TRUST... first tip is finding someone you can Trust.
This is no place for Assumptions. Your going to spend a lot of money on Brokerage fees, why not get someone you can Trust?
Here is a letter I sent to a Friend recently who wanted her Mom to find a good Realtor in a small rural town in USA
Picking a Realtor is Simple
But unfortunately most people do not know what to ask or consider what is fundamentally important, so they fall in the "Commission Trap". Talking about List Price and Commissions.
When I choose a sales person, any sales person here is what I would look for.
#1 - First of all you need to understand there are only 2 kinds of Salespeople... Givers and Takers
Givers are people (sometimes companies) who put back in the community, the Industry and/or their family by volunteering their valuable time, all of the time. Takers throw money at volunteers to do a good job on their behalf... lol Takers only focus is what's it gonna take to get you to list, or to sell when an offer comes in. All about sales numbers. You can only be one or the other...A Giver or a Taker, not both. Your Mom should find a Giver.
#2 - Some mature Agents who know real estate but no longer have motivation...stay clear.. your mother will think they are lazy and she will not be happy. Seasoned Agents have great networks but it would be better if they bring their buyers around. New Agents... offer lots of energy and ideas but no track record. Solution find someone in the middle... lots of years of experience and a positive track record.
#3 - One of my home made favourites... Ask other Realtors ... the Question is who does a Realtor respect in their own industry. A way to get a round this is to get three names of Realtors and ask other Realtors who they would use?
You can also take those three names to Bankers and Lawyers and ask if they are familiar with these guys or gals?
#4 - Neighbourhood Specialist ... or in this case country specialist. Calgary is pretty good but out side of Calgary... people hold their cards tightly to their chest and try and double end things. Look for a Realtor who will not represent buyers, just your mother. That way it is not a conflict and likely the Realtor will promote the listing. Neighbourhood Specialist tend to focus primarily only on listings, buyers are secondary to them... so don't always expect action from the local specialist... sometimes they just don't work with buyers.
# 5 - Get it in writing in the event the seller is not happy with the efforts of the Realtor after 30 days the seller can request a "non conditional" release from the listing contract, providing there are no offers accepted, and a release that allows your mother to relist right away with any other realtor without any hassles or legal obligations.
How do you find a Giver?
Look for those Realtors Volunteering is one solution. Or better yet asking Realtors what they do for volunteering? If they are doing something, they are usually proud of it and forthcoming in sharing what they do. With smooth talkers or "Takers" ... look for clues all related to Money... how fast they can sell... buying the listing by taking an obviously over priced listing... or aggressively trying to negotiate a low list price for a quick sale... Bragging how many sales they do... how many are double enders... If one Realtor has 50-60 sales a year without help from assistants that is one busy realtor with little or no home life... 20-40 is a well rounded Realtor...depending on price ranges...20-40 House trailers barely pays the bills... Remember "Takers" are focused on the money.
I personally promote our Value is our Knowledge, our Experience and our Advice. I call them my K.E.A. values.
Negotiations, Advertising, Marketing, Networking, Social media are some of the important secondary tools to the ones I consider primary.
Most new people can only promote Advertising and Marketing... and Social Media skill sets but most new people have little concept based from Real Estate Sales Experience.
My personal advice is watch out for the short cuts, I have this saying, there are Sellers trying to save nickels and loosing dollars over poor choices. Choices based on assumptions, unprofessional opinions and bad advice.
In my Industry most everyone is on commissions. There are those individuals and companies who use the commission reduction to buy your business. These would be Discounters. Then there are parties who offer full real estate services. And then there is everyone in between, offering their services to you.
Commissions are competitive and in every transaction there is the probability of 4 parties splitting the 1 commission. There is the Listing agent and their Brokerage and the Selling agent (or associate in Alberta) and their brokerage. So when you start tinkering with commissions there are thousands of other properties competing against you, on the market today willing to pay a competitive rate.
So If I were selling I would find some one I can trust, someone who can explain the facts in brokering and evaluating. I would find some one who is going to work with me and not assign me to another associate. Someone I can talk to anytime!
Who do you Trust? Why?
Real Estate Oxymoron (Market evaulation is a gathering "Accurate Guesstimates" on housing values in USA and Canada- eh!)