Things everyone wanted to know, but were too afraid to ask.

1. How much do REALTORS® charge and how do they get paid?

There are no regulations in place for how much REALTORS® can charge you. This would be anti-competitive, and it is against the law to do this. You will find some agents are very inexpensive, while some are very expensive. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. 

Agents are paid only when your home sells. 

Commissions are subject to GST & PST. There is no way around this, unfortunately. Justin (our PM) and Scott (our Premier) want their cut too. 

2. How do I choose a REALTOR®?

There are many reasons to choose a certain REALTOR® to represent you, but there are ways to not choose one either. Here are the top 5 reasons not to choose an agent:

  • Do not choose a REALTOR® because they are your friend or relative. This is worst possible way to choose an agent. If your friend or relative is not getting the results you expect from them, it would make for some awkward conversations at the dinner table on Thanksgiving.

  • Do not choose a REALTOR® based on the number of billboards, bus benches, flyers or Facebook ads you see. This is not necessarily reflective of a good real estate agent. This is reflective of how good they are at spending money to promote themselves. Many successful agents have built up a strong business base without the need to spend thousands on advertising campaigns. 

  • Do not choose a REALTOR® based on the name of the company they work for. Like any office, there are strong and weak agents. Always choose an agent after an extensive interview process where he or she has has built positive rapport with you and have answered all your questions to your satisfaction.  Remember: a small, locally-owned boutique brokerage offers exactly the same services as a "big box" brokerage. 

  • Do not choose a REALTOR® based on the size of the office they work for. All agents have access to every property listed on the MLS®. Do not allow any agent to mislead you into thinking their company is the best because of how much "market share" their office has. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book to convince you to buy or list with them. They have more market share only because they have more agents working for them. At the end of the day, your property will sell if the home is staged well, marketed well, and priced accordingly. 

  • Do not choose a REALTOR® because they suggested the highest list price. If one agent recommended a price signficiantly higher than other agents you interviewed, you must ask how they came up with such a high price, when the others were lower. Request to see a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and ask for a full explanation of the report.  The most critical time period for any home for sale is the first three weeks after it is listed. This is the time where it generates the most interest. Overpriced homes that linger on the market ultimately costs you time and money. 

3. Do open houses actually work?

It is extremely rare someone will come to your open house and buy it immediately upon viewing it. However, holding an open house still provides tremendous value to sellers. 

Increased exposure is always a good thing for sellers. Open houses allow prospective buyers to freely view your home, without booking an appointment with an agent. The more "eyes" on your home, the better your chances of selling. 

Buyers who viewed your home with an agent, may want to go back and view it again on their own. Open houses provides them an opportunity to do this.

Make sure the agent assigned to sit in at the open house is actually trying to sell your house, and not use it as an opportunity to find buyers who don't have an agent. 

4. I need to sell due to financial problems. Should I tell my REALTOR®?

First of all, you are not alone. Homeowners who are selling for financial reasons comes from all walks of life. I understand this is a stressful situation, and my aim is to minimize the inconvenience as much as possible. 

A good REALTOR® will understand your situation and come up with a plan to sell your home quickly. I have that plan. If you are in a must-sell situation, contact me for a 100% confidential discussion. 

5. Do Buyers need to know I am selling due to financial problems?


6. My loved one has passed away. What do I need to list their home for sale?

Disclaimer: The following is not legal advice. It is recommended you consult with an estate planning lawyer for answers to specific questions. You may find some answers to your questions by clicking here (opens in a new window).

If you are the Executor(s) or Administrator(s), you will need to provide your REALTOR® with an original copy of the Letters Probate or Letters of Administration at the time of listing. These Letters authorize you to sell the home on behalf of the Estate.

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