Top 4 Reasons NOT to Hire a Real Estate Agent
Do not hire someone you have a social relationship with when selling
Do not hire a real estate agent because you agreed to list with them as a courtesy, such as a relative, friend or neighbour in the business. This can be a huge mistake and unfortunately, it happens often. Sellers can feel pressured because there is a relationship which has been developed. If your friend, relative or neighbour is not a full-time, selling agent and on top of their game, selling your home may not be a priority. If you choose to hire someone you already have a relationship with, make sure they are a real estate professional and during the listing appointment, they treat it as a business interview and not social coffee time.
Do not hire a real estate agent who cannot answer simple real estate questions
This is one of the easiest tests that you can utilize when first meeting a real estate agent. Ask the prospective Realtor the following questions:
- What is the absorption rate (months of inventory) in our community?
- How many days is it taking to sell a home in the Edmonton market?
- Do you use social media and syndication websites?
- What do you normally do every day?
- How often will you be in touch with me?
- Would you be willing to do open houses?
These may seem like a basic question but there are many real estate agents in Edmonton who do not do open houses, have websites, social media or stay in touch with home sellers on a regular basis. Whether the answer is yes or no, listen carefully to the agent's response and it will give you an indication of how much effort will be going into actively selling your home.
The agent’s valuation of your home seems off
This is a biggie. If any real estate agent throws out a number that sounds too good to be true, it likely is - expect several price reductions as soon as you sign the listing agreement (This is called "buying the listing"). On the other end of the spectrum, if the valuation is way less than what you expected, the agent may just want a quick sale and may not be working in your best interest. An experienced agent will take the time to show you all of the market data for you, as a homeowner, to make an informed decision on pricing your own home.
The real estate agent lowers their commission when asked
It requires time and costs money to properly market a property. Your Realtor will be splitting this commission with the agent that brings the buyer and has other costs to pay out prior to receiving offers. A good agent will tell you what they charge and will not budge. Remember, you are hiring a professional negotiator to represent you in the sale of an extremely valuable asset. If you choose to go with a commission discount company, remember, you will receive what you pay for. Would you rather save the most on your commission, or net the most money after the sale? If you want to maximize your profit, saving on the commission is the wrong way to get there!
The agent does not place a high priority on professional photos, and marketing.
This may be the easiest way to weed out a bad real estate agent. If an agent is not willing to hire a professional photographer to photograph one of the most important assets of your life - Choose a different real estate agent. Almost every person in the world who is looking for a home is online. If your property photos look dark, poorly positioned, and were obviously taken on an iPhone, you are at a massive disadvantage and will result in fewer showings which means fewer buyers looking at your home. There is simply no excuse for this!
What does your Edmonton Real Estate Agent Really Do?
In the life of a real estate agent, there is much more than showing homes, meeting with potential buyers and sellers and receiving a commission. There is plenty that happens behind the scenes. Being a REALTOR® is extremely time-consuming.
If you have ever tried to buy or sell a house on your own, you may have an idea of how hard real estate agents work. Imagine if you were selling more than one house at a time. A good Edmonton real estate agent will make the process of buying or selling a home flow smoothly, leaving the impression that their job is fairly simple. The fact is, this is not at all what really happens. If you have spent social time with a REALTOR®, you may understand how difficult their job actually is.
There are definitely REALTORS® out there who cut corners, do not take care of their clients well, and they should not define or be in our industry. The real estate industry is also loaded with competent professionals with whom I am proud to work with.
Below is a list of common activities REALTORS® perform on a daily basis:
Schedule Property Showings
Scheduling showings require contacting the listing agent who will inform their seller they have a showing in order for the seller to vacate the premises prior to the availability of the buyer and the buyers real estate agent. It also gives the showing agent an opportunity to find out any relevant information related to the property. All showings must be time blocked which most agents have down to an art form, so we are not early or running behind with our buyers.
Schedule and Prep For Listing Appointments
Once a listing appoint has been scheduled, REALTORS® work behind the scene gathering all pertinent information about the property including the property history, information about the community, current real estate statistics, establish the absorption rate, acquire the title of the property which will show applicable encumbrances such as easements, liens, or covenants, and confirm the registered owners, and comprise a comparative market analysis. The agent will pre-fill paperwork, double-checking everything is correct in order to save time while on the listing appointment. The agent will gather all necessary real estate tools such as yard signs, the CMA and key boxes.
A REALTOR® usually attends the property inspections with or in place of the agents' buyer, unless agreed upon by the seller. A property inspection normally takes a few hours. In the event there are any concerns with the inspection, it can take several hours to days to come to an agreement which both the buyer and the seller are comfortable with prior to removing and contingencies are conditions.
Delivery of Deposits
Once an offer has been agreed upon, time is crucial in the deliverance of the deposit. A late deposit can result in the agreement becoming voided and the buyer losing their dream home.
REALTORS® are held by a high code of conduct and ethics and no matter how much you may disagree with the opposing REALTORS®, negotiations must be dealt with in a professional manner while working in the best interest of the client. There is much more to offer and counter-offer negotiations than just the price of a property. Negotiations also include terms, possession, conditions and sometimes contingencies. Parties involved in the negotiations can also include lawyers, mom and dad, someone with power of attorney on behalf of a client or the "handyman special" uncle.
REALTORS® have trail and trails of paperwork. Each change on an agreement, amendment or addendum must be documented and kept for at least six years. Agents must ensure everyone involved in the transaction has a copy of each document change including the buyer, the seller, both real estate agents, the financial institution, both real estate offices, both lawyers representing the buyer and seller.
Follow-Ups & Inquiries
A good real estate agent will follow up email, texts and missed calls within a timely manner. REALTORS® can easily receive dozens of emails every day and it is so important not to get sidetracked with the unnecessary emails which can gobble up an agents valuable time.
Closings require toe follow-ups with lawyers to ensure they have all the necessary documents including any recent amendments, walk-through with builders and buyers prior to the closing date and making arrangements for keys once the title has been transferred. And of course,e re-arranging the real estate agents schedule to accommodate the meeting time with the buyer.
Other Related Services
Meet up with other real estate affiliates which help listed properties sell such as a professional photographer, mandatory measuring company employees, home stagers, putting up signage, open houses, or helping a client get their property ready to be shown. Other meetings may including attending financial institutions with a client if needed, property inspections, verify completion of repairs, and other closing related meetings.
After scheduling showings, a real estate agent needs to accommodate the time set aside to show their buyer the homes without them feeling rushed. This may be one or two properties or may consist of a complete day or a few days such as an HHT.
Attend Listing Appointments
A professional REALTORS® attends all listing appointments as though it is a job interview because that is exactly what it is. The seller is interviewing the real estate agent and the agent is interviewing the seller. Prior to the listing appointment, an agent should be prepared for any questions or concerns a seller may have as well as have all necessary tools needed, should a seller be in a position to list the property. Each listing appointments should take an hour or two - sometimes more depending on how much information is presented to the seller or how many concerns they may have.
Keeping Clients Updated
This can include and newly listed homes which may be a hot commodity and must be shown immediately to sitting down at the computer for a few hours to perform a new market analysis and research back office syndication sites to forward to clients.
More phone calls
On any given day, a good real estate agent will be on the phone to other agents looking for property specific feedback on their listings, updating clients, addressing any on-going concerns, dealing with offers, mortgage brokers, real property report companies, condominium management companies, dispute low property appraisals and other real estate activities.
Maintain Required Continuing Education
Yes. Edmonton real estate agents are still required to maintain and continue education which is mandated by the real estate council of Alberta. The cost of maintaining a real estate licence and updating an agents education criteria is the responsibility of each REALTOR® and not the real estate brokerage.
Marketing and Property Syndication
If you are lucky enough to find a real estate agent in Edmonton who is an e-pro and is familiar with search engine optimization, they will spend several hours syndicating your home through various search engines and websites to ensure your property reaches the first page of google.
Attend Real Estate Conferences
There are dozens of real estate conferences annually and attending these help your REALTOR® stay up to date on the latest technology, real estate systems, and tools to help them with time management and gaining an advantage over their peers.
Maintain Active Social Media Profiles
Although social media and blogging play a key factor in the life of a real estate agent, if the only thing you see on an agents site is personal posts - you might wonder if they are actively doing any real estate. Many agents will hire this out to maintain an internet presence.
Networking with Edmonton Home Builders
There are several different home builders in Edmonton and this is a great way for real estate agents to keep up-to-date with home demand trends, especially in our current real estate market. Recently many of Edmonton home builders have implemented garden suites which offer new home buyers a great way to pay off their mortgage quicker.
Stay in Touch with Past Clients
If your REALTOR® stays in touch with you on a regular basis, you have a great real estate agent. With so many things to do, it is hard to find time to stay in touch with all of our clients!
Several people take education and start a career in real estate under the assumption that it is easy money. In reality, real estate agents are in a brutal time consuming, competitive business. The net commissions are not enough to keep people in the business, in fact, most people get out of real estate because they cannot afford to be in it. REALTORS® who survive to do so because they have a passion for the real estate business, and enjoy helping people make their real estate dreams a reality. It’s a great business to be in, but it’s NOT EASY!
How to Hire a Great Edmonton Realtor when Selling
Be cautious with any REALTORS who charge upfront fees! Most Real Estate Companies DO NOT charge up-front fees. All expense will be paid by your Realtor from their own pocket. Once your home is SOLD, the Realtor will receive the remuneration you have agreed upon in your listing agreement. In the event your home does not sell during the term of the agreement - unless otherwise written - there is NO CHARGE.
There are almost 4000 licensed REALTORS® to choose from to help you sell your Edmonton home. When a municipality is a hot market, anyone can sell a property, but great real estate agents are able to sell in any market.& In a soft market or "buyers market", it is crucial to choose a REALTOR® who knows how to sell houses or you can become an expired statistic. Currently (2018) in Edmonton about 40% of homes are selling.
There are a few questions to ask a listing real estate agent prior to having them in your home, which will eliminate inexperienced agents and save you time and money. When REALTORS® are on a "Listing Appointment", the intention of the agent is to get you to sign the agreement to put your home on the market. After an agent has completed their marketing plan, strong agents will ask for the business. A weaker agent will not.
The three biggest mistakes sellers make when selecting an agent is basing their decision solely on commission, price and the ability to market your home.
>Lowest real estate commissions:
Agents in Edmonton have business expenses, which can run into the thousands every month. Part of these expenses is the cost to market your home. If an agent is listing your home for a lesser commission, don't expect them to pay money they don't have to market your property. A good agent will not ask for any money upfront. Why would you pay someone for a job which has not been done? There is always a reason why a broker or real estate agent would discount a real estate fee. Ask yourself why. Is the agent desperate for business or unqualified? Do you want to work with a desperate agent?
Highest Asking Price:
In the real estate industry, there is a term, called "Buying the Listing". This means, an agent has told you, your home is worth more than it really is, just to get you to sign the listing agreement. Expect to reduce or price once or twice during the agreement or worse, be added to the Expired list (Homes which do not sell). REALTORS® already have an idea of what your home is worth, even before stepping into your home. Beware of an agent who is trying to buy the listing.
Ability to Market Properties:
Today, almost every buyer and seller start the home buying and selling process online. You may want to use "Mom and Dads REALTOR®, but are they tech-savvy? There is so much more to marketing a home than putting it on Realtor.ca. Anyone with a real estate license in Alberta can do this, you don't even need to live in Edmonton. Finding a qualified buyer who is ready, willing and able to purchase your home is more valuable to you than generating leads.
If your home is not exposed on the internet, by a tech-savvy Agent, buyers will not find it. Online advertising and property websites are now a basic requirement in modern home buying and selling. REALTOR®’s success also depends on how well they can market homes. Google the agents' website, prior to inviting them into your home. Find out how many listings the agent is carrying. If the Real Estate Agent only has one or two listings, they may be part-time, maybe more comfortable working with buyers or may not know how to market your home. An agent who is carrying too many listings can be overwhelmed and you may end up becoming a number instead of a client. A good rule of thumb is, hire an agent who carries 10 - 20 listings at a time, this is usually an indication of an above-average real estate agent.
The bare minimum marketing you should expect from your agent is:
- Professional yard signage.
- Lockbox with electronic monitoring
- Follow-up reports on buyer showings with feedback to the seller
- Staging advice to make your home more attractive to potential buyers.
- Digital targeted marketing.
- MLS exposure with a minimum of 30 professional photographs
- Virtual tour.
- Distribution to major websites.
- Updated CMAs after 30 days including the recent sales
- The ability to track online buyers
During the listing appointment, there are a few things that need to be noted.
How long was the agent in your home: Eliminate agents who view your home and arrive at a "listing price" within a short period of time. Although their price may be accurate, they haven't taken the time to show you how they arrived at the price or what they do and how they get homes sold. A good listing agent will show you comparable sales, pending sales, actives, educate you on the current market and show you their marketing plan. If the agent has no statistics, home sales are located in a different community or are not prepared, could be a red flag.
A great Edmonton Real Estate Agent will have spent time prior to meeting you, completing research on your home. They will have all the necessary information to price your home accurately. (highest possible asking price to attract reasonable offers) The agent will be prepared for anything including objections or concerns you may have. They will take the time to complete an accurate CMA, community absorption rate, thoroughly go over their marketing plan and address any unforeseen concerns they may have prior to asking for the listing. This is a valuable asset to the hiring experience.
Were all of your concerns addressed: Pay close attention as the REALTORS® goes through their marketing plan. Many of your concerns will already be addressed by a good agent. Pay attention to what is said. If it is mostly about how many homes they personally sold and how quickly, expect them to suggest a lower selling price below the true market value. These agents want to get your home sold as quickly as possible and move on. If the agent has not addressed most of your concerns. This can be a red flag.
Hire a professional: A huge misconception is every agent deals with the same type of buyers and sellers. In fact, there are agents who only list and agents who only deal with buyers. Not all agents work all price ranges. In Edmonton, there are real estate agents who specialize in mobile parks. They know how important it is to have the "criminal check" completed prior to writing an offer. An agent who specializes in luxury homes should have the extra knowledge required for selling a home under a company name, know the differences between the brands and grades of hardwood. If you are relocating, a relocation specialist is the best. They have contacts with other relocation REALTORS® who they have already done business with and can recommend a great agent for you at your destination which will make for a smoother move.
Go with your instinct: Selling a home is a major decision. You need to like, trust and feel comfortable with the REALTOR® you choose. Personality and character traits are also extremely important but don't show on paper. Buying and selling homes in a soft market, can take time and choose the right agent will be a positive experience. Choosing the wrong agent can lead to months of frustration and an unsold house.
Contact us today for your FREE HOME EVALUATION
Choose Wisely - Choose REMAX!
It does not matter which company you choose to represent you on the purchase of your new home. A brand new inexperienced REALTOR in Edmonton gets paid the same as a veteran REALTOR with twenty years of experience, expertise and knowledge. This is at no cost to a buyer!
Below is helpful information when purchasing your new home. If you have any question, feel free to contact us! We love to help buyers and sellers! Sign up today to save time house hunting online. We can send it to you automatically.
You can choose to buy a home without a real estate agent, dealing directly with listing agents, or for sale by owners. There are several reasons to work with a licensed Realtor in the province of Alberta including.
- The representative real estate agent Fiduciary Duties
- A buyer does not pay commissions. Edmonton Real Estate Agent fees are normally paid for through the sellers' lawyer when under an exclusive Buyers Brokerage Agreement
- Real estate agents will ensure you are getting fair market value and not overpaying through several REALTOR® tools including a "Buyers Comparative Market Analysis"
- Property Titles are pulled to ensure the legitimacy of owners and to determine if dower is applicable, there are no special assessments, lis pendens, creditors, liens and other concerns which could complicate or delay closings.
- Address any concerns or issues with your real property report including any setbacks, easements, restrictions, and compliance with the city.
- Depending on a real estate agent experience and their designations will be a factor in the service you receive which should be outlined in your first meeting. Feel free to ask your real estate agent plenty of questions.
- Your Realtor can set you up on an auto-prospecting system which will enable you to view new homes within your personal search criteria within an hour of the property hitting the market.
- Read More on "How to purchase a home"
Make your expectations known: If you expect your real estate agent to pick you up at your front door and drive you home after showing homes, tell them. Many will provide this service. If not, they will ask you to meet at the office. Let your agent know how you want to communicate. Do you prefer phone calls, emails, text messages or all of the above? Remember once you are under a buyers agreement, it is our job to provide you with our best service and help you find your best home.
Buying on Your HHT with a BGRS REALTOR®
We are here to help. Our HHT REMAX Military Realtors are BGRS approved and here to help you with your Edmonton house hunting trip. We have helped hundreds of Canadian Armed Forces Members move to and from Edmonton and the surrounding area including Morinville, Gibbons, Bon Accord, and St. Albert.. All of our suppliers are on the IRP Global Brookfield Relocations Service list. Book Your HHT to Edmonton with a BGRS Realtor at 780-910-5179 and we will help make your move to CFB Garrison easy.
House Hunting Checklist
Welcome to the Canadian Armed Forces Base Edmonton Garrison.
Below is a list of things you will need on your HHT -house hunting trip. If you have any questions or need more information, feel free to contact us anytime.
- A valid copy of your posting message including your BGRS number. You will need to supply your Brookfield number for one of our BGRS certified property inspectors for your new home.
- Your mortgage pre-approval letter. If you would like to use a local mortgage broker who is familiar with the military buy down, we can help. Having your finance pre-approval already in place will save you both money and time.
- Bring, email, text any MLS #’s of the homes want to view during your house hunting trip and we will have the appointments already set to view prior to your arrival.
- Bring your chequebook. Once you find a home on your HHT, you will need to put down a deposit. If you don't have a chequebook, ensure that your bank is located in Edmonton.
- If your spouse is also coming on your house hunting trip, have them bring their resume and information to register any children in our schools.
- Bring slip-on footwear for spring, summer, and winter jackets - This is Edmonton!
Is it time to Say Goodbye to Your Real Estate Agent
In all relationships, ending a relationship can sometimes be difficult, especially when you are under a signed agreement. Buying and selling homes is more than working with a friend. It is also about making the right choices for yourself and your families best interests. There are expectations when relying on Real Estate Agents to help you Buy and Sell and professionalism should be at the top. If you are unhappy with your real estate agent, there are a few things you can do.
First, communicate your concerns and try to mutually solve the issue with your REALTOR. If you are having difficulty reaching your real estate agent, contact their brokerage. The agreement you entered into is with the Brokerage, not the real estate agent and the brokerage may re-assign a different REALTOR® to you. Most Edmonton Real Estate Brokers are very reasonable and do what they can to help you.
Your agent may also choose to terminate your Listing Agreement or Buyers Brokerage Agreement without any compensation or there may be a clause in your contract with a set dollar amount to terminate the agreement to cover some of the expenses which cost your agent to market the home.
Once you receive the cancellation or termination document, in the province of Alberta, you are free to enter into another agreement with a different real estate agent. Read your termination over before signing. There may be parts in your cancellation agreement that may still be in effect even after the termination.
Below are signs telling you that it may be time to fire your real estate agent.
A breach of Fiduciary Duties (The consumer Relationship Guide) which forms part of your agreement you originally signed with your REALTOR. You have expressed your concerns repeatedly which have not been addressed or worse, have been completely ignored by the other party.
You have no communication with your real estate agent, leaving you in limbo, not knowing what your REALTOR® is doing to sell your home, or the actions being taken to find you a new one. This can be extremely frustrating and you deserve to know what is happening on a regular basis.
Your Real Estate Agent keeps pushing for price reductions without providing the reason. If your home, needs a price adjustment, there will be a reason, whether it is negative feedback from other agents who have shown your home, not enough showings (normally in Edmonton, you should be getting a few showings every week with the exception of multi-million dollar homes), a surplus of recent inventory in your neighborhood, recent economic factors, etc. This information should have been discussed prior to you signing the agreement during the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) stage.
If you are still interested in selling your home and would like an experienced marketing real estate team to work with you in your best interest, contact us.