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What to Look for in a Listing Agent

Posted by presale on June 25, 2018
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Once you’ve decided to sell your Toronto home, you’ll be faced with a slew of decisions. One of the most challenging is which real estate listing agent you’ll hire. Although there is no official count of real estate agents working in Toronto, the figure most bandied about is “nearly 50,000.”
The inventory of available homes is scarce in the GTA right now and agents are clamoring to find homeowners willing to sell.
If you’re considering putting your house or condo on the market, we’re going to let you in on a dirty little secret:
Not all listing agents are alike
In fact, the differences between them can not only be mind-boggling, but cost you money as well. To protect your bottom line, take the hiring process seriously.
A listing agent’s primary job is to ensure you get the most money possible for your home. This requires a robust marketing plan so make sure you ask for examples of how the agent has marketed homes in the past.
Give it all the time required to ensure that you choose the right agent for the job. Interview at least three and meticulously comb through the statistics and literature they provide before settling on one.
Read on for some additional tips on what to look for in a listing agent.
1.  Compelling photography
Buyers, especially while shopping online, want to see photos of homes, and lots of them. If every picture tells a story, do the agents’ tell a Stephen King-type tale or do they echo something from Architectural Digest?
If the photos from his or her past marketing efforts aren’t compelling enough to make the buyer step away from the computer and into the car to take a look at your house, don’t hire the agent.
There is simply no excuse for dark or blurry photos or images of dirty or messy rooms.
2. The homes’ descriptions
Read the agents’ MLS descriptions of past listings. Do they differentiate the home from others? Do they go into detail about the home’s features and cause curiosity in the reader?
A listing agent needs to first determine the type of buyer that the home will attract and then target his or her marketing to that buyer pool.
Several years ago, a professor from the University of Guelph in Ontario conducted a study of words used in real estate ads and found that some words sell and some can actually make the homeowner lose money on the sale.
Words that add value include:
  • Beautiful
  • Curb Appeal
  • Fixer Upper
  • Gourmet
  • Granite
  • Handy Man Special
  • Landscaping
  • Maple
Words with a negative impact include:
  • Must-See
  • Value
  • Move-In Condition
  • Motivated
  • Clean
  • Quiet
  • New Paint
  • New Carpet
Yes, it’s hard to believe that some of these create a negative impression, especially when buyers place a premium on homes with new carpet and paint.
Take your time when hiring a listing agent, pore over his or her marketing materials (according to our tips) and you should be able to hire the perfect agent for the job.
We would be honoured to be among those you interview. Please reach out to us.

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