The Selling Process
Your Realtor will not take it for granted that you know all the in's and out's of the selling process. Instead, he or she will provide you with a full explanation of what to expect - and that's important so you're not faced with any surprises along the way.
Getting to Know You
One of the first things your Realtor will ask is, "Why are you selling your house?" Your Realtor will also explore any time constraints you might have, your financial situation and any future plans. It's all part of getting to know you so the sale will be handled to your complete satisfaction.
Getting to Know Your Home
Arriving at an accurate estimate of value for your home is one of your Realtors prime tasks. It involves analyzing your home and comparing it to other, similar houses for sale or recently sold in the neighbourhood. It may also include a broader market survey, using sales statistics available only to qualified Realtors. In the end, you and your Realtor, will be sure the price you set reflects the true value of your home under current market conditions.
The Marketing Plan
Depending on your circumstances, and on the prevailing market, your Realtor will develop a marketing plan that may include:
- An Open House. There are two kinds of Open Houses ... one is solely for Realtors, so they can assess your home against the needs of their clients. The second is an advertised Open House for all potential buyers. In either case, your Realtor takes care of all the details and acts on your behalf at your home while you spend the Open House hours elsewhere.
- Advertising: Effective newspaper advertising, tailored to your home and local market, can be placed for you by your Realtor.
- Lawn signs and direct mail flyers featuring your home are other forms of advertising frequently used by Realtors.
- Listing Choices: Your Realtor may recommend an exclusive listing - which gives sole authority to offer your property for sale for a specified time, with our company only - or a multiple listing via the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to all sales representatives with the Ottawa Real Estate Board - which provides access to a much broader base of potential buyers. MLS can be a valuable sales tool when you are anxious to sell your house quickly because your property gets greater exposure. Through MLS, the details of your property are made available to a whole network of local real estate professionals who will seek to match your property with a potential buyer.
Only a Realtor can offer you MLS services. Brokers who are not members of your local real estate board and the Ontario Real Estate Association cannot list on MLS.
Tips and Hints: Whether or not your home shows well to prospective buyers can determine how long it stays on the market and what it sells for. Your realtor can give you tips - fresh paint, flowers, rearranging furniture - to improve the marketability of your home and create a good first impression.
Separating "Lookers" from "Buyers"
Professional Realtors know how to separate "lookers" from "buyers." Your Realtor will "pre-qualify" potential buyers to save wear and tear on your home and lifestyle and to assure only serious offers are tendered.
Realtors are experienced in assisting with financing and closing deals. On your behalf, he or she will assist in negotiating a better offer, acting as a mediator to head off potential conflicts between you and the buyer, and draw up a legally binding contract.
When you choose a Realtor, you will sign a listing agreement. This is a legal contract that gives your Realtor the right to act as your exclusive agent in the sale of your house for a specified period.
The listing agreement spells out exactly what your Realtor will do on your behalf and he or she will take all the time necessary to explain it to you.
The agreement will also specify the amount of professional fees to be paid to your Realtor from the sale of your home. Usually fees are set as a percentage of the selling price of your home.
Most of the actual work done to accomplish the sale is carried out by real estate professionals operating in a Broker's name and for whose actions the Broker is legally responsible.
A Realtor's professional fees are normally shared with the Broker who supplies such essentials as office support, training and consultation services.