. This is particularly true in Vancouver, where home Buyers are tech-savvy and eager to embrace new technologies such as mobile searches on their smartphones and scanning QR Codes. In 2011, 90% of all Home Buyers used the internet as part of their home search. In fact, 60% of potential Buyers walked through a home they first viewed online and ultimately, 43% of Buyers purchased a home that they had first viewed online.
Ask your REALTOR® what their marketing strategy is. Does it include solid online marketing tactics and a mobile-optimized website? Do they use professional photography and/or videos to showcase your home to prospective Buyers? Be sure to do your homework! Visit the REALTOR®’s website and see how the homes are being presented. What kinds of features are being offered to engage potential Buyers? Are there clear opportunities to generate and capture leads? Are the listing details translated into other languages? Is the REALTOR® doing the showcasing of their own listings, or are they simply replicating listings from the Multiple Listing Service in Vancouver? Is the REALTOR® active on social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn? Does their website contain any unique and proprietary content such as neighbourhood profiles or customized market updates?
Beyond the digital and online considerations, consider other media channels like the weekly real estate publications, magazine ads and outdoor transit and billboard advertising. All of these will support the marketing of your home. The success of the REALTOR®’s marketing plan is directly correlated to how many visits your home’s online profile receives, how many leads are generated, how many people actually view your home, and of course, the eventual sale. A savvy and experienced REALTOR® will be able to present you with a customized and comprehensive marketing plan that will drive qualified Buyers to your home’s online profile.
The price point at which you and your REALTOR® decide to market your home should be established with the careful consideration of a number of key factors, including but not limited to: comparable homes that are currently for sale in your neighbourhood; comparable homes that have recently sold in your neighbourhood; the current sales-to-listing ratio and the current days-on-market trends; specific factors that will add to or subtract from the desirability of your home.
Top-of-Mind Awareness & Local Visibility
Is the REALTOR® you are considering working with well-known in the neighbourhood, the community and/or the city? Is there a common perception or belief that the REALTOR® is an expert? Drive around your neighbourhood and look for ‘For Sale’ and ‘Open House’ signs, outdoor advertising, branded vehicles and anything else that gives the REALTOR® increased visibility. Are your friends, family and/or neighbours familiar with the REALTOR®? What is the REALTOR®’s reputation, generally speaking and for success? The more active and visible the REALTOR® is in a given neighbourhood or city, the more likely it is that your home’s exposure will be maximized to local Buyers.
Track Record & Recent Performance
In the fast-paced and competitive Vancouver real estate market, you need a REALTOR® that has a proven track record of happy customers and successful results. Try to find out more about the REALTOR®’s specific track record. Are they offering any client testimonials? How long has the REALTOR® been working in the industry and, more specifically, in a given neighbourhood? Ask for the number of homes they marketed and sold in the previous year, as well as in the current year. Ask about any industry awards or recognition that they have received. And don’t forget to ask the REALTOR® about his/her negotiating skills, as successful negotiations are essential to achieving your goals.
A seasoned REALTOR® will know how to garner you the best possible value for your property based on the terms and conditions that suit your goals. They will also understand how to keep your contract clean and enforceable. The last thing you want is to uncover troublesome issues after you thought you had sold your home. A proven, high-performance REALTOR® will not only save you time and money, but will also reduce undue stress.
What is it that separates this MLS REALTOR® from the rest of the pack? Is there any aspect related to service, communication or marketing that is unique to this MLS REALTOR®? Does he/she offer multi-lingual service? Does the REALTOR® work with professional graphic designers or marketing and advertising experts? Are they experts in a particular neighbourhood or community? What makes them stand out from thousands of other Vancouver REALTORS®?
Going beyond the questions, research and interviews, you also need to clearly define your expectations to the REALTOR®. By sharing your expectations with each REALTOR® you meet, you will gain a better understanding of what it is going to take for the REALTOR® to help you achieve your selling goals.
This is 3rd of 5 Blog posts in Step 3 of a 10 Part series. Go to the next blog post in this series: Top 10 Factors to Help you Find the Right REALTOR®
by Faith Wilson
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