How to Choose Realtor Selling your House, Condo or Loft?
Not all agents or brokers are REALTORS® - there is a difference.
As a prerequisite for selling real estate, real estate professionals must be licensed by the province in which they work, either as an agent/salesperson or as a broker. Before a license is issued, minimum standards for education, examinations and experience, which are determined on a state-by-state basis, must be met. After receiving a real estate license, most agents join their local board or association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the world's largest professional trade association. They can then call themselves REALTORS®.
The term "REALTOR®" is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of NAR and who adheres to its strict Code of Ethics (which in many cases goes beyond state law). In most areas, it is the REALTOR® who shares information on the homes they are marketing, through a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Working with a REALTOR® who belongs to an MLS will give you access to the greatest number of homes.
What Are an Agent’s Obligations to You?
A real estate agent is bound by certain legal obligations. Traditionally, these common-law obligations are to
put the client's interests above anyone else's
keep the client's information confidential
obey the client's lawful instructions
report to the client anything that would be useful
account to the client for any money involved
A REALTOR® is held to an even higher standard of conduct under the NAR’s Code of Ethics.
In recent years, state laws have been passed setting up various duties for different types of agents. When you first start working with a REALTOR®, ask for a clear explanation of your state's current regulations, so that you will know where you stand on these important matters.
Evaluating a Real Estate Agent
In making your decision to work with an agent, there are certain questions you should ask when evaluating a potential agent. The first question you should ask is whether the agent is a REALTOR®. Here are other questions you should then ask the agent:
Do you have an active real estate license in good standing? To find this information, you can check with the Toronto Real Estate Board.
Do you belong to the MLS service? Multiple Listing Services are cooperative information networks of REALTORS® that provide descriptions of most of the houses for sale in a particular region.
Is real estate your full-time career?
What real estate designations do you hold?
What is your knowledge of my neighbourhood?
How long have you been working in my neighbourhood?
How will you determine the value of my home?
What will you do to market my home?
I believe my home is worth over $1,000,000. What does your company have to offer that others don't to reach the high net worth client and achieve the highest price?
Something to consider? Often agents choose to work in a one specific area. This can sometimes be percieved as a good thing. What you need to consider is that just because that person has alot of Listings in the neighbourhood that doesnt me that person has actually brought the buyer to the Sale. Their SOLD sign only means that they represented the Sellers and worked with a co-operating Broker to Sell it. This is the case more often then not. So while this gives the impression that the agent is selling alot of homes in the area it is usually another brokerage that had the buyer and brought the offer on the home. Choosing an agent because they have alot of signs isnt neceesarily the only reason to hire them. What you want is an agent that you have are confident that they are working in your best interest and that you are comfortable working. You will be spending alot of time with your agent so have a good relationship and trust in is far more important than alot of signs in the neighbourhood.
The following articles provide useful information and are a great place to start if you're considering Selling a home, condo or loft.