Sellers

The Role of a REALTOR®

So you have decided to move. And now, you are faced with the daunting task of relocating yourself, your family and all your belongings. Whether you are selling your old home, buying another, looking for rental accommodations or investment property, choosing to use the services of a REALTOR® is a wise choice.

REALTORS® are trained professionals, members of The Canadian Real Estate Association who subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics and high Standards of Business Practice. Their knowledge and expertise will ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Members of the Victoria Real Estate Board are members of both the British Columbia and Canadian Real Estate Associations.

Your REALTOR®

  • Has access to hundreds of current listings of properties for sale and lease because of a co-operative system called the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®).
  • Can provide you with a customized list of properties that best fits our needs – size, style, features, location, proximity to schools, hospital and shopping, etc. – and then make arrangements for you to view those homes that appeal the most.
  • Will help you determine how big a property you can afford. Assessing the many financial alternatives is an important consideration. REALTORS® are familiar with the local lending market and can offer helpful advice.
  • Has no emotional ties to any type of style of property and can be objective in pointing out the merits of one property over another.
  • Will have information on zoning changes, taxes, utility costs, school and recreation services that could affect your decision.
  • Will assist you in negotiating the terms of your contract. Presenting offers and handling counter offers can be a nerve wracking process for someone who is not experienced in contract negotiation.
  • Will advise you of the legal process required in obtaining title and taking possession of your property. The costs associated with buying property, such as insurance, mortgage registration and legal fees will be explained in detail.

Choosing your REALTOR®

Choosing the right REALTOR® for you is an important decision. The key word is “expertise”. Ask questions and listen.

Look for open, up-front discussion on agency responsibilities and services. Your REALTOR® should clarify the options and details. Your REALTOR® should have market and product knowledge relevant to the type of property you are seeking as well as an understanding of economic trends in the real estate industry, on a local, provincial and national level as they pertain to your situation.

Look for experience in assessing the investment value of property and housing types. Look for someone who knows the area and can offer advise on shopping and services available. Your REALTOR’s® suggestions can make your assimilation into a new location that much easier.

If buying, this will be one of the most important investment decisions of your life and you need someone working for you with knowledge and experience.

Your REALTOR® as your Agent has your best interests at heart.

The word “agent” is defined as “a person who acts for another”. It sounds simple. We all act for another at one time or another. In fact it is easy to slip into an agency relationship. People sometimes forget that it involves serious legal responsibilities.

Your REALTOR® is someone who acts as an agent on your behalf in real estate transactions. As agent, a REALTOR® can act for the buyer or seller, or to a limited degree, for both. Nor matter whom they represent, agents and their representatives are legally obligated to protect and promote the interests of their clients as they would their own. The agent must protect the client’s negotiating position at all times, and disclose all known facts which may affect or influence the client’s decision.

Specifically, a real estate agent commits to providing:

  • Undivided loyalty
  • Complete confidence
  • Exercise reasonable care and skill in performing all assigned duties
  • Be accountable for all money and property placed in the agent’s care while acting for the client

Agency Disclosure

It is now a lawful requirement for real estate agents to disclose to customers who they will be representing. This disclosure is usually done with the aid of a blue brochure entitled Working with a Real Estate Agent. The brochure includes a tear-off statement that the customer signs and the REALTOR® retains as proof that disclosure was made.

Signing the statement does not obligate the customer in any way. Having explained to the customer the various agency relationship options available to him or her, REALTOR® and client can now determine what services are to be rendered.

The agent for the seller, or listing agent, is the role we are most familiar with, thanks to the immense marketing clout of the Multiple Listing Service® over the past 40 years. The seller retains a real estate agent to use his or her marketing expertise and network to position the property to its best advantage on the market, attract qualified buyers and effect a sale at the highest price. In theory, the agreement to act as seller’s agent can be a handshake agreement, but to list the property on the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service®, the Board requires a listing contract to be filled in, signed and submitted.

Buyer’s Agent

The buyer can benefit from an agent’s representation, too. The buyer’s agent uses his or her knowledge of the community and the market to source all of the properties that fit the buyer’s budget, needs and wants. He or she promotes the buyer’s interest in purchase negotiations to effect a sale at the lowest price. The agreement to act as a buyer’s agent can be a handshake agreement or a contractual one as mutually decided by agent and client. If it is a handshake agreement, the REALTOR® still abides by the tenets of agency representation as mentioned above: Loyalty, professionalism, accountability, discretion, etc. The REALTOR® works hard to maintain the client’s loyalty.

Dual Agent

What happens when an agent who is working as a buyer’s agent shows the buyer a home for which he or she is also the listing agent? Since the agent has promised a duty of confidentiality, loyalty and full disclosure to both parties to continue in this limited capacity. This is called a dual agency relationship.

The agent will ask for written consent of both parties to continue in a dual agency relationship, with these limitations: The agent will deal with both parties impartially and will not disclose to either.

WHEN YOU BECOME A Pemberton Holmes CLIENT

  1. LISTING SHEET I will prepare the pertinent information about you home (room sizes, price, personal property, special features, taxes, mortgage info, lot, etc.) for marketing purposes.
  2. SIGN A Pemberton Holmes sign with my name on it will be promptly placed on your property. I shall be marketing your home in a number of ways but the strong Pemberton Holmes sign is a proven winner in attracting prospective buyers. My name appears to ensure that interested callers will be directed straight to the agent who knows more about your home than anyone.
  3. MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE® In addition to notifying all of the Pemberton Holmes agents in the area, I will quickly advise the MLS® of the availability of your home and encourage our cooperating brokers to show your home.
  4. PHOTOGRAPHER A photographer will take an exterior photograph of your home within a few days. This will be used with the listing sheet and display advertising. For the best pictures, try to keep the garage door closed, the yard neat, and cars out of the driveway.
  5. TOUR DAY An inspection tour by local Multiple listing Service® salespersons will be scheduled on a convenient day. This is an outstanding opportunity to provide your home early, excellent exposure to salespeople who are working with today’s buyers.
  6. SHOWINGS Salespersons from my company as well as our cooperating brokers will want to show your home. An appointment will always be made in advance. You will have the name of the agent and an approximate arrival time.
  7. FOLLOW-UP ON SHOWINGS You may call my office at any time if you have any information which you believe will be helpful. I will follow-up on showings to establish interest and to elicit any meaningful feedback from the showing agent. It may take some time to contact the other agent since we may both be in and out of our offices, but I will follow-up and call you when the feedback is pertinent.
  8. PROMOTING YOUR HOME Pemberton Holmes clients enjoy a wide spectrum of full media classified and display advertising opportunities in which homes in your price range are continually advertised. In addition, I have my own marketing and advertising programs in which your home will participate. In all, your home will enjoy the full impact of our broad, professional coverage including:
    • Display advertising
    • Institutional Advert. (TV, Radio, Billboards)
    • Classified Advertising
    • International Relocation Transferee
    • Neighbor Card Mailings
    • Open Houses
    • Lawn Signs
    • Multiple Listing Services

I’ll be there…We will be partners till the day you settle. You can be confident that when you need help or advice, or need to discuss your home, I’ll be there.

PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR SALE

Easy tips to make your home more attractive to buyers

Are you thinking of selling your home? If you’re one of the many homeowners who choose this time of year to move – whether you’re trading up or down, or simply relocating – you’re probably starting to prepare your home for the sale.

Before you become overwhelmed by the task, it’s a good idea to sit down and look at your home objectively. An attractive, well-kept home generally has a better chance of selling a little faster. Also the old adage “first impressions are lasting ones” is very true.

If you haven’t made substantial improvement or changes over the years, it’s not a good idea to take on major renovation projects simple to sell you home. This can be an expensive and lengthy procedure and there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to recover all of your costs.

Instead, try to determine what types of minor cosmetic improvements can be made, like general cleaning, painting, floor refinishing, and so on. These projects generally don’t require a lot of capital and your home can be greatly improved by them. Consult with your REALTOR® to see what types of improvements make the most sense.

Start with the Outside

An inviting exterior ensures that potential buyers will inspect the interior, so it’s important to keep your lawn and hedges trimmed and edged, the flower beds cultivated, and your yard free and clear of clutter and refuse. If you have any loose siding or pavement, it’s a good idea to get these items repaired. And if you have any cracked or broken windows, get them fixed as well.

Missing shingles or eaves troughs should also be replaced and loose shutters or awnings secured. You may also want to consider painting the exterior of your home to spruce it up a little. And if you have aluminum or vinyl siding or trim that’s quite dirty, hire someone to clean it with a power washer if you can’t or don’t want to wash it yourself. If you have a garage, make sure the door is clean, attractive and in good working order. Also make sure the inside of your garage doesn’t look too cluttered or unorganized. Keep patios, walkways and decks free o debris and clutter, as well.

The Inside Story

You can do a lot on the inside of your home as well without spending a great deal of money. Two primary areas to keep in mind are the kitchen and bathroom. These two rooms of your home are generally of prime interest to potential buyers. Make sure they’re clutter-free, bright and spotless. This applies to kitchen appliances as well, especially if you’re including them with the sale of the home. Scrub sinks, toilets, bathtubs and kitchen appliances until they shine.

If the carpeting in your home looks dirty or dingy, you may want to rent a steam cleaner, or hire a professional carpet cleaner. Pet odors can become trapped in rugs and this can repel prospective buyers. Give your home a thorough cleaning and if you’ve been cooking, ensure you air the home prior to its showing. Make sure any wood and tile floors look clean and bright, not dull and dingy. Get to those easy-to-miss spots that need a good cleaning. Wash down the walls, windows and woodwork. Clean out the cupboards under the sink, dust the tops of baseboards and wash all window coverings. The more extensive the initial clean up, the easier it will be to keep the house looking its best for visits from you REALTOR® and prospective buyers.

As well, keep in mind that rooms that are too cluttered will give the impression that they’re much smaller than their true size. Try to create a feeling of spaciousness when conducting your spruce-up. Pack away bulky or unused furniture and make the best use of your space. Be ruthless when you go through closets, spare rooms and cupboards. If you haven’t used that bread-making machine in a while, and if you’re not likely to need that extra set of china in the next few weeks, pack it away. Those knick-knacks on the mantelpiece may have sentimental value to you, but they’ll just look like knick-knacks to the people who come through your home. Take a deep breath and move them out of sight. You can get a head start on packing by cleaning off bookshelves, and cleaning away out-of season clothes, toys, bedding, sports equipment and garden tools.

Now is the time to fix the cracked light switch plates, broken door handles, leaky faucets and squeaky doors you’ve learned to live with for years. Shabby corners and grubby entranceways will benefit from a fresh coat of paint in a neutral colour – this is not the time to start experimenting with dramatic paint schemes. Similarly, heavily patterned wallpaper or brightly coloured accent walls may tend to distract buyers from other features, or make it hare for them to imagine how their belongings will look in the room If your can, repaint or paper the walls in a subtle colour. Whenever possible, try to be out of the house while the REALTOR® is conducting a showing. Potential purchasers often feel like intruders when homeowners are present.

Follow these tips for Showing your home

  • Keep pets well out of the way – preferably out of your house during the showing. (Potential purchasers who do not like or are allergic to pets may not wish to view your home if pets are present.)
  • Make sure your home is tidy and well aired.
  • Keep all stairways free of clutter.
  • Remove any items (like chandeliers), which won’t be included in the sale of the home.
  • Don’t keep money, jewelry and small valuable in plain sight during a showing.
  • Ensure that every room is adequately lit.

Discuss with your REALTOR®, his or her checklist to better prepare you for a showing or open house. By following these relatively simple tips, you’ll fee proud of your home and potential purchasers are sure to appreciate its beauty.