If you’re looking to sell your property faster, and at a better price, the first thing to do is to find a reputable real estate broker. But before you sign on the dotted line, here are some questions you should ask. Just to make sure you are working with the real estate professional who will best represent your interests!
1. What are your credentials?
As you start thinking about selling your home, you should be working with a real estate broker who is accredited by the APCIQ (Quebec Association of Real Estate Brokers) and the OACIQ (the Authority of the Real Estate Brokerage in Quebec). This means the person is fully vetted by the industry, will have access to the Realtor.ca, and possesses all the insider knowledge to list your property and find the adequate buyers. If you still have doubts, you can always check a broker’s track record through the OACIQ.
2. How many years of experience do you have?
Verify with the OACIQ how long the broker has had their permit for. Anyone with over 20 years of experience, like Katia Samson who is also a certified Real Estate Broker Chartered AEO and is Director of her own agency, means you’ve found a true gem! Since 1996, Katia has sold over 1,900 properties and in 2019, she finalised close to 150 transactions.
Although a broker’s past performance is no guarantee of a quick and easy sale, a good track record is an indicator that you will be working with a professional who is specialized in real estate and who understands the market’s mechanisms in order to facilitate the sale. Also make sure you see the broker’s website and social media platforms for a good idea of who the person is, and how they present their listed properties.
3. What neighbourhood do you specialize in?
Working with a real estate expert who understands the unique aspects of your neighbourhood is a great advantage. Does your broker also live in your area? Great! That means she probably knows of any upcoming developments in the area, plus plans for shops or other amenities that might affect the value of your property, how quickly it will sell, and the price you’re likely to get. She also knows what local potential buyers are looking for in terms of housing and price. Remember you’re not only selling your home but your area, as well.
4. How do you set the property price?
Setting the correct price requires an in-depth knowledge of the current real estate market for the type of buyer you wish to attract. A property that is listed way above the average price for a comparable will stay on the market much longer that you’d like. On the flip side, a price that’s too low will deprive you of a higher profit margin.
Working with a real estate broker who knows your neighbourhood well and what similar properties have recently sold for will help you set the price most likely to garner a lot of interest from prospective buyers. Make sure your broker can also answer all your questions, as this is one of the most important transactions of your life.
5. Who will I be working with?
Some agencies operate with several brokers on the same property. Having a bigger pool of brokers can help out with different showings, but sometimes your questions might go unanswered because there are just too many people involved. As well, will your broker be showing your property, or will they pass along the key to other brokers for the visit? It’s common practice for some listing brokers to ask selling brokers to pick up the key at their office. If a broker works on their own, how will they manage to accommodate visits on your property if they are busy with other clients at the same time? Make sure you feel comfortable with the type of arrangement the agency has in mind for you, so ask a lot of questions before you commit.
6. How much money will I have to spend to sell my home with you?
Again, not every agency operates the same way, so understand exactly what fees you will have to pay in the real estate transaction. Make sure your broker informs you of all selling expenses: bank penalty, mortgage discharge, administration fees if you live in a condo, cost of new certificate of location, the commission, closing fees. Are home staging and photography included? Everything should be clearly detailed in your contract. And don’t be shy to compare brokers’ fees!
7. What are your marketing tools?
Other than listing your property on MLS, your broker should have a detailed plan of action on how they will showcase your property to prospective buyers.
Some questions to ask: Where do you advertise your properties for sale? Do you hire professional photographers or videographers specialized in real estate? Can buyers see the property through a virtual tour? Show me some examples of your social media marketing…
8. How do I get my home ready for selling it?
If you’ve been living a long time in your current property, chances are you’ll have to do some necessary repairs or upgrades to ‘bring it to market’. Your broker is sure to have many suggestions, from decluttering and deep cleaning to home staging. Make sure you’re both on the same page concerning how much time and investment will be needed before the property is listed. Find more information on prepping your home for sale, click here
9. How often will we be in touch?
Knowing in advance how often your broker will be in touch with you is important to your well-being. Your broker should also be reasonably available to answer any questions you have concerning the sale of your property. Make sure you also agree on the type or preferred communication. Are texts OK, or do you want to make sure you can get through with a phone call at all times?
10.How long should it take to sell my property?
In today’s Montreal real estate market (summer 2020), a property can be sold in three weeks or less. If the market is very active and it still hasn’t sold, it probably means it’s not listed at the right price or there is something wrong with the property itself that needs to be addressed and fixed.