What Is An Exclusive Listing?
So, you’re thinking of selling your home or condo, and you are seeking the advice of a real estate agent to help you determine the value of your property and list it for sale on the MLS System. You’ve been referred to a few realtors, and a couple of them have tossed out the idea of setting up a “Listing Presentation” with you. And, though it sounds like a good idea, you’re not 100% sure what that means or what’s involved? I mean, how hard can it be really – determine a price, snap some photos and upload the property to Realtor.ca?
What does a listing presentation actually involve, and what should I expect?
A Listing Presentation is a complimentary, no-obligation presentation outlining how a potential Selling agent will prepare and market your property for sale and why you should consider working with them to sell your home. The Selling agent should be prepared to address your questions about pricing, offer strategy, marketing, staging and much much more. It’s essential that the presentation is customized to your particular property and highlights why working with this real estate professional is the obvious choice! They should work hard to earn your business and it starts at the “pitch”!
Often, a Seller is most interested in knowing the current value of their home and what the maximum potential sale price might be? A well-prepared Selling agent will be armed with a ton of information related to your property’s value, including comparable neighbourhood properties and recent sales on the street. Alternatively, if you live in a condominium, the Selling agent should know what else has sold in the building, the average price per square foot and what nearby condos are trading at. A professional will prepare this information in an easy and presentable format. This is an excellent time to review the average days on the market, the average percentage to list price for local homes and to take a closer review of properties that have both sold and not sold and why! Drilling down on market value at this stage in the game is very important and should be backed up with robust data in an easy-to-understand pricing model. This means the Selling agent should both quantify and qualify their pricing recommendations!
2/ OFFER STRATEGY
During a Listing Presentation, the Selling agent should also be prepared to discuss various offer strategies with you. How are properties marketed and sold in your neck of the woods? What’s the best way to get the highest and best price possible for your condo or home? Some examples include:
A) Listing the property lower than market value in hopes of eliciting multiple offers to help achieve your target price? In other words, a bidding war!
B) Maybe it’s a good idea to list the property at market value or perhaps slightly higher and consider negotiating with potential purchasers one-on-one?
C) A wise decision might be to list the property as an Exclusive (or off-market listing) to feel out your pricing methodology with other agents or prospective purchasers.
During your strategy discussions, the Selling agent should be prepared to present neighbourhood case studies to determine what offer strategy may be best for you and your home.
Considerations should also include seasonality, statutory holidays, school vacations, competitive listings or building upgrades or maintenance, to name a handful!
3/ DIGITAL & PRINT MARKETING
Your potential Selling agent should be able to provide strong examples of their customized digital and print marketing packages. How will they spread the word about your property, and what are they willing to do to tell your home’s story both on and off-line? Below is a checklist of some potential marketing strategies to make sure you cover during your meeting:
4/ STAGING & STYLING
Property one of the most critical aspects of Selling your home is Staging, Styling and Design. And since this is such a huge component to selling your home or condo for the highest and best price, staging and styling discussions are imperative during the Listing Presentation. In this section of the presentation, you should expect the Selling agent to speak to staging in more greater depth. Here are some ideas that come to mind that would be helpful for your discussion:
If your potential Selling agent doesn’t have staging resources – you should consider interviewing an alternate agent as you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Getting this right is an essential part of a winning sale, so we encourage you to dive deep when it comes to property staging and styling. Go big or go home!
Don’t be afraid to discuss commissions! In fact, your potential Selling Agent should be addressing services fees from the get-go! What are the costs to sell? How much do you need to pay the agent that sells your home? How much to pay the agent that brings the buyer? What happens if the selling agent represents both the seller and the buyer? What’s included in commissions, and what’s excluded? Who pays for services related to staging, marketing and paid advertising? The Selling agent should be prepared to have a very transparent discussion with you about this very topic! If they are nervous about disclosing their commission, they might not truly believe in their value – and, that’s not a good sign!
If you would like to learn more about service fees and how they work, feel free to review our recent blog post that takes a closer look at Breaking Down Real Estate Commissions!
6/ THE AGENT’S EXPERIENCE
So, the Selling Agents experience does matter. Sure, anyone can probably get their real-estate license and post some iPhone camera photos to MLS. But how many can truly customize the selling experience and provide a white-glove experience from beginning to end? Not many, I can tell you that for certain!
In this section of the Listing Presentation, it’s imperative to understand how long the agent has been in the business and how many homes or condos they have sold. Do they have experience in your neighbourhood? Do they understand your asset class? Are you selling an assignment? A multi-family? A heritage-protected home? Have they negotiated enough deals to understand that “wins” look like and/or potential “pitfalls”? Here is a list of ten excellent questions to consider asking during the Listing Presentation to ensure you’re securing the absolute best representation as you embark on your home selling journey:
I know this property sound very obvious, but you should also like and trust your Selling agent. You will be working side-by-side with them every day until your home is old, so it’s probably a good idea for them to be tenured and smart, humorous, and personable. Trust and transparency are at the foundation of every successful business partnership!
The Listing Presentation is a pitch for your business, and the Selling agent should be prepared to earn your trust. Do not be afraid to put them through the ringer! It’s a high-stakes business with a lot of money on the table, so you need to ensure you have the right partner in your corner from Day #1.
We truly believe our clients deserve the best possible representation. At Fox Marin, we are continually striving to up the ante. That’s why we offer sophisticated marketing, renowned staging, a deep fundamental understanding of Toronto real estate marketing, and expert negotiating. Throughout the entire process, you can expect communication, transparency and responsiveness – all things that are paramount to our approach.
Our collaborative team is made up of experts who come from a diverse set of backgrounds in real estate. We’re a group that comes from entrepreneurship, business, marketing, branding, staging and design. We have an in-depth knowledge of Toronto, its diverse neighbourhoods and most of all – we bring best practices from other industries combined with our own hands-on real estate experience.
When you work with Fox Marin, what this really means is that you’re getting a partner who’s got your best interests in mind. You’ll have our team standing both right behind you and one-step ahead of you the entire time.
At the end of the day when it comes time to sell your property, you deserve to hire only the best, be sure to take your time and do your due diligence!
This article was written by Kori Marin, Managing partner here at Fox Marin Associates. For high-energy real estate aficionado Kori Marin, a well-lived life is achieved by maintaining an “all-in” attitude that realizes every last ounce of one’s full potential. This mindset has driven successful results in every aspect of her life – from her corporate sales and account management experience to her international travels, to her years of fitness training and leadership – and is the hallmark of the exceptional work that she does on behalf of her clients in the residential real estate sector in downtown Toronto.