REAL ESTATE: How to pick a good Realtor® to sell your home

Published: December 7, 2012

Doing your homework on realtors will save potential headaches later on. Ian Smith/PNG


As a Realtor® I have been interviewed by clients many times. Over the years I have concluded that it is not the top Realtors® that always have the most time for you. Picking the right Realtor® can be the difference between a successful sale and a stale listing. You should consider how hot your property is, before you decide to go with a particular agent. If you have an extremely sellable property then perhaps going with a Flat Fee listing agent might make the most sense. If you are either not inclined to do it yourself or do not have the time then pick an agent that actually does have the time and/or the management to do that.

Here are the five most important things you must consider before hiring a listing agent:

  • Check with the Realtor® if they will cooperate with the buyer’s agents. A lot of listing Realtors® get the listing and do not want to cooperate with other agents so that they can make the entire commission i.e. listing commission and the buyer’s agent commission. This is, of course, unethical and not acceptable but it happens more often than you think.
  • Check to see how long the Realtor® has been in business. A more established agent with a lot of experience may be busier and hence may devote less time to your listing as compared to a rookie who may not be as experienced but may be able to spend more time and hence do a better job. Every brokerage is required to have a managing broker that is responsible for the affairs of the brokerage. Every Realtor® can access their managing broker to get guidance and help when needed. Oftentimes the busy Realtors® just get the listing and then pass you on to a team member with a lot less experience. Make sure to ask who you will be in touch with after the listing is active.
  • Call the Real Estate Board and the Real Estate Council to see if the Realtor® is in good standing.  You can check the Real Estate Council (regulatory body that controls the activities of the Relators® in BC)
  • Ask them their game plan beforehand. How did they come up with the price? What commission is being offered to the buyer’s agent? This is the most important component after the listing price. If the incentive to the buyer’s agent is low then obviously the agents would shy away from your listing. You want to offer a good commission to the buyer’s agent to entice them to show your property. You can perhaps even negotiate a lower commission if the listing agent finds their own client since they will stand to make nearly double the commission.
  • Ask for references. You could perhaps be more proactive and ask specifically for the last few transactions and what the circumstances were. Make a call and ask the sellers about their experience with the Realtor®. This call could save you a lot of trouble at a later date. Often times Realtors ® will not release you from the listing and it creates a very unpleasant scenario for the home seller.

Picking the right agent is extremely important. Remember you only get one chance to make a good first impression. A new listing is only hot for about three weeks or so after that it becomes stale and gets overlooked more often than not. An old listing also becomes synonymous with “something must be wrong with this property and that is why it has not sold” phrase. Get a good Realtor® that will work in your interest and will do a good job for you. Selling a home is not rocket science and can be managed well but a few simple steps in the beginning can save you a lot of headache later on.

 Mayur Arora is ranked Number 2 Realtor® (Sales) in Greater Vancouver in 2011. You can contact him at or visit



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