The Anatomy of a Listing
You have contacted a realtor (hopefully us!) that you are comfortable with. This is important as it will be a close working relationship until the home sells. Trust and compatibility is essential. A market evaluation is done based on previous sales of similar homes, present competition, market trend, location and condition.
1) A partnership is formed. Each party has a job to do – the realtor to market the property and the owner to price it right. This is very important! All the best marketing in the world will not sell an over-priced property. For instance in 2003, 2004 and 2005 (the hottest and most successful period of sales in this area in over 30 years), only 66% of homes actually sold. In 2007, a record year for sales on Vancouver Island, 57% of listed properties sold and in 2010 it was 55%.
A reasonably priced home, in conjunction with a comprehensive marketing plan, is a must for success.
2) The property is now listed and the realtor goes to work. But first, what is he/she selling? A visual inspection of the home and the property, with the owner, is conducted and notes of all defects are made. This is then entered on to a Property Disclosure Statement to be given to any prospective buyer. No surprises! Next is a trip to the City Hall to check for any outstanding, uncompleted work permits, property complaints, etc. that may have to be dealt with.
When everyone knows what is being bought and sold, you very rarely get litigation after the sale completes. Again, no surprises!
3) The realtor orders a title search, at his/her expense, and peruses it for potential obstacles to the sale, such as duplicate titles, easements or legal notations (an unauthorised suite, grow-op etc.), that may affect the buyers’ decision whether to proceed or not. In some cases, these may be rectifiable. In others, a simple explanation to the buyer will suffice to ease their doubts.
4) Accurate measurements are taken of the interior and exterior (this is very important – inaccurate sizing has been the cause of many lawsuits). Either a floorplan or an Immersive 3D walk through (a ‘dolls house’ view) is professionally produced by a specialist company.
5) Professional pictures are taken, a write-up is done and a sign is installed.
6) The information is entered on our website, the Royal LePage website (this gets over 1 million hits per month), the MLS system and various other websites for maximum exposure. Many buyers have signed up for the Private Client Services system which is an automated email notification system. This guarantees that they will receive notification of listings that may be suitable, before they hit the MLS system.
7) Professionally done feature sheets are produced and delivered to realtors, displayed at our kiosk at the Woodgrove Mall (this is the largest mall on the Island and attracts over 6 million visitors per year.)
8) Open houses, with your permission, are held. Some realtors who do not like working the weekends, or lack people skills, will tell you that open houses do not work. We disagree as properties can be sold through open houses, after all, who knows more about the property than we do?
This is only the beginning. Keeping the transaction together is where the real skill comes into play! Title problems, buyer’s remorse, building inspection deficiencies, financing difficulties, parents who want to advise their kids, kids who want to advise their parents. These are just a few of the issues that may have to be handles before, during or after the sale.
As you can see, while technology is great (and essential in business today) and should be in every marketing plan, good old fashioned, hands on, personalised service, as well as excellent negotiating and people skills are still of paramount importance.