In the often confusing and overwhelming process of buying or selling a home, a real estate agent can serve as a guide, helping you to determine the best price at which to list your home and navigate complex documents and regulations. While most realtors are committed to serving you to the best of their ability, they are frequently busy juggling multiple clients and responsibilities. You can maximize your experience of working with a realtor by following some simple tips:
- If you are a seller, be realistic about the listing price for your home. Any home that you have lived in for a significant amount of time is likely to hold sentimental value. Therefore, you may be prone to perceiving it as more unique than it is and overestimating its worth. Before agreeing on a sale price with your realtor, try to emotionally detach yourself from your property and view it objectively, as a buyer would. Since properties that are priced too high at the outset are likely to linger on the market and ultimately sell for less than properties that were priced appropriately, you will help your realtor make the sales process go as smoothly as possible if you are willing to accept a realistic listing price. If you are a buyer, avoid making lowball offers without justification.
- While your home is on the market, keep it tidy and free of clutter. Consider hiring a professional stager or stowing excess belongings in storage until your home sells. Ensure that all necessary repairs are made and the yard is free of dead or overgrown shrubbery. By enhancing curb appeal, your realtor will be able to demonstrate your home’s full potential when showing it to buyers.
- Practice common courtesy. Most agents work with more than one client simultaneously, and will be deeply appreciative if you demonstrate respect for their time. By exercising simple courtesies like communicating when you are running late or cannot make an appointment, you will help lay the groundwork for a mutually respectful relationship. If you are a buyer, do not contact an agent until you are serious about making a purchase. If you have not quite reached the buying phase, consider going to open houses, conducting research about different neighbourhoods, and making sure that you understand the limitations of your budget before you contact a realtor.
- If you are a buyer, be clear about your expectations and desires, while being realistic about what you can afford. If you have a well-defined wish list that you share with your agent, he or she will be better able to help you find a property that meets your needs. Realtors understand that buying a home is a major decision and expect that you may change your mind about specifics during the course of your house hunt, but you will help your agent deliver the best possible results if you have a general idea of what you want and need before beginning the process.
- Do not ask your agent to do anything illegal or unethical. Realtors are bound by laws and strict ethical guidelines that may not always be obvious to laypeople. For example, the Fair Housing Act prohibits agents from disclosing information about the ethnic make-up of a neighbourhood or using certain words in advertising a property.
The Bottom Line:
I am here to assist you in the process of make decisions that will add to the quality of your life. Contact me today.
Dawn-Lee McKENZIE, Broker for RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc.
I live here, work here and play here full-time, year round.