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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.


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.


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 OneFlatFee.ca 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: https://www.residencity.com/pick-realtor-give-you-unconditional-release/


The importance of real estate awards: not as important as you think

You pick up an agent’s real estate brochure. On the back of the 6 page brochure there are 5 awards.  


What do all these even mean? They’re not there for you to understand, they’re just there to tell you that the agent can do the job for you. Each brokerage has their own awards and standards and by no means are these indicators of how well they do their job, as there is almost an award for every agent out there.

At this day and age, it is almost difficult to come across an agent without a real estate award. From Rookie of the Year, to Award of Excellence, and the list goes on.. So what sets one agent above the rest? We’re not here to tell you how to distinguish one award from another, but rather to advise you on how not to let awards get in the way of choice in hiring a real estate agent that is right for you.

Or hire Residencity. We don’t present real estate awards to cloud our seller’s judgement, the proof is in the care and pride we take in our work. Listing with Residencity means a standard and an unbiased marketing plan which includes enhanced MLS listings, extended open houses, pre-inspection and professional grade marketing materials. Call us at 604.288.9166 or email us to list with Residencity and see what else we can do for you.


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 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.