What to Be Aware of When Choosing a Realtor

I would like to give some highly subjective advice about choosing a realtor in Canada. I speak from brief experience as a realtor in Kitchener 8 years ago (more than 150 agents at that particular brokerage) and from my personal experience buying and selling in Kitchener, Toronto and most recently here in Peterborough.

Though I have had detailed interactions with scores of agents in all three cities, I can only fully endorse a few. Here are some cautionary notes:

1) Be aware of the ‘this is the standard contract' declaration. Yes, both buyer and seller agreements with realtors tend to be of three month's duration and the holdover 90 days, but they don't have to be. Contracts are as infinitely flexible as the parties involved. In fact, if you are interested in making an offer on a particular listing and don't know the agent, you can request a buyer's rep agreement that only lasts a day or a week. Of course, the realtor doesn't have to agree to these terms and if you are to have a longer-term relationship with the realtor showing you other properties, then it would only be fair to have a longer-term contract, but don't trust any assertion made that the contract MUST be in certain terms.

2) On the same note, check and recheck those dates of obligation. We recently made the mistake of assuming that a buyer's rep contract with a Peterborough realtor was of the standard three-month length, but she had written four plus months in the contract. In the end, we weren't happy with her services, but because we hadn't checked the dates, we were stuck with her for an extra month with her doing nothing. Likewise, I've heard of realtors writing down 6 months to sell a property, which is a very long time to be bound to an agent.

3) Totally disregard any assertion made by a realtor like “If at any time, you are unhappy with my services, we will just tear up the contract”. I've heard this line many times, and any time it has been tested, it has proven to be false. Don't trust spoken promises; only trust the parameters of the written contract.

4) Be aware that if you have signed a buyer's rep agreement with an agent and buy a property before the end of the agreement with another agent, you will owe the initial agent full commission for that property. Yes, this is true! Normally, the buyer pays no commission whatsoever; the seller pays both sides, but in this case, you would have to pay up to that buyer's agent. And he or she will collect!

5) Be cautious of ‘high performing' agents. If I hear that an agent has won an award for most sales in a year, it is enough to make me back out of the room as carefully as possible. Of course there are lots of possible reasons for high sales in a year including extra services like staging, professional photographs or videos etc. and also reputation; but I believe that one of biggest factors is price point. It is easier to sell a property when it is either priced exactly right or below value. Whatever you do, don't just go with one estimate of your property; get several before deciding on your listing agent. Just over two years ago when I was looking to sell my rather pricey downtown Toronto condo, I had a ‘high-flyer' over, a purported condo expert, to give an estimate. His price was so low I said no way. He left in a huff saying that my condo would be absolutely impossible to sell at my suggested price. Three weeks and another agent later, I had multiple offers $30,000 above his suggested listing price.

6) Be cautious of big names with big teams. Sometimes the only time you will see the ‘big name' is during the initial signing. Some of these supporting team members may be very poorly paid. Likewise, be wary of agents who never do their own open houses. If the agent who is doing your open house is not getting any commission on the sale of your house, there is very little vested interest in getting the property sold. I've certainly heard stories of the agents holding open houses actively criticizing the open-house property with visitors and pushing other properties that they can potentially profit from.

7) Try to stay away from realtor to realtor referrals. By all means get referrals from family and friends about good realtor choices, but you can be sure that any realtor to realtor referral is paid; to my mind, paid referrals mean less commission, which can (not necessarily but can) mean less incentive to provide good service. Also these referrals may not necessarily be based on merit so much as this other person happens to work for the same real estate company.

8) If you are buying an investment property, look for a realtor who is or has been a landlord or has had extensive experience purchasing investment properties for others. Our most recent agent in Peterborough really didn't understand our investment criteria so her advice tended to be counter-productive.

9) Finally, try not to jump into a contract with any realtor too quickly. First interview behaviour might be totally different from later service behaviour. And don't be afraid to ask for multiple client references.

Keep in mind, my criteria for choosing an agent might be completely different from yours. Thanks for reading!

4 Things That Will Help Fetch the Right Resale Value for Your Property

So, you have decided to part with your home. Pondering how to get the best distribute that will justify impounding it is an investment quality until now. Before you put up a written notice for sale, or start overstepping the word to your near and dear, consider the fact that current realities sell is some parts of the country has been sluggish.

Hence, it is worthwhile to put in a bit of endeavor that they are able to acquire your belonging review a lot more attractive to possible customers. Now are some expert tips that will help enhance the resale ethic of your dwelling by tens of thousands if not few lakhs.

Pep up the exteriors

As soon as a home is bought, homeowners spend time, money and power in designing the interiors to their fads and fancy. What they miss to see is that, the exteriors play a major role in creating an impression in the minds of a possible buyer than the interior. It is the exterior that is first encountered before they take a walkthrough of the interiors. Hence, pay attention to pepping up your exteriors in equal asses to the interiors to get a better resale value.

Creating added space

An additional office is punishment, but what if it acts no purpose? Moreover, what if that extra apartment does not fit into the ergonomic layout of the residence accurately? Instead, think of ways to increase the infinite within the residence. There are plenty of architect conglomerates with interior designers and vasthu consultants who facilitate reforming the physical magnitudes of any dwelling to make it appear spacious and airy. A spacious home will retrieve a higher resale price than one which boasts about a tiny and ill-fitting extra room.

Setting right adolescent repairs

Like sags of ocean that muster together to structure a tangled puddle, a number of unattended minor mends can wash away a significant portion of your property's resale appreciate. A prospective purchaser will be more interested in knowing the current physical milieu and the expected longevity of the members of this house before making a final decision.

The scene of spilling walls, falling spots and plumbing questions is absolutely take a hit on the property's auction worthiness. Hence, make sure all minor restores are attended to on a regular basis.

Keep a cushion for toll negotiation

Indians are inhuman negotiators. We love to bargain for the best handled in every busines. Especially when it is about to purchase a new dwelling expect the negotiation process to be fiercer than what you can imagine. Hence, make sure you toll your dimension with some cushion for reduction during the negotiation process.

You might want to take into consideration the existing sell proportion of similar qualities and how the treats have ended before securing the expenditure or agreeing to the price offered by the buyer.

The resale value for a quality is highly dependent on various factors. Location, floor space, number of chambers and furnishings all play a major role in determining the resale price. However, other factors like well-maintained exteriors, perfectly serving plumbing and sanitation, additional room for storage, etc. can help further increase the resale evaluate to a higher denomination.

5 Things Ethics Should Mean To A Real Estate Agent

The National Association of Realtors (NAR), as well as many state licensing boards, require agents to sign, observe and follow a Code of Ethics. While states such as New York, require each agent to complete a refresher course on ethics, on a regularly prescribed basis, until, and unless, these codes become habit, and agents automatically live, breathe and follow an ethical code, and behave accordingly, the purpose will not be achieved. Ethics must be far more than simply a code or set of words, but how we behave, every day, with every customer or client. This goes well beyond the laws, which speak about discrimination and protected classes, etc. It also goes far beyond merely being honest. It is taking seriously ones commitment to serve properly and ethically! Below are 5 basic things ethics should mean to a real estate agent.

1. Absolute confidentiality: Within legal limits, when a buyer or seller hires an agent, and a client – relationship is created, the agent must listen, but not repeat any pertinent information, concerns, etc, to anyone, without his client's express permission. For example, a homeowner's financial or personal situation, or anything (excluding something considered material, in nature) which might adversely impact your client, must not be repeated. A Buyers Representative must maintain the same high ethics and integrity, with his clients. While this discussion is about clients, understand that if you are representing a potential buyer, and the relationship is that of a customer, in fact, your allegiance is to the homeowner. Understand the difference between clients and customers!

2. Allegiance to client: If you are a Listing Agent, you can't tell a customer – buyer, what he might be able to offer (or homeowner might be willing to accept). You can only discuss material issues or defects, but nothing about the individuals you have been hired to represent!

3. Absolute integrity, to clients and general public: Doesn't it make sense you must always tell the truth about matters related to a real estate transaction? While your allegiance is to your client, you must never distort or lie about facts, related to the house, etc., to any customers, or potential ones!

4. Ethical treatment with colleagues: You owe other agents a degree of respect, honesty, integrity and ethics! While you must prioritize your client's needs, etc, you must promptly respond to your colleagues, submit offers promptly and fairly, and be cooperative.

5. Do the right thing!: Perhaps everyone's personal code should be based on the Golden Rule, and doing the right thing! Be honest, fair, and professional!

While this is not anywhere near a thorough examination of professional ethics, it is a good first step, towards developing the proper mindset! Be ethical always!

Three Things You Should Never Say to Your Real Estate Agent

Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home, a real estate agent makes you feel like you have a supportive and knowledgeable friend. It's important to tell them all the important details about the property you are selling. If you are looking to buy a home, then you should be able to communicate all the features that you consider high priorities. Still, some people say things that are potentially offensive to a real estate agent. Avoid these common mistakes.

“But I looked up the property values online, and… ”

There are many great online tools for comparing neighborhoods and trends, but nothing currently available online compares to the experience of an informed real estate agent. Property values can be ballpark estimates or based on sales from decades ago. By all means, do the research and share your impressions of different neighborhoods with your realtor, but make sure that you respect their experience and training. Don't assume the results you got from a search engine will trump the advice realtors are trying to convey regarding the local market.

“Your job must be so much fun!”

Viewing and touring new properties all day may seem like a lot of fun, but there is also a lot of paperwork and other training that goes into becoming a real estate agent. Saying that anyone's job is “fun” tends to imply that the job would be easy for the speaker. One doesn't typically refer to the work of airline pilots or astronauts as “fun,” since it's acknowledged that a lot of training is necessary. Since some homeowners can sell their home without an agency, some people underestimate the amount of work involved.

“I don't want to sell my property to anyone who is [insert race, gender, or religion].”

The dynamics of neighborhoods sometimes change over time, and some ethnic groups congregate in different parts of town in many cities. There are a lot of different factors that go into the way a population distributes itself across an urban area, and some patterns are established over long periods of time. People who have lived in one neighborhood may feel resentment toward newcomers of a different demographic, but it is not okay to ask a realtor to participate in discrimination. In the wake of the national Civil Rights Movement, equal housing legislation passed into law at the end of the 1960s. Your agent will show the property to any buyers who might be in the right financial market to make the purchase.

Ultimately, most of these suggestions should be obvious. Still, realtors encourage open and friendly communication, and it can be easy to forget common courtesies. Given the amount of money tied up in long-term mortgages and real estate transactions, it makes sense that everyone should be on their best behavior. Unfortunately, the Golden Rule isn't always effective enough for some people who struggle to imagine themselves in different careers or different demographics. To avoid stumbling into a faux pas with a realtor, just remember these examples.

7 Key Reasons To Use A REALTOR

You've decided the time is right, for you to relocate, sell your home, and make some change, for any of a number of personal and/ or professional reasons. However, you are not quite certain, whether you should attempt to sell it on your own (known as a FSBO – for sale by owner), use a licensed real estate agent, or use a real estate professional, who is also a REALTOR (R)? You believe perhaps you might save some commission if you do it yourself, but then, you also sacrifice taking advantage of the knowledge, expertise, experience, training, offered by an agent! You aren't quite certain of the difference between what a Realtor (R) is, as opposed to an agent. Those who are Realtors, belong to their national, state and local association, but what is most important to you, have access to greater networking an exposure, by utilizing and sharing your listing information, via the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The reality of selling a house, is the greater the proper sort of exposure, the more qualified buyers view the house, the greater the probability of getting it sold, in the shortest period of time, and at the best possible, available price.

1. Reliable; regulated: All licensed real estate agents are regulated, and must abide by the regulations of their governing state. Realtors must also comply with the ethical requirements of their association. If there is any issue, brokers affiliated with the association, must also answer to the rules and regulations of that group.

2. Ethics; education: Educational requirements are imposed by the state. For example, New York State requires 22.5 hours of continuing education, every two years. There are also ethics requirements set by the state. Larger brokers also offer their agents additional training, and a large amount of exposure and networking opportunities.

3. Attention; associates: A FSBO often lacks enough time, to pay the degree of attention necessary, to insure maximum exposure, and quality views. Agents have their efforts enhanced, because their associates will also show the listing, and they will share the commissions, etc.

4. Listening; learning: Experience comes from listening to customers, clients and the thoughts/ feedback from other agents. Quality agents can then use that feedback, to tweak pricing, presentation, staging, etc. Great agents continuously learn, and improve!

5. Trustworthy: Why would anyone go to any agent, they don't trust and consider worthy of that trust?

6. Original; optimum: You want someone who will provide optimum service and value to your needs, concerns and priorities. Stay away from any One size fits all mindset or approach, and seek original solutions and approaches, based on your particular situation and property.

7. Real estate professional: The National Association of Realtors has done numerous studies which indicate that homes sold through Realtors, average a consistently higher selling price, than those which don't. Take advantage of the advantages of having your property shown on Multiple Listing Service, and the many Websites, which are fed from that site!

It's you home, and you can sell it any way you wish! Doesn't it make sense to use a REALTOR, and take advantage of the many advantages?