A colleague of mine wrote a great blog posting about the surest signs your Realtor is doing a poor job. I agreed wholeheartedly with some of the topics and thought it would fit in nicely with my ‘Top 5’ feature.
Top 5 Reasons Your Realtor is Doing a Bad Job:
1 – They don’t actually see the property or know anything about the property they are listing for sale. There are many agents out there who take on listings they never actually see. Generally, the reason for this is because you have hired a Realtor who doesn’t work or in unfamiliar with your area. I see this more and more now in the downtown core; agents from the Burbs are taking on Liberty Village condo listings and misprice and misrepresent the listings.
2 – Poor Listing Photographs that appear on MLS. This is one of my biggest pet-peeves. Agents who include only one photo or a variety of grainy, dark, poorly taken photos for their MLS listing. Is there a surer way that your agent has no understanding of their job as a marketer? I personally hire a professional photographer for every one of my listings because I respect my clients and want to entice people to come and see my listings.
3 –Incomplete MLS data: Very few MLS listings are complete or accurate. Some agents don’t use the room description fields to detail the features and finishes, nor do they include room measurements. Each listing is given a full paragraph of space for a description, but many agents don’t use it at all. Others will say nothing about the property and offer generic blather such as “Great downtown condo close to amenities; perfect for your buyer.” Why not describe the actual property and not the city that surrounds it? How old is the furnace? When was the roof last replaced? How many cars fit in the driveway? This is pertinent information that could affect whether or not a buyer is going to pay the property a visit.
4 – Does your Realtor help prepare a property for sale.? Realtors should be working on staging, upgrading, marketing and other preparations for a period of time prior to the property being listed on MLS. No house or condo is ready to be listed tomorrow. I don’t believe in simply signing listing papers and putting a sign on the front lawn, as there are some things that should be done in advance of the listing. For example, I’ll order the condominium’s status certificate weeks in advance so we have it present for all showings. For a house, I always pay for a home inspection and staging consultation. Both of these things will help solicit unconditional offers and will likely result in a quicker sale.
5 – Rampant Errors: Make sure your realtor knows which house or condo is yours! I’ve seen condominiums listed with the wrong unit number and, a few times, signs on the lawns of houses that aren’t for sale. Imagine coming home and seeing a sign on your lawn when it’s your neighbour who’s selling. Many realtors simply copy the data from an MLS listing when the property was previously for sale, which is a good way to copy somebody else’s mistakes. Just because you live in Unit 1810 doesn’t mean the legal description is “Level 18, Unit 10.” So a buyer could purchase “Level 18, Unit 10” when in fact it’s “Unit 34.” Land registry works in mysterious ways, and many realtors don’t bother trying to figure it out.
At a time when there are plenty of discount brokers available to sellers, I think it’s imperative that you consider exactly what you’re getting for your money. Just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s worthwhile. You likely wouldn’t use a 90 per cent off Groupon voucher for laser-eye surgery, so I’m continually amazed when property sellers allow their agents to cut corners because they got a discount on the price of the service. It’s your largest investment—don’t take the risk.
David Flemming’s GridTO article can be found here.