When hiring a Toronto Realtor to sell your home, there are many things to consider. For the majority of people, signing a listing contract is a big decision, especially if they do not have full trust in the real estate salesperson or broker. In order for you – and your Realtor of choice – to feel completely comfortable with the contract and the sale of your home, here are some questions you might consider asking, and some things to ponder before signing on the dotted line.
Listing Contract Details: How long is the listing for, and what is the provision for an extension if required? Can you get out of it at any time should you be unhappy? Is there any clause preventing you from re-listing your home with another Realtor within a certain time period in the event that you either cancel the listing or it expires? (This is extremely common and catches many homeowners off-guard.) Has the salesperson/broker explained the details and implications of the contract, and answered any questions you might have? Have they asked you pertinent questions about your home, neighbourhood, motivations, etc.?
Commission and Costs: Ensure your Realtor, as with any professional you’d trust with an investment or your health, etc., is worth their fees: while it’s important to remember that the commission is split between the brokers representing the buyer and yourself and then bewteen the individual Realtors, it is appropriate to ensure the person you hire to sell your home is going to earn the money. How much advertising will they be doing for your specific home, and where, and how often? How will they be letting the neighborhood know (many successful sales come from friends of locals who have visited and loved the neighborhood)? What is their action plan, and how will it change if the house doesn’t sell quickly? Have they given you compelling reasons for how to price your house? What will they do to make your home stand out and give it a competitive advantage in the marketplace? Also, have they discussed anticipated closing costs and proceeds with you, and discussed possible options for discharging, transferring or porting your mortgage to save you money?
Once you have found a Realtor who answers these and other questions to your satisfaction, then be prepared to pay a reasonable commission, as a good Realtor is worth it.
Communication: A wise Broker once told me that every Realtor promises the sun, moon and stars when giving a listing presentation. However, actions speak louder than words and this is where the rubber hits the road. Will the agent call and communicate regularly, and what, for you, is regularly? This is a BIG issue for many homeowners, as many agents become less and less communicative as time goes by. Make sure you hire someone who is going to keep you in the loop, no matter what the news is.
Notes: When you list your Toronto home for sale, you need to be prepared with the proper paperwork. Have the following ready, if available:
- Any existing survey of the property
- Latest tax bills and assessments
- Invoices, permits and approvals for any repairs or renovations you have had done on the property
- Paperwork detailing anything else that may affect the property from the Buyer’s point of view, eg. special assessments, city notices regarding zoning changes or other pending neighbourhood changes, restrictions or easements, contracts for rental equipment (alarm, furnace, etc.)
- If possible, information about schools, transportation and other local amenities, although your Realtor should be able to provide this to potential buyers. If there are features of your locale, either positive or negative, which a buyer would want to know about, inform your Realtor. At worst, hiding crucial information can leave you and your Realtor and Brokerage open to litigation; at best, special or unique neighbourhood features can be highlighted and help sell your home faster and for more money!
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