How to Select a Real Estate Agent When Selling Your Home

How to Select a Real Estate Agent When Selling Your Home

Selling your home is one of the biggest transactions you may make. Selecting the right real estate agent to help you through the selling process smoothly and ensuring you get the best price is paramount. You also want to feel secure that the transaction will be handled correctly. Here are some tips on choosing a REALTOR® to help you sell your home.

Real Estate Agent, Broker, REALTOR®? What you should know.

First, let’s start by clarifying what a real estate agent is. A real estate agent is a licensed real estate professional who is qualified to help a party buy or sell real estate. In order to practice as a real estate agent in Ontario, a person must first complete an educational program subject to the requirements set by the provincial regulatory bodies.

In Ontario, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) is the organization that determines the educational requirements for real estate agents and brokers. Anyone wishing to be a real estate agent in Ontario must be a registered member of RECO.

The real estate agent who wishes to do so, can then complete various educational programs that will allow him or her to enhance his/her knowledge. These include:

  • Real Estate Broker: A real estate broker is a real estate agent who has passed the broker’s license exam (administered by RECO in Ontario). This license allows him/her to work independently or to hire other real estate agents. In addition to real estate skills, a broker will have acquired skills in real estate business management including human resource management, administrative and legislative aspects.
  • CRA (Canadian Residential Appraiser): In order to use the CRA designation, a real estate agent must have completed the CRA curriculum and meet all the professional requirements of the Appraisal Institute of Canada. A CRA-certified real estate agent can appraise houses, semi-detached houses, townhouses, condominiums and residential vacant lots or land.

And what does REALTOR® mean in all of this? REALTOR® is a registered trademark of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). A REALTOR® is a real estate professional who is a member of CREA and is committed to its Code of Conduct, which helps protect the rights and interests of buyers and sellers.

Qualifications & Experience

Do you have a good realtor®? When choosing a real estate agent, you want someone who knows the real estate market in the community where you’re selling. Don’t just look at the number of years the individual has held their real estate license. Dig a little deeper to find out how many homes they’ve sold recently and where. Look for:

  • A real estate agent with experience in both ‘hot’ and ‘cool’ real estate markets.
  • The number of properties sold in the city and neighbourhood of your home.
  • Extensive knowledge about the industry, a broker’s license and other related education show their commitment to learning and specializing in their industry.
  • Your agent should have good negotiation skills to help find the right buyer and get the best price for your home.
  • Someone that is able to provide an honest home evaluation.

In addition to the qualifications above, you can also look to see if your agent and his/her team have other skills that can be beneficial to the sale of your home. Expertise in property valuation (CRA), marketing, sales, staging, landscaping and curb appeal , interior design and renovations are all valuable skills to consider when choosing your real estate agent.

Reputation of the Real Estate Professional

Check out reviews and recommendations of any real estate professional. Look online for reviews and get a good sampling from multiple sites. Read good and bad reviews and take them with a grain of salt. Also, ask the real estate agent if they have references from past clients who would be willing to talk to you. Ask around to see how the agent is viewed in your community. You could also check with any local professional organizations or the licensing board to see if there are problems you might want to be aware of.

What Marketing Efforts Does the Agent Use?

Ask your agent how they plan to market your house for sale and the best time to sell your house. The agent’s marketing plan should include a plan to get maximum exposure and targeted digital marketing to get your home sold in a reasonable time. You don’t want your home lingering on the market, which can make buyers wonder why it hasn’t sold. The Joan Smith Real Estate Family has put together a home seller’s guide, and a marketing plan that they use to effectively sell homes.

Did You Connect with the Agent?

You will be working with the real estate professional on day-to-day basis, so you want someone you can communicate with.

  • Does your agent understand your goals and real estate needs?
  • Do you trust the real estate agent?
  • Does your agent work full-time or part-time?
  • Does your agent speak in clear terms or use a lot of industry jargon that confuses you?
  • Does your agent clearly outline the contract to sell your home?
  • Does your agent help you understand their commission?

Selecting a real estate agent is about who is going to work to sell your home in a reasonable time, for the highest value and that the process is completed smoothly. Interview your real estate agent and feel confident before signing any contract.

As experienced real estate agents in the Kanata & greater Ottawa area we would be happy to answer any of your questions.

Contact The Joan Smith Real Estate Family to get started with your home’s sale.