As you embark on your home sale in Brampton, Mississauga, or Caledon, you may be wondering whether to work with a REALTOR® or navigate the process on your own. The truth is, a seller who works with the right professional will have some distinct advantages. These include a simpler selling process and a clearer path to success.
Here, we’ll discuss the potential benefits of working with a REALTOR®—and lay out the steps involved.
Benefits of Working With a Pro
Are you wondering if working with a real estate professional is worthwhile? Here are a few of the biggest benefits you can expect if you do.
Working with an agent who’s navigated the selling process many times can prevent you from second-guessing every decision. Whether you’re setting the ideal price or weighing the pros and cons of an offer, the knowledge of a qualified professional is crucial.
A successful sale requires a professional touch. From inspectors and cleaners to repair professionals and photographers, a skilled agent will have a strong network of experts to ensure your property looks its best.
Selling can be complex, and even small mistakes can have unintended consequences. Fortunately, a qualified professional can support you at each step, helping you make difficult decisions and coordinating on your behalf.
What many sellers don’t realize is, properties sold with agents tend to fetch higher prices. From careful home preparations to tactical marketing efforts, the steps a professional takes can lead to a better price.
Strategic negotiations are the key to getting the best possible price, terms, and conditions. A professional who understands the local market (and buyer psychology) will know when to push for your interests—and when to hold back.
Coordination and Paperwork
Selling a home means working with various parties to achieve your ideal outcome—and signing plenty of documents. The right REALTOR® will make sure you know what to expect and tackle the more mundane logistics for you.
What Is a REALTOR®?
Not all real estate agents are created equal. There are several differences between a sales representative who’s designated as a REALTOR® and one who isn’t. Along with the benefits listed above, here are three traits that set REALTORS® apart.
Membership in the Canadian Real Estate Association
Every REALTOR® must belong to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). This industry authority equips its members with up-to-date data, timely analysis, and access to the latest knowledge and technologies.
Adherence to the Code of Ethics
CREA’s code of ethics demands the highest moral standards for the conduct of its members. In other words, you can feel confident that the REALTOR® you work with will uphold their duty to you.
REALTORS® receive continuous training throughout their careers. They’re obligated to stay in-the-know regarding local laws and best practices, and that knowledge translates to smoother transactions.
How Real Estate Commission Works
As a seller, you’ll pay a commission to both your agent and the buyer’s. The total amount is typically between 3.5 and 5 percent of your sale price, which is then split between the two agents.
Steps To Selling a House With a REALTOR®
Are you still wondering, why work with a REALTOR®? If so, take a look at what’s involved—and decide whether selling with a professional makes sense for you.
1) Choose the right REALTOR®
The first step is finding a seller’s agent you trust. Whether you research online or rely on a recommendation, you’ll want to set up an interview with anyone who seems like a good match.
This is your opportunity to ask about an agent’s approach, experience, and selling process. Here are just a few potential questions you may want to ask:
- Can you discuss your pricing strategy?
- How might you market my home?
- Can I see some of your past marketing materials?
- Are there any past clients I can contact?
You want a REALTOR® with local experience and an abundance of pricing, marketing, and staging expertise. They should ideally also have more than a small handful of recent sales under their belt.
2) Sign a listing agreement
When you’ve found the right seller’s agent, you’ll be asked to sign a listing agreement. This document allows the REALTOR® in question to market and sell your home through their brokerage. It contains information on the services they’ll provide and the commission fees you’ll pay.
It’s crucial that you fully understand the agreement before signing it. If there are any points of confusion, make sure you ask for clarification.
3) Set a strategic price
Before you put your home on the market, your REALTOR® will help you set a strategic price for it. Here’s how they’ll use the data to do that.
A comparative market analysis
Your REALTOR® will provide a comparative market analysis (CMA). This crucial document will contain prices for properties similar to yours—in terms of square footage, features, location, etc.
From there, your agent will consider your goals and factor in prospective buyer motivations to help you reach the right number.
4) Calculate your selling costs
Most sellers are so focused on their potential return that they forget about the costs of selling.
To start with, some of the services you would otherwise pay for (like staging) may be complementary when you work with your agent. If you don’t know, ask. They’ll also help by providing the full financial picture—and help you perform calculations before you move on to preparing your home.
5) Prepare your home
Buyers will assess your home from every angle. They’ll peek into cupboards, look under beds, and notice every dust mote and speck of dirt. Many will also be turned off if your preferred aesthetic is too far from their own (which is why stylish neutrals are key).
With an expert eye, your REALTOR® will assess your home from a buyer’s perspective. Here’s what will come next.
Your agent may suggest painting or performing small repairs. If they’re well-connected, they’ll recommend trusted professionals who can carry them out efficiently.
Decluttering & cleaning
A thorough decluttering and cleaning are crucial. Your REALTOR® will advise you—and refer you to cleaners who can ensure your property is in pristine condition if need be.
Your agent’s staging efforts will enhance your property while expanding your buyer pool. If they have the right expertise, they’ll take a hands-on approach to furnishing and styling your home.
An agent who understands the market will know which improvements could boost your home’s value—and which will be a waste of money.
6) Market your property
To start with, your REALTOR® will post your property on the MLS—a database agents use to share listings. They may also refer to their network of qualified buyers in search of the ideal purchaser.
From there, they’ll create a strategic plan that leverages the right marketing channels and materials (this process will be fairly hands-off for you). Examples include:
- Promotion on real estate websites
- Print materials (flyers, postcards, etc.)
- Social media campaigns
- Video and virtual tours
- Kijiji postings
From high-quality photographs to compelling copy, your marketing pieces will showcase the very best of your property.
7) Holding showings
Marketing efforts should soon pay off in the form of home hunters who want to view your property. Your REALTOR® will coordinate with their agents (and you) to schedule showings.
They’ll also advise you on how to keep your home in show-ready shape—and the right etiquette to follow when buyers come calling.
8) Reviewing feedback
You should be looped-in to ongoing feedback from buyer’s agents. Your REALTOR® will communicate with you about how your property was received following showings.
If modifying your price could help you achieve your selling goals, it may be worth considering.
9) Fielding offers
Your REALTOR® will help you understand the pros and cons of any offer you receive in the context of the current market.
Should you set an offer date?
If you expect your home to generate a lot of interest, your agent may discuss setting an offer date with you.
Choosing a particular day and time to begin reviewing your bids (and informing buyers that you won’t consider any made before then) will allow you to compare all your offers at once. It may also encourage competition between purchasers.
The offer presentation
Whether you set a date or not, each bid will be laid out during an offer presentation. This event could take place virtually or in person, and you don’t necessarily have to attend (though you can).
During the presentation, your REALTOR® will review the offer and hear any necessary explanation provided by the buyer’s agent. They’ll bring that information back to you if you’re not present.
Weighing the pros and cons
When you’re deciding whether to accept, reject, or counter an offer, you should understand the potential outcomes of pursuing each option. Your REALTOR® will run you through various scenarios and explain every clause and condition that you’re unsure about.
The negotiation process can become even more complicated when multiple offers are involved, making your agent’s guidance that much more critical.
At closing, sellers typically have it easier than buyers—but it’s still best to have guidance as you wrap up your sale.
You’ll need to meet agreed-upon conditions (if applicable), sign relevant paperwork (with the aid of your lawyer), and ensure you have what you need on closing day (from government ID to a cheque for closing and repair costs, if you’ve agreed to pay any).
Making The Decision To Sell With a REALTOR®
Selling your home with a REALTOR® could lead to a higher price, a quicker sale, and support at every step of the process. If you’re preparing to put your property on the market, discover the difference that in-depth expertise can make.