When you choose a real estate agent, the decision should be about more than the cost of their commission. It should be also be about their ability to market your home to the widest possible group of potential buyers.
While you have to beware of gimmicks, what you’re looking for is creativity and techniques that stand out from the pack. Here are a few examples:
Arty Basinski, of Century 21 Regal in Toronto takes buyers on bicycle tours of the neighbourhoods that they are interested in. You don’t have parking problems, especially when visiting several condominiums downtown and you can get a better appreciation of the neighbourhood by seeing the area through the various bicycle paths. If you’re not a cyclist, he will just meet you at the property.
Other agents offer different marketing plans, based on where your property is located and the type of buyer that you would like to attract. Some will advertise in newspapers with a reach outside the GTA, especially for higher end properties, while others go local to reach more buyers in the immediate market.
Al Sinclair, of Remax Hallmark in Toronto, has been a major sponsor and guest of the Hot Property TV show that appears on CP24 live on Thursday evenings. Sinclair offers tips to buyers and sellers and also showcases some of his client’s homes. The show is popular, so Sinclair says the exposure has helped sell his client’s homes.
Simon Gianini of Royal Lepage Signature in Don Mills is one of the hosts of the AM 640 Real estate talk show. I’ve also been a guest on the show which also talks about real estate and issues that affect the GTA market. Gianini offers free seminars for buyers and sellers to educate them about the real estate market and investment opportunities. He keeps a list of those who attend and over the years has built a big data base of potential buyers.
Here’s what you can do to better your chances of selling your home:
1. Ask an agent you may list with what they propose to do to market the home beyond an MLS listing. Will there be a video tour, ads on other websites? What connections do they have with other agents and buyers in your area, across Canada and in some cases, around the world?
2. 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 about the number of visitors they get to their site. The same can be said for almost all social media. It may look pretty online, but if no one is watching, what good is it to sellers.
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.