Author Topic: how to pick a selling real estate agent - Toronto  (Read 1682 times)

bluebelle

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how to pick a selling real estate agent - Toronto
« on: January 08, 2020, 07:56:57 AM »
I'm looking for some advice as to how best choose a real estate agent.   We will be putting our Toronto home on the market early this summer.  We've been in the house 20+ years and I'm looking to cash in on Toronto's crazy market.   I think I should interview a few agents, but I'm just not sure what I should be looking for.  I've already rejected the #1 seller in my neighborhood (I believe she sells the most because she convinces sellers to low-ball their house slightly - good for her, not the seller and I just didn't get a good vibe from her).
Questions I can think of:
1) marketing strategy
2) staging strategy (we plan to move out prior to listing - I don't want to cope with strangers in my house opening every drawer/cupboard in my kitchen since I can't sanitize them before they enter my home)
3) pricing strategy - price right or price low to encourage a bidding war (it's a 'thing' in Toronto)

Back story - I live in a desirable neighborhood, but not an 'it' neighborhood.   I back on to a golf course and exactly one house has come up for sale in the last 5 years on our side of the street.   Our house is still the 1960 bungalow floor plan, although we've updated the kitchen and bathrooms.  Many houses on our side of the street have either been torn down and a two story mcmansion built or the roof is torn off and a second story is added.  It's not a huge lot, 55x127, but a decent size for Toronto.

Call me greedy, but I want that bidding war.   On the flip side, I don't want to own two homes for longer than necessary since there will be a hefty mortgage payment.

For those of you more familiar with buying and selling homes, any guidance you can give to as to how to pick the right agent, I'd really appreciate.

Dogastrophe

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Re: how to pick a selling real estate agent - Toronto
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2020, 08:31:20 AM »
My (limited) experience with agents:  the sellers agent, apart from getting pictures taken and writing up the advert does very little to sell the house despite what they tell you.  With everything being online, most buyers are looking at properties and telling their agent of ones they want to view rather than the other way around. 

Find an agent who will bring in a good photographer after they house is staged for showing.  If they say they will take some pics with their cell phone and don't insist on some basic staging (you don't have to go crazy with this), find another agent (unless your market is so hot that pictures don't matter). 

bluebelle

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Re: how to pick a selling real estate agent - Toronto
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2020, 08:53:35 AM »
Find an agent who will bring in a good photographer after they house is staged for showing.  If they say they will take some pics with their cell phone and don't insist on some basic staging (you don't have to go crazy with this), find another agent (unless your market is so hot that pictures don't matter).
I hear you on the good photographer.....I look at a lot of the pictures on real estate websites and have to wonder - do you just not give a shit or are you trying to hide something else.....poor lighting, crap left on the kitchen counter, dirty dishes in the sink....and for the love of god, put the toilet seat down before you take the picture.....

And don't get me started on the grammatical errors on listings.....

Dogastrophe

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Re: how to pick a selling real estate agent - Toronto
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2020, 09:20:20 AM »
When we sold our home a couple years ago, I looked at everything that was selling around us.  One slightly larger house was on market for 90+ days.  The listing pictures, some of which were blurry, showed a kitchen with crap all over the counters - open cereal boxes, left over Tim's cups, dirty dishes.  Bedroom floors were covered in clothes.  Bathroom had pile of towels on floor.  Our place was spotless, staged, and professional pics.  We had an offer on day one.  Other house was on market for 10+ months before it finally sold well under listing price.

1gooddog

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Re: how to pick a selling real estate agent - Toronto
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2020, 10:10:29 AM »
My (limited) experience with agents:  the sellers agent, apart from getting pictures taken and writing up the advert does very little to sell the house despite what they tell you.  With everything being online, most buyers are looking at properties and telling their agent of ones they want to view rather than the other way around. 

Find an agent who will bring in a good photographer after they house is staged for showing.  If they say they will take some pics with their cell phone and don't insist on some basic staging (you don't have to go crazy with this), find another agent (unless your market is so hot that pictures don't matter).

I agree with this

Not just because also has DOG in name!

1. Clean
2. Declutter
3. Look at a lot of websites - free staging tips, free sales tips
they have a lot of facts like remove personal photos, use white linens, wash rugs, clean fans
4. Then maybe use Zillow to look at reviews and see their initial ways of acting
how long does it take them to return your call reasonably
what do they sell ? if they sell 100 k homes you do not want to list your 700k home with them .. usually they will not have the experience and if it goes to their group then they may not be as motivated because they split sales (this is IMO not a fact..)

best wishes - Toronto is a hot market you should be okay.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: how to pick a selling real estate agent - Toronto
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2020, 10:53:38 AM »
Since you are in such a hot market, I would highly recommend FSBO (For Sale By Owner). I do not think paying a 6% commission is worth it in a hot market.

Personally, I have bought 4 houses and sold 2. I did not walk away from any closing thinking "I could not have done it without the realtor". None of the realtors provided 6% of value :-(

Have you seen the Darbin Orvar video on her FSBO? Really worth watching https://youtu.be/J0LQrLslQUk. Lots of information on how to remove clutter and personal stuff.

She does a pretty good analysis of what Realtors bring to the table and decides that she can do it herself. Ends up for selling for more than asking price in 3 days.

The one thing hard for an FSBO is taking photographs. This video by Brad Zimmerman has very good info on setting up and taking photos on a smartphone. Ignore the second half where he tries to sell you on a professional photographer/Realtor. His lists on what to clear inside and outside is an additional bonus. https://youtu.be/UcZb3FFpNg8

In any case, even if you do not FSBO, these videos give you a lot of ideas on how to make your home more attractive to a potential buyer.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 11:19:21 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

Demetres.gia

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Re: how to pick a selling real estate agent - Toronto
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2020, 04:50:51 PM »
This is a very common question in Toronto as there are 55000 agents registered to Treb. I am an agent and go on a lot of listing presentations and hear the same thing about marketing plans, staging, networking, etc. These are all very important things but not the true value of your agent. If you interview an agent that is not doing professional photography or offering stagings just kick them out, this is industry standard. Lots of agents will boast about their marketing plans but 98% of buyers are found using the MLS one way or another so their intense marketing plan is really just to wow you into thinking they work so hard for their commission. Even these agents don't understand their true value.

An agents true value is someone that you like and trust will fight for your best interests in the sale of the home and not just dump it to the first offer that comes around. Knowledge and experience will allow them to act appropriately in multiple offer scenarios (very common in Toronto) and mishandling these communications with other agents will literally cost you tens of thousands of dollars. It's very important to identify your strategy (holding back offers or conventional listing) and execute it properly the FIRST time because after 20 DOM in a hot market like Toronto your property is stale. Your property history cannot be erased and it will become less desirable if it needs to be re-listed multiple times.

Long story short if they are leading with marketing and staging its because they don't even understand what or how to sell themselves which means they won't have anymore luck with your property. Go with someone who leads with integrity, knowledge, and strategy and you will get top dollar!

Freedomin5

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Re: how to pick a selling real estate agent - Toronto
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2020, 11:57:16 PM »
We selected our real estate agent in Toronto based on recommendations from friends and family. When several people in your social circle recommend the same person, and you've seen how they help others list/sell/buy property, and you hear from people you trust about their experience with the agent, it helps you to be more confident in their ability.

We are currently looking to buy in Toronto, and possibly to sell an investment property, and the agent we have helping us has worked with my parents and extended family for over 20 years. He's helped our family buy several family homes and investment properties, sell family homes, sell office space, etc. He actually came over to our place over the holiday, and after listening to our real estate goals, we spent an hour coming up with a real estate game plan.