Broker’s Corner: The Right Questions to Ask When Selecting a REALTOR®
Selecting a REALTOR® to sell your home should not be a decision taken lightly. Many people are tempted to use a friend or friend-of-a-friend for selling their home, when really the decision should be based on three main criteria: experience, track record and cost. Purplebricks’ Broker of Record Randall Weese provides some wisdom on these key areas based on his 13 years of experience in the Canadian real estate industry.
“I have been in this industry for 13 years and I hold Broker Licenses in three provinces. Every day I am learning and growing my knowledge base. Experience is key if you’re looking for a smooth transaction.” – Randall Weese
Say you need a major surgery. Would you rather have a surgeon who has performed the surgery hundreds of times, or one where you will be their first patient on the table? The answer is obvious – you would want the surgeon who has the experience. When it comes to selling your home, you need to take similar care. Your home is likely the heart of your financial health and future stability – so it is important.
Selecting a REALTOR® with experience is critical to a successful sale. It doesn’t only matter how many years they have under their belt; experience can include number of sales, years in the real estate industry in another capacity, experience selling niche products, and experience selling in buyer’s, seller’s, and balanced markets.
Questions to ask your REALTOR® about his/her experience:
- How many years have you been a licensed REALTOR®? From this answer you can determine if they are fresh out of the exam room or if selling homes is nothing new to them.
- How many homes have you sold? Just as important as number of years, is how many homes they have sold. A REALTOR® of 10 years who does it part-time may have sold less homes than a newer REALTOR® who does it full-time. Also, a REALTOR® who sells more homes more often will likely have better connections in the industry and a fresh list of potential buyers.
- What types of homes do you typically represent? Some REALTORS® specialize in certain product types, such as luxury homes, condominiums, and cottages. Selecting a REALTOR® who knows your product type and the area you live in is important – they need to be confident in what they are selling.
Track Record & Reviews
“Our efforts are client-centric. Everything we do to sell a home is geared towards sellers having an excellent experience from start to finish. By putting the client’s needs ahead of our own individual needs, we have generated a 4.9 star track rating on Google.” – Randall Weese
Related to experience is the track record and client reviews of a REALTOR®. A fantastic track record on paper with lots of sales is negated if the REALTOR® has poor reviews from clients. Being able to close the deal, as well as make it a positive experience for the client, is essential to a truly successful real estate sale. Working with a reputable REALTOR® that has a reliable track record and positive client feedback is crucial.
Questions to ask your REALTOR® about his/her track record and reviews:
- How much of your business is repeat clients? The answer to this tells you how many clients have chosen to trust this REALTOR® with the sale of their home more than once. If people use the same REALTOR® over and over again, you can assume they provide great service.
- Where can I find client reviews? A reputable REALTOR® will have client reviews right on their website for you to view. Another great source for reviews is to look at the Google Review or Facebook rating of a REALTOR® and ask your loved ones who they trust to sell their home.
“Being conscious of where your dollars are going is a key part of your financial health. Keep in mind that the profits from the sale of your principal home are tax free, and REALTOR® selection impacts your bottom line as well. I’ve seen buyers and sellers walk away from deals over a few thousand dollars at the negotiation table. Why not save thousands from the start by selecting a REALTOR® with a low, fixed fee who provides exceptional service?” – Randall Weese
At the end of the day, we all want a good deal, but like with many things, you often get what you pay for. Whether selecting a commission-based real estate agent or one with a fixed fee, your bottom line will be impacted.
If going with a commission-based REALTOR® where your fee is based on a percentage of your home sale, you need to consider a few factors. The commission you pay your realtor will be divided amongst your REALTOR®, the brokerage of your REALTOR® and the buyer’s REALTOR®. What is paid to the buyer’s REALTOR® is known as the co-operating commission. Historically, this method is most common.
Questions to ask your commission-based REALTOR®:
- What is your commission from the sale and how much of that will go to the buyer’s REALTOR®? You want to ensure that you are offering a good co-operating commission, since this will entice REALTORS® to bring their clients to your home. If you’re not offering a co-operating commission or it’s too low, you may miss out on a potential buyer.
- Does the commission include staging and photography costs? Depending on the amount of commission being paid, this may or may not be included.
- What if you become unavailable while my home is for sale? Secure your peace of mind by confirming there will be another realtor to assist you should your selected realtor get injured, sick, or have a vacation booked.
If opting to use a fixed fee brokerage, you will pay a flat rate no matter what price your home sells for. Someone listing their home for $300,000 or $2,000,000 will pay the same amount and receive the same level of service. This is a more modern way of selling real estate.
Questions to ask your flat-fee REALTOR®:
- What is included and not included in the fixed fee? Whereas commission-based REALTORS® often include everything in their commission amount, fixed fee REALTORS® may include the essential services for a fixed fee and other items are a-la-carte. This may include staging costs, brochure printing, and hosting open houses.
- Do I have a specific REALTOR® or is it a team-based approach? There isn’t a superior option here, but it is important to know who you will be working with for your home sale.
Randall Weese is a licensed REALTOR® with 13 years’ experience in Ontario who currently holds Broker licenses in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta. Randall has worked in a variety of business models within the real estate industry. He has been a REALTOR® at one of the largest brokerages in Canada, managed a boutique brokerage, and founded and operated his own brokerage in the Greater Toronto Area; all in addition to acting as a listing agent on thousands of homes across the country during his career. Randall is currently working at the Purplebricks Brokerage where he is the Broker of Record for Ontario, Broker for Alberta and Associate Broker for Manitoba. Furthermore, he oversees Purplebricks’ Customer Service and Compliance departments.
Want to sell your home? Turn to Purplebricks.
With Purplebricks, you will work with our team of experienced, local REALTORS®, receive the very best exposure for your property across Canada's top home-listing websites (including Realtor.ca), and save thousands in commission with a low, fixed fee! Ready to list your home with Purplebricks? Visit Purplebricks.ca for more information.