If this is your first stint with either buying or selling in the real estate industry, trust me, you need all the help you can get! It’s not like shopping for your wardrobe or your garage. The real estate industry is a whole different ball game. In fact, I am confident that once you’re in the market, you will figure this out on your own and that’s probably why you’re here!
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Well, if you need help, you’re in the right place. If you’re still not sure whether you need help, you’re still in the right place. I hope that by the time you’re done reading this blog, you’re able to figure out which camp you lie in.
For me – and this is what I tell all my friends, family, and clients – working with an experienced realtor is a no-brainer. Once you find somebody that you trust – it takes away all the burden off your shoulders ensuring that there’s no hitch in the entire buying or selling process.
In this blog, I break down the pros and cons of working with a realtor while highlighting what separates us, The Pierre Carapetian Group, from many other real estate professionals.
A Little Help Goes A Long Way!
Can You Sell Your Property On Your Own?
Yes, you can sell a property on your own in Toronto. It’s popularly known as FSBO, or, the for sale by owner route. If you’ve experience working in the real estate industry, have a close kin that you trust to advise you for free, or are simply on a budget constraint, you can consider listing your property yourself and selling it privately. You will end up saving some money in commissions but on the flip side – you must be on top of all the legal, financial, and emotional challenges of completing a real estate transaction!
Should You Work With A Local Real Estate Agent?
Yes and no. I agree that working with a local real estate agent has a lot of advantages – especially in a city like Toronto – but your local real estate agent may not always be the right agent for you. Yes, it’s very important to find a real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of the local market that you’re operating it. Because in Toronto, a real estate market that’s highly fragmented and dynamic, no two neighbourhoods are exactly the same. That’s where local expertise comes in and makes a difference. But, it’s not necessary. A great agent looks at the numbers and data and can quickly learn the ins and outs of a market while you are preparing your home for sale.
But you also need to find an experienced agent or somebody with a real estate team that has a good track record with the type of property you’re interested in dealing with – be it buying or selling. Go through their clients’ testimonials. Don’t be afraid of reaching out to them privately to get some feedback on the agent. You never know which reviews are organic and which are sponsored. It never hurts to do your own due diligence when making a big decision.
Pay some stock to the neighbourhood an agent specializes in but don’t let it cloud what’s really important. An experienced agent can compensate for all the skills of your local real estate agent by analyzing your local market thoroughly. This becomes a lot easier when they are supported by a team of high-performing real estate professionals.
How To Find A Good Real Estate Agent In Toronto?
There are 70,000+ registered real estate agents serving the Greater Toronto Area. Therefore, finding a good real estate broker in Toronto can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. But we exist – you just have to know where to look!
Call up your family, friends, and acquaintances for any leads. If you do get any leads from them, don’t leave it at that. Question a couple of those realtors for their referrals too!
Once you’ve exhausted all your personal connections, look to the internet. Online, put in the keywords that are important to you and create a list of realtors that meet your criteria. You will find their websites on search engine results pages, aggregating websites, online review sites, social media, advertisements, etc.
By now you should have a nice Excel spreadsheet with real estate agents and their contact information side-by-side. If you aren’t sure what questions to ask your realtor, you can check out our blog.
If you’re keen to learn more, we have an entire blog on the topic ‘How To Choose The Best Real Estate Agent In Toronto [Buying Or Selling]’
Pros & Cons Of Working With A Realtor
Why Work With A Real Estate Agent? Here Are 6 Reasons!
1. A Helping Hand: Guidance, Experience, and Education
When you’re choosing a real estate agent to help with the process of buying a home, it is important to look at their experience to ensure you are in the right hands. If you are looking for something specific – the agent can help you find a property that fits your needs quickly. One of the biggest benefits of working with a real estate agent is their knowledge of the local market. They can educate you on all the up-and-coming neighbourhoods in your city along with all its ins and outs, desirable features, and other important things you may otherwise not be aware of. An agent will also be able to guide you to which specific areas in that neighbourhood are more premium than others. If you have narrowed down your search to multiple neighbourhoods, an agent will be able to tell you which areas appreciate faster than others. Finally, once you’ve identified your dream property, you need to prepare your first bid. Your agent can help by doing a comparative market analysis so that you put in a competitive yet not overpriced starting bid. Being able to interpret comparable properties in the area you are looking for is a skill set that comes with years of experience.
If you are looking to sell your property, an agent can use their experience to help you choose the correct price point based on the current market conditions. Refer to the ‘Price Guidance” section for more information.
2. Go Viral: Property Marketing
If you’re a home seller, you cannot expect to simply list your home on a website and have offers come flooding in. It simply doesn’t work that way. To get multiple offers, your property needs to show well and be marketed well too! Listing a property with a real estate agent will undoubtedly increase the exposure of your property. Agents will have access to a larger database of prospective buyers which means your property will get more attention. But more importantly – agents will ensure that you get the most traffic by marketing your property effectively to the right buyers. It is a real estate agent’s job to market your home to its maximum potential. When you are working with a real estate agent you will not have to deal with people who are unsure of what they are looking for. Working with a professional will ensure that the entire home selling process is smooth for you – from getting the property ready to market all the way up to your closing date.
From a buyer’s perspective, an agent will listen to your needs and take you to homes that you are looking for instead of wasting your time looking at properties that are not a perfect match. When it comes to buying, it is a long and trying process. An agent can answer all important questions and educate you on things that you should be aware of. There are different processes for buying in different markets whether it be a freehold or a condo, and your agent will be sure to educate you on any and all hidden costs.
3. Somebody To Bat For You: Pricing & Negotiating Strategy
When you are a prospective buyer who’s looking at multiple properties, a real estate agent will help you purchase the property at the best price possible by guiding you correctly.
If you are looking to sell, the agent will help you determine the proper listing price so you can get top dollar without overpricing your property. The seller may have something unique that is specific to their property and the agent will know if it is something you can charge a premium for. Agents will also evaluate disadvantageous factors when determining the listing price such as if your property backs onto a highway, or if there is a feature that will reduce the desirability and thus the listing price. Every seller wants their property to be worth more money and because your agent does not have an emotional connection to your property, they will be able to accurately determine its true market value.
In a seller’s market, there is more demand than supply which means you could be in a multiple-offer situation. Your agent will have to be a pro at navigating this type of negotiation. In a buyer’s market, there is more supply than buyers, and buyers usually have more negotiating power as the market is softer. It is important to understand the market you are buying or selling in, and your Real Estate agent will guide you correctly and negotiate accordingly based on the market conditions and the specific property in question.
4. Bail You Out Of Dealing With Complicated Paperwork
When you are buying or selling a property, tackling the paperwork is not an easy job. Mistakes can be made which could be very costly both monetarily and by law. Hiring a Real Estate agent lifts this weight from your shoulders and passes all responsibility off to the agent. Your agent will ensure that everything is completed correctly and timely. Another important factor to consider is that laws and regulations change, and agents will know the most up-to-date rules and regulations as well as the correct paperwork as they handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their careers.
5. Call Me,
Maybe: Emotional Support!
As you navigate through the home-buying process it can be very emotional. If you let these emotions get the best of you, you may make a number of common homebuyer mistakes. A Real Estate agent will help take the weight off of your shoulders by narrowing down your must-haves to help you find a property that is perfect for you. It can be an extremely stressful process if you do not have help. You may love a property that is flawed in ways and will be costly down the road, but you may not see these flaws outright while a real estate agent will. Your agent will be upfront with you about all the pros and cons of the property even if you may not want to hear it. A Real Estate agent is bound by law to act in a buyer and seller’s best interest.
6. Save Time & Money
It is important to make sure that people who are coming to view your home are actually potential buyers for your home, not just people who are looking in the area or are looking to compare the price of similar homes. Using a Real Estate agent to book listings for you is a guarantee that they are bringing in prospective buyers. When you are looking to buy, using an agent is beneficial because they will only show you homes that fit your needs. Most agents know which types of properties may work for the buyer from experience. This can save you tons of wasted time doing research and the process will move much quicker.
Why Choose Us? – Reasons That Set Us Apart From The Rest
Buying or selling a home can be an extremely stressful situation because of the heavy learning curve. At Pierre Carapetian Group we strive to deliver a seamless experience that is tailored to your individual needs and unique property. As a boutique brokerage, we offer bespoke services geared towards those individuals who want the best representation by their side. With nearly two decades of experience and half a billion in real estate transactions, the experience we curate can’t be duplicated. But don’t take it from me, hear what our clients have to say. View our testimonials page here.
Our Bespoke Services:
Before our staging designers work their magic, there are a lot of details to take care of that go unnoticed. We have an entire team of professionals that make sure your property is ready for its debut. We make sure any repairs – from screen doors to dishwashers – are working their best; that the walls have been cleaned and, if they need it, get a fresh coat of paint. To make sure your property is bright and inviting we ensure all windows are cleaned and that every last light bulb is ready to shine.
Professional Staging & Styling – Valued at Over $5,000
When you are listing your home first impressions matter, we offer complimentary staging and styling to all of our clients so that your home stands out on the market. Our in-house stylist will transform your space. Often overlooked, the level of staging is truly indicative of the buyer’s excitement when they walk into a space. We aren’t all creative, some of us need to experience it to truly see it. So, what better way to do so than staging and styling?
If your looking to create a bidding war on your property, then it better be staged to perfection! View our home staging gallery and before and afters to see for yourself the difference our team can make.
After your property has been staged, we have a professional photographer come in and take pictures for your listing. A picture really is worth 1000 words, and not all photographers are created equal. We only hire the best. You get one chance to hook a potential buyer into clicking on your listing, your cover photo matters and we don’t take this lightly!
Cons Of Working With A Realtor
Commission: Real estate agents are professionals. If you choose to use their services, you need to compensate them for it. In Ontario, most real estate agents charge a 5% commission on the final price of the real estate transaction. If you’re tight on cash and are operating on a budget, this can definitely feel like a constraint. But some real estate agents include a lot of value-added services like professional staging, professional photography, free home valuations, etc. that can actually help you save some money as you prepare to sell your property!
Limited Bandwidth: When you’re working with a real estate agent, odds are that you aren’t their only client. As a result, you may feel that you aren’t getting the attention or level of service that you signed up for. If you do feel that way, I would recommend that you first talk to your real estate team to candidly lay out your expectations. If for some reason, they don’t have the bandwidth to tackle all your woes – you can then jump ship! Don’t assume things. Don’t let poor communication ruin an otherwise prosperous relationship. If you do end up working with a real estate team, find one that you can trust blindly!
Potential Conflict Of Interest: Real estate agents make bread through commissions on properties bought/sold. As a result, it sometimes creates a conflict of interest with your end objectives. This is rare but it does happen – especially when it’s the same agent who is representing both: the buyer and seller in the transaction.
There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to buying and selling a Toronto home. Working with the right professional can truly make or break your experience. For those of you who have full-time jobs and families to be with – you know that time is precious. Find the right professional to guide you through the process and provide you with insights that can only be attained through years of experience!
If you’ve figured out which camp you now lie in, book a call with me or somebody from my team and let’s make sure that you’re making the best decisions for yourself, your family, and your objectives!