Tag Archives: real estate agent

What Your Real Estate Agent Should be Doing to Sell Your Home

How good is your realtor?

Smart home sellers know there’s a whole lot more needed from a realtor than putting a sign in the yard and waiting. (Click to Tweet) As a seller, you deserve a lot more than this.

Getting a real estate license is the easy part, selling homes is a completely different game. Let’s look at what your real estate should be doing if you want your home to sell.

Perfectly Pricing Your Home

Providing the correct price point is the most important thing that your real estate agent will do to make sure your home sells. The best real estate agents have built a reputation on accurately pricing homes, rather than telling you what you want to hear.

Creating A Killer Campaign

Your home needs great marketing so it appeals to as many people as possible. This should include great pictures of your home from numerous viewpoints, as well as a video walk through.

An outstanding marketing campaign will also have a floor plan and feature sheet, and do more than just utilise multiple listing services. Today’s buyer is likely to find their dream home online and your realtor needs to take advantage of the many online opportunities.

Bring Better Buyers

Anyone may be interested in purchasing your house, but not everyone will qualify for a mortgage.

A good real estate agent will ensure buyers are pre-approved for a mortgage. This way they aren’t wasting time on offers where the financing will not be forthcoming, and potentially losing another buyer.

Terrific Character Traits

If you want your house to sell, these are the traits you should look for in a real estate agent:

  • You need to be able to trust them, and so do potential buyers
  • Professional manners and presentation, because they’re representing you
  • You need a strong negotiator you will always keep your interests at heart
  • A creative marketer with has a comprehensive marketing plan
  • Knowledge of your area and experience with proven results

When you find a real estate agent with these characteristics, the likelihood of your house selling skyrockets! Did you know that 7% of real estate agents complete 93% of real estate transactions? You want one of the 7% working for you!

It can be stressful selling a home. So, find a top-notch real estate agent who can ease the burden and ensure you have a successful outcome.


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.


What Should My Real Estate Agent Do to Sell My Home?

Is your agent really looking after you?

When you’re selling your home in the Vancouver area, you need someone who specialises in selling homes. Why?

Because an agent who’s an expert in home sales will provide extra services that will help you get the most money out of your home. Here’s what to ask when you interview prospective agents:

Do You Conduct Pre-Market Home Inspections for Your Clients?

Many real estate agents advise clients to hire an inspector before they put their home on the market. But don’t perform the inspection themselves.

As a result, many clients shy away from a pre-inspection. They may be worried they’ll uncover a money trap or they may not want to pay to inspect a home they won’t live in any longer.

At Residencity, we provide a better solution. We pay for our clients’ home inspection even before their home goes on the market.

We think that your real estate agent should do so, too. After all, knowing your home’s best points, as well as its flaws, can help your agent sell your home more effectively.

Do You Give Clients Tips to Maximise Their Home’s Selling Price?

After the pre-listing inspection, your real estate agent should provide several suggestions to help you get the most out of your home. For example, if the inspector found your gutters clogged, you can make your home more attractive to buyers by paying a few dollars to have them cleaned.

If a few floorboards are loose, tighten them so prospective buyers won’t be turned off by the squeak. You get the idea.

You may not want to pour a lot of money into your home but you can do several things to entice buyers to consider your home over the one down the street. Your real estate agent should give you a list of home improvement tips that can maximise your home’s selling price before it goes on the market.

Do You Stage and Photograph Your Clients’ Homes?

Buyers are more willing to plunk down a good chunk of change when they can imagine their own furniture fitting well into the home. That’s why a staging a home can make or break a sale.

A professional real estate agent should be able to advise you on how to best stage your home, using your existing furniture. They’ll tell you how to position your furniture in a more inviting way, and suggest you store your personal items (like your Canucks banner and your wedding picture).

This way prospective buyers can picture their own photographs and belongings in the home.

After staging, a quality real estate agent will bring a professional photographer to your home to show your home’s best face to the world. Since you’re paying the commission the real estate agent should include these services.

Never let an agent take home photographs with their smart phone. The results will be vastly inferior and your home won’t do well compared to others. (Click to Tweet)

Do You Provide Floor Plans and Specification Sheets to Prospective Buyers?

You wouldn’t buy a car that didn’t have an owner’s manual would you? It’s the same with real estate.

You need to know where to find various amenities, how large the place is, and what condition it’s in. A great real estate agent will provide those things so potential buyers will know everything they need to before they buy.

Yours agent should, too.

Here at Residencity, we provide three things to our clients before we put their homes on the market: a floor plan, a manual, and a specification sheet.

When buyers know that the former owners have taken care of every detail for them, they will be more likely to purchase the home with no worries. Less to stress about, more reasons to buy.

After you find a few real estate agents who will go the extra mile to sell your home, it’s time to narrow down your choices to find the very best one for your needs.

If you live in the Vancouver area and want an agent who will look after you and do what’s necessary to maximise the selling price for your home, contact Residencity today.


4 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Do you trust your real estate agent (Click to Tweet)

Deciding which real estate agent to go with when selling you home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make.

You want a high-quality, ethical, conscientious agent who has your best interests at heart. You want them to sell your house efficiently and effectively.

Meaning, you want to maximise the amount of money you get for your home, and you want it sold in a reasonable period. Not too fast (for too little) and not too slow either.

To find the right agent, you’ll need to ask several pointed questions. This will give you a feel for the agent’s level of experience, and let you know that you can trust them.

Here are the key questions to ask.

What types of homes do you typically sell?

You’re looking for an agent with experience in selling homes that are like yours.

Here’s an example. A real estate agent who specializes in selling high-rise condos may not be the best choice to sell your ranch-style estate.

That doesn’t mean that they can’t, but it might not be the best choice. Look for an agent who has experience with properties that are like yours.

How familiar are you with the neighbourhood?

Prospective buyers will have lots of questions about the neighbourhood as well as about your home. Things like how quiet the area is, or where the nearest park or school is located.

Your agent should be able to confidently answer these questions. This way buyers have all the information they need to make an educated decision about your property.

You’ll also want to ensure that your agent is familiar with the local market so that they can accurately price your home for the current market conditions.

How long have you been in the real estate business?

This gives you a sense of the agent’s overall experience. Of course, everyone must get their start somewhere.

Not all agents are experienced but do you really want an inexperienced agent working for you?

This is a personal decision and maybe you’re willing to give someone a chance to wow you. But remember that you’ve worked hard for your property and now you need to fetch a good price for all that effort.

How long do your homes typically stay on the market?

This will give you an indication of how successful the agent will be for you.

Keep in mind that there can be several factors at play when a home sits on the market for a long time. This question is more about gaining a general idea of what you might be able to expect.

Here at Residencity, we are a team of highly experienced real estate agents in the Vancouver area. We would be happy to help you sell your home, so get in touch with us right away to get started.


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.


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 realtor.ca, 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
realtor.ca 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.

realtor.ca 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.


Why are there so many Realtors out there?

There’s a perception that the real estate industry is a lucrative one and that you can make a lot of money. While this is definitely true, success in the real estate industry is something that only less than 10% can achieve. Many get licensed and do okay for the 1st and 2nd year but then change career paths after they have finished serving their friends and family and have run out of clients.

It’s not difficult becoming a real estate agent. Here are the 4 steps:

  1. Language Requirement. English is the language used for all real estate documents set by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia (RECBC), and you need to know enough to have an understanding of these documents. This is evaluated by a Language Proficiency Requirement which candidates must satisfy before registering for the licensing exam.
  • Education of 2 courses. You will need to take a Real Estate Trading Services Licensing Course which introduces you to the legal side of things;  
    • how to write a contract
    • how to interpret contracts
    • what to say and when to say it

After taking this course, you will be licensed to work under a real estate brokerage. Taking the Residential/Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Real Estate Course builds on your knowledge from the first course.

  1. Find a brokerage, and have them sign your licensing application. The BC council approves your application and you become a real estate agent.
  2. Join a real estate board. This way, you can gain access to online Multiple Listing Service (MLS), Paragon (the dashboard to view sold history and perform detailed searches) and standard forms when performing transactions with your clients.

As you can see from the steps outlined above, the bare minimum you really need is to take a licensing course which is approximately a year long commitment but can be done in as quickly as 3 months. Not too difficult or as lengthy compared to some other professions and there is no other requirement aside from taking the course, being able to communicate, read and write in English.  On average there are 10,000 to 14,000 active members at a time registered with the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.  


Don’t Be Fooled – Agent recommendations by family and friends may not be the best for you

A large part of business in real estate is driven by referrals so don’t get yourself caught in one just because it is your relative or a friend. Your friend from Coquitlam may be an excellent agent when buying properties in Coquitlam but he may not be the best agent to buy with in Vancouver as he will not have the area expertise that a local agent would have.

You will not know if you had a bad referral until it’s too late which is usually after the sale.  Here’s what to do if you are recommended a real estate agent

  1. Make sure to compare at least two other local real estate agents to the one recommended to you before you hire them as your agent.
    Your friends and family might have had a positive experience working with that realtor but you want to make sure that they have your best interest at heart rather than someone who just wants to close a deal. You want to pick a realtor agent who can create the most opportunities for you in the market.
  2. What kind of marketing skills do they have and what are they going to do for you?
    Another thing to consider is how will they present and advertise your property? Are they going to be present at open houses answering questions? Will they present themselves or your property? How the agent presents and markets your property impacts how others view your house and the potential of the amount of offers you receive in return.
  3. What is their level of knowledge of the area you are planning to buy in?
    Hiring an agent based in Richmond that your friends recommended when you are looking to buy in Kitsilano may not be the best idea. Unless the agent has had at least 10 transactions in that area in last 2 years, it would be wiser to seek out an agent who primarily deals with properties in that area.

Hiring a friend or a family member might save you on commission, but there is a high chance that you will miss out on maximizing the value of your house due to inexperience.

Looking to sell your property? Call Residencity at 604.288.9166 or email to set up a consultation and we’ll start with a free pre-inspection of your home.


11 mistakes sellers make when choosing a real estate agent

Selecting a real estate agent is a task that should be performed with the utmost care. Many sellers are persuaded by factors that aren’t essential to getting their house sold and are not evaluating agents on essential skills such as marketing and knowledge of the area. Here are some things to look out for when selecting an agent:

1.Choosing an agent based on the number of lawn signs they have in the area – “This person has 5 listings in the area, we should list with him.” Listing with an agent due to the number of lawn signs they have is not a good verification of whether the agent has the skills to market, present and negotiate your home.


2.An agent that says “Yes” to everything – Agents don’t want to lose your property as a listing as their pay cheque depends on the sale of your property. To get and keep your listing, everything will be a “yes”.  You need an agent that will be honest enough and tell you if the price you want is unrealistic, or if your house smells of pet odour, or if your peach coloured wall need to be neutralized.  You do not want a push-over agent representing your house.


3.Choosing an agent who will list your house tomorrow – It may sound like the agent is ultra-organized if they are able to list it so quickly, but that might not be the case. An agent who is able to list your house tomorrow may skip on essential marketing steps required to get the maximum value for your home.


4.Skip on the Marketing – The primary skill an agent needs to benefit you is marketing but interestingly enough, it is not part of their real estate education.  The most common excuse that agents use for not marketing a property is “the market is super hot and your house will sell with multiple offers.”  You can never have enough offers. If you are going to get 10 offers without marketing, you should get 15 offers with proper marketing.


5.Choosing a Realtor based on Language or Ethnicity – It is very common in Vancouver for people to go for ethnic real estate agents because the buyers are likely to offshore ethnicity. The buyer has their own agent so you do not need to worry about the buyer; he is covered. What you need is an agent who you can communicate with. As real estate is one of your life’s most important decisions, and you want someone that understands you when negotiating.


6.Choosing a Buyer’s Agent – Selling your house requires top-notch presentation.  From the outside, it may look like selling and buying are the same thing, but they are not. The primary skill set for a seller’s agent is presentation and marketing; on the other hand, a buyer’s agent needs intimate knowledge of their specific area.


7.Choosing a New Agent – The real estate licensing course teaches an agent about the legal side of real estate and how to do the paperwork. Unless the agent has experience in marketing or presentation, you might as well fill out your own paperwork. Marketing is the number one skill that you need your agent to have because that is what will bring you potential offers.


8.Choosing a part-time agent – If the agent has another job, they will have other priorities. Their top priority may not be selling your home and won’t be able to answer phone calls or messages as they come. You need an agent that works for you.


9.Choosing an agent based on highest listing price – Your real estate agent does not determine the value of your house. The value of your house is determined by factors such as the location, year, land, quality of build, economy, etc. You need to find an agent who is honest with you and comfortable with discussing the real value of your property.


10.House knowledge – We have been to countless of open houses and when we ask a question about the condition of the boiler or furnace, the agent often goes “I don’t know.”  If your agent is selling your home, he or she should know everything about the house from windows, doors, appliances, mechanical to foundation and everything in between.


11.Listing with Discount Brokerages – Buyers come through other agents. Agents will take prospective buyers where they get the most money. Most, if not all, homes get sold by buyers’ agents, and if you chop their paycheque in half, they often won’t want to show your house. More often than not, whatever “discount” you’re getting will end up being more of a headache than it’s worth.

Selling your home with Residencity means that you will be working with a team who will provide you with a free pre-inspection of your home, enhanced MLS listings, professional grade photography, videography, 3D tours and more. Call us at 604.288.9166 or email us to set up a consultation to see what we’re all about