When you choose a real estate agent, it should not be about the price they will charge. It should be about how they will market your home, to attract the largest number of potential buyers. This can range from TV or radio programs that advertise your home or finding buyers in other unique ways.
Arty Basinski, of Century 21 Regal, calls himself the biking realtor. He offers to show buyers potential houses by going on a bicycle tour. In this way, you never have parking problems, especially when visiting a series of condominium buildings in downtown Toronto, and you can demonstrate to the buyers how beautiful an area is by seeing the area through the various bicycle paths.
Arty carries around important papers in his knapsack. If you don’t know how to ride a bike, he will just meet you at the property. Although he has a car, he tells me that he just hates driving, with all the traffic congestion in the city.
Other agents will offer different marketing plans, based on where your property is located and the type of buyer that you would like to attract. Some agents will offer to advertise your home in one of the national newspapers, while others choose the local paper to reach more local buyers.
Al Sinclair, of Remax Hallmark, has been a major sponsor and guest of the Hot Property TV show that appears on CP24 live on Thursday evenings and 4 other reruns each week. Besides giving valuable information on real estate issues, Al will showcase some of his own client homes for sale. As he tells me, when you can offer a seller over 1 million TV viewers who will see their home for sale, it is easier to explain why the home should sell faster and for the right price. Al also runs events in the Beach area of Toronto to give back to the community, such as a free fitness examination that he offered several weeks ago. Al says that he also attract many new buyers as a result of these activities, so it is a win-win for everyone.
Simon Gianini of Royal Lepage Signature is one of the hosts of the AM 640 Real estate talk show, where I have appeared as a guest, educating the public about real estate issues, which is also on 5 times a week. Simon also conducts public seminars for potential buyers and sellers to educate them about the real estate market and investment opportunities. Simon tells me that just from his own database of thousands of potential buyers that he has amassed over the years, he has been able to successfully market homes for sellers that he and his team represents.
Besides listing your property on the local MLS service, ask any potential agent what else they propose to do, whether it is video tours, advertisements on other websites, or connections that they may have with other real estate agents and buyers in your area, across Canada and in some cases, around the world. As more and more foreign investors become interested in Canadian real estate, it is important that any agent leave no stone unturned in finding you the right buyer for your property.
Check out the agent’s website and see how professional it looks. However, no matter how good it looks, it makes no difference if no one is visiting. Ask for proof as to how many visitors they get at their website on a regular basis.
No two agents are the same and no two marketing plans either. Do your homework before you trust anyone on the sale of one of your most precious assets.
Mark Weisleder is a lawyer, author and speaker to the real estate industry.
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About Mark Weisleder
Mark is a lawyer, author, instructor, Toronto Star columnist and keynote speaker for the real estate industry.