The Economy in Alberta has changed drastically, maybe the way we choose our real estate professionals should change as well. For decades we chose Realtors based on ads in the newspaper, for sale signs in the neighbourhood, door knocking, flyers in the mailbox or maybe you had a cousin who sold real estate on the side. Today I want to talk about a few thoughts/strategies around choosing a realtor and maybe debunk a couple myths. 1. My friend, family member, etc is a Realtor/My parents have a Realtor. There are 100,000+ licensed realtors in Canada...everyone knows someone who knows someone who is a Realtor but every Realtor isn't a good fit for every client (that was a mouthful, I know). With a constantly changing market who you choose to work with can make a big difference. Getting a referral from someone you know and trust is great but maybe get three referrals and interview all three. Find out each Realtor’s experience level, are they familiar with the kind of property you are trying to sell? How well do they know your neighbourhood? Does their personality mesh with yours? Do they have a plan or are they just hoping for the best? It is great to want to support your friends and family but it shouldn't be at your detriment. Our clients deserve an incredible experience. As a professional if I am the wrong fit for a client/property I won't be offended, I promise.2. They said they could get us more money. Everyone wants the most money for their home and the right Realtor can absolutely put more in your pocket. However, pricing strategies need to make sense. I pitched a townhouse listing last month; the meeting went great, it's a neighbourhood/market I know very well, the seller was impressed with our marketing plan and our personalities seemed to click. When I proposed my pricing strategy the tone of the conversation changed. I was about $15,000 lower then the last Realtor they interviewed had suggested. We went over the comparables another time, looking at pictures, analyzing pricing, days on market, everything I had done prior to our meeting but she had a higher number in her mind from the previous interview and no amount of data or expertise was going to convince her. She ended up listing the townhouse a few days later at a price I told her I wasn't comfortable with (we don't over-promise, it never works out). That townhouse is now on day 38 without a sale and at the same high price.3. The Neighbourhood Specialist. This is my favorite! The 'neighbourhood specialist' was a big thing in the 90's and early 2000's. Do you know the qualifications for being a specialist is? Nothing. Zero Sales. Maybe a postcard that claims ‘neighbourhood specialist’ In theory, I could claim to be a specialist and need to use GPS just to find the community. Don’t get me wrong, there are neighbourhoods we work in; Royal Oak for example. We live, work and play in Royal Oak. Our daughter goes to pre-school there, we were at the Mad Rose Pub on Sunday for brunch. We have also sold a fair of Real Estate in Royal Oak and know things that residents and Realtors active in the community will know. If someone claims to be an expert, ask for evidence:
- What have they sold?
- What do they know?
- How will their 'expertise' help sell your home?