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How to Pick the Best Realtor (So You Get The Best Price)

Selling your home isn’t easy.

It’s a lot of work and it’s critical you get it right. If not, you risk losing thousands of dollars.

And your choice of agent is critical to the process. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to choosing a great realtor – so you can make an informed decision.

That way you’re more likely to have an enjoyable experience, and a great outcome.

Here’s how to pick the best realtor, so you get a great price for your home.


1.               Make Them Work

Interview several agents before you decide. Not sure what to ask? We’ve got you covered!

Here are some questions to ask and information on what the agent should be doing to sell your home.


2.               Go Local

Make sure your agent knows the local area because people will ask them about the local facilities. Your agent should be able to give people good solid information on the area.


3.               Check Their Fees

Some agents may charge different rates to others and it’s useful to know what you’re getting into.

But don’t go for the cheapest deal. Cheap is not necessarily cheerful.

Look for VALUE. This is just like buying any other product or service in that you generally get what you pay for.

You want to be well looked after during this process, so be sure you get value for money. Aim to get the best service, a professional attitude, and you’ll get a better result.


4.               Get Comfortable

Make sure you’re comfortable with the person you ultimately choose. If you’re not comfortable selling with this person, you can’t expect people to be happy to buy from them.


5.               Check the Small Print

Read the contract and be clear on any cancellation clauses. If you have a contract with a conditional release and you want to change agents part way through the contract, you must wait until the end of that contract.

Opt for an agent who offers an unconditional release so you have the flexibility you need.

At Residencity, we will always offer an unconditional release because we’re confident we can get you great results. Unlike traditional real estate agents we aim to give you the best value for money.

We’re focused exclusively on selling your home and provide services that are designed to maximize your sale.


Who is Residencity?

Having been a part of the real estate industry for 12 years, we have become too familiar with the shortcomings of Vancouver’s real estate industry. We believe that there are better ways to sell your home and this is why we created Residencity: a team that focuses exclusively on selling your home to help you get a higher price and increase your profit.

What sets us apart from everyone else?
There are several key aspects that sets Residencity aside from everyone else.

  1. Inclusive inspection. Residencity performs a home inspection prior to listing contrary to the current system of making an offer then having the buyer carry out the home inspection. Having completed one increases buyer confidence and trust knowing that we’ve laid out all the cards on the table. The home inspection is on us as well.

  2. Personal service. Each team member at Residencity is equally invested in the presentation and sale of your property. We want to earn your trust by being there for you every step of the way. Have a question regarding the property you’re selling? Call Residencity and all of our agents will be able to answer your question.

  3. Open house service. A qualified and knowledgeable agent will always be there to present your home. Our open houses are solely dedicated to selling your property and will never be conducted for the sake of marketing our real estate agents. Residencity holds mandatory open houses on the first two weekends that your listing is active and potential buyers are able to book private showings online as well.

  4. Minimum of 6 business days before listing your home. Unlike other agents who promise to list your property the next day, Residencity takes a minimum of 6 business days before listing to prepare your home for presentation, capture professional photographs, videos, etc. We want to provide you with professional quality marketing materials that will sell your home.

Why should you hire Residencity to sell your home?
Our agents are interested in doing one thing only: selling your property. Hiring us means that you get real-time updates about your home and listing, inclusive inspection, an entire team focused on selling your home, proper open houses and top of the line marketing materials. 

We are not a brokerage, but a team of individuals working out of Sutton West Coast Realty that want to revolutionize the way the real estate industry works by identifying its weak spots and presenting you with a solution. Call us at 604.288.9166 or email us to see what we can do for you.


Selling your home by yourself: should you do it?

There are a few options for selling your home privately in BC:

  1. You can market your home yourself on websites such as Craigslist and Kijiji
  2. You can work with websites such as that will sell your property for just that: one flat fee.

With these options, you save on a real estate agent’s commission, but you become responsible for all preparations, showings, questions, and marketing of your property. The greatest disadvantage you face if you self promote on websites such as Craigslist and Kijiji, is that you lose out on marketing experience and exposure to 95% of the market from not being able to list your home on a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), where most people and real estate agents search for a home.

By listing your home privately you are indeed saving on commission, but we believe that the exposure you would receive through MLS and the marketing services offered by the agent pays for the commission itself. By selling your home yourself, you would have to invest much more time with all the added responsibilities and you might not even be saving as much as you had imagined to do so.

By listing your home with Residencity, you will be working with experts who focus on enhanced MLS listings, professional marketing materials, extended open houses and a pre-inspection. Call us at 604.288.9166 to see what we can do for you.


One of the solutions to getting your home sold (and you don’t even need to do anything)

Imagine blow drying your hair in your new home and having the circuit breaker trip: you’re in the dark and you have no idea where the breaker box is, and often it’s tucked away in a dark corner in the basement. Everything you buy nowadays comes with an instruction manual- the drawer set from Ikea, the blender from The Bay and even the second hand car comes with a manual in the glove box. Buying a new home, probably the most expensive thing you will ever own, does not come with a manual.

Whenever someone buys a house, they should always receive a specification sheet. Residencity will provide you with both a specification sheet and a manual. The manual will provide details such as location of breaker boxes, water shut off, instructions for sprinklers. The specification sheet will contain details of the appliances and materials used in the house.

We believe that it is essential to have a specification sheet when selling a home and to find a realtor who will make you one when listing your home. Not only does it contain important notes for the new homeowner, but it can also be used as a marketing piece. Additionally, a manual should be provided upon closing with the rest of the details. The more information you present, the more familiarized potential buyers are with the property, the more likely they are to take interest and present you with an offer.

Specification lists and home manuals are a standard here at Residencity and we prepare one for every property that lists with us. Call us at 604.288.9166 or email us for a consultation to see what our agents can do to get your property sold.


I don’t want to sell my house anymore. Now what?

You the seller, always has the option of selling the home or refusing any offer made. You do not have to accept the very first offer even if it is for the asking price. The seller always has the right to decide whether they want to continue selling the house or not sell it at all, even after the realtor has put forth the efforts of marketing the house.

Here are the three stages of selling a home and here is when you can or cannot back out of selling your home:

  1. Listing
    • The seller can back out anytime they wish
  2. Offer
    • Seller cannot back out
    • Buyer can back out
  3. Closing
    • Nobody can back out

If in the end you really decide that you’re not ready to part with your home and decide not to sell anymore, then the real estate agent may ask for reimbursement for marketing expenses that have accrued.

What happens after you decide to break up with your real estate agent? Here’s Residencity’s advice on contract terminations:


A Private Sale With A Real Estate Agent: Worth it?

You’re talking to your friend who’s a real estate agent and you tell them that you’re looking to sell your property in Burnaby. You give them a tour of the home and get all the fine print sorted out. They tell you that they know someone who is perfect for this listing, meetings are held and the exchange happens. This is great, your home has been sold quickly at asking price, without being listed on MLS.

Although your property in Burnaby was sold promptly at asking price, it could have had offers that were even higher, if you had posted it on MLS for a few days. Imagine what you could potentially get when 13000 agents. There is a fairly high chance you would get more than what you got with the 1 agent.

At Residencity, we believe that it is important to let the property sit on the market for a minimum of 7 days. This way, it is shown to real estate agents who also have the opportunity to show it to their clients. We advise that regardless of the market condition, the exposure should still be there to ensure that you get the best selling price.

Call Residencity at 604.288.9166 or email us to list your home with a team that will ensure that your property receives the market exposure it deserves even if there are interested buyers prior listing the property.


Selling a tear down or a land value property

In these types of transactions, the target buyer is a builder. When a builder is looking for a lot, they are not looking for things like a kid-friendly backyard, kitchen, storage space, pretty bathrooms or faucets. What they are looking for are things that are directly related to the building cost.

Example 1: Elevation of a lot. A lot that is located on an uphill section of the street yields a different cost compared to one that is on a downhill area. The uphill section of the street requires more material and manpower for the foundation to be built which decreases the profitability of the lot compared to a lot on a downhill area.

Example 2: Location of sewers. If the basement of a building is lower than the sewer, a pump will be required to direct wastewater in order to avoid building floods. A generator will be needed for the pump and this lowers the value of the lot.

Example 3: True property lines. It is always important to know what’s yours and what’s not yours. Even though a fence may already be in place, it may actually be on your side, or the neighbours. Knowing where your property truly starts and ends can alleviate many disputes that may arise in the future that may slow down the project.  

Example 4: Alleys. Having two access points (alley and front of lot) makes the building process a lot quicker and cost effective allowing the machinery to be brought in from both ways. What if there was no alley? The cost of building the backyard will most likely be double as more manual labour would be required to move materials in manually vs having a truck drop them off.  

This is where a Site Survey comes in handy. Site surveys map out features such as change in elevation, trees on site, drainage systems, unknown obstacles- things builders need to be aware of before starting construction to create a safe, accurate structures.

There are many variables that can cause the price of the lot to fluctuate and a site survey will provide builders with the necessary resources to help them make a quicker decision and to provide you with a higher value property as it removes the if’s and buts. All you have to do is call a land surveyor in your area to have it done and you will gain a powerful marketing tool for your property.

Alternatively, you can email or call Residencity at 604.288.9166 to list with us. Every lot we list includes a site survey and the best part is, the cost of getting it done is on us.   



Why do most buyers use a real estate agent?

Buyers use real estate agents because purchasing a property is a big commitment and similar to buying a car, you probably want to have someone assist with the process and help you make informed decisions. The real estate industry is designed in such a way and has evolved to the point where most people nowadays will not even think of purchasing a property without proper consultation with a real estate agent.

It is especially important to have the guidance of a real estate agent in this day an age with the lack of structure and standard of quality for how things are done. Let’s take a look at the app by, the biggest real estate website out there run by Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Over 3000 users have rated the app 1 star and over 55% of all the users have rated the app below 2 stars app

Results as of Monday, October 3rd 2016, 12:23 PM via Google Play Android App Store 

Now if you look at the first three reviews on the Apple iTunes Store, you can see that Apple users are just as dissatisfied with the app, leaving 1 star reviews. app itunes
Results as of Monday, October 3rd 2016, 12:23 PM via iTunes Store

Once you do manage to find a website or an app to search for properties the secondary problem kicks in: small photos, inadequate details and basic filter (eg. houses with basement) do not exist. It’s no wonder that people turn to real estate agents when looking to invest in a property.

The industry is designed to make people depend on real estate agents when buying a property, but this does not necessarily mean that working with one is a bad idea.  It just means that you need to find an agent who can dig through the poorly listed properties and help you find the right one.

Residencity has the goal of having the seller work with a real estate agent whose best asset is their quality of service and will sell your house with your best interests in mind. Interested in what we do? Call us at 604.288.9166 or email us for a pre-inspection for your home and see what else we do differently compared to other agents.


BMW vs Honda: Which agent is working harder?

Real estate agents are walking advertisements. The way they conduct themselves in public is considered a representation of how they work and is usually the first impression that a potential client receives from them.

Let’s talk about the cars of real estate agents. We have two well-dressed real estate agents and at first glance, the individual driving the BMW seems like an agent who has many clients and has closed many successful deals. The fellow with the Honda, may be an individual who is starting out in the real estate field and is not as experienced yet.

Although we know that this may not necessarily be the case, our subconscious makes these assumptions for us whether we realize it or not and oftentimes it plays into our decision making. In reality, the individual driving the Honda may have purchased and paid the car off in full whereas the agent driving the BMW may be leasing it, paying several hundred dollars per month.

What we’re NOT trying to say here is that the agent driving a Honda is the better agent. What we’re TRYING to say here is that the brand of car your agent drives is a tool they use to market themselves, and not so much a representation of how hard hard of a worker or successful they are as an agent. Although this goes against our assumptions, it would simply be incorrect to label that one agent is working harder than the other simply by the car they drive.

When choosing a real estate agent, evaluate the agent’s marketing plan by seeing what they have done in past. Not everything in the marketing plan benefits you. Head on over here for our cheat sheet to on how to interpret real estate agent marketing plans, or even simpler, call us at 604.288.9166 or email us to list your home.