In this highly competitive business it is really easy to see how busy real estate agents are and how hectic their lives can be. But what is it that I DO exactly? Well, besides all the business of self promotion and getting my name out there (which takes up a LOT of time!) such as blog posts (like this!), ad design, website design, and social media updates and besides all of the continuing education courses and legal update articles I must read to keep up with all the changes in my field, as well as studying the market and analyzing all of the market stats, it helps to break up what I do into two parts-what I do for my seller clients, and what I do for my buyers.
Let’s start with working with sellers:
When representing my seller clients I have to prove to them that I am the right agent to list with (kind of like a job interview) and I also need to show them why RE/MAX is their best choice (I’ll blog about this another time!). Some sellers want to list in a few months and so I am able to give them advice on minor renovations and staging tips if they are interested. The first thing I do is a comparative market analysis of the home to find the current market value of the home. And before I list a property I have to take a look at the Title from the land title office to make sure there are no liens and to make sure the seller will have enough funds after the sale of the property to pay off the mortgage (if applicable). I also need to check for any other restrictions such as rights of way, restrictive covenants, etc. Then I check the zoning. These details would also be shared with potential buyers for obvious reasons. I have to check ID and fill out government forms and then we move onto the agency brochures, property disclosure statements, and the MLS listing contract. I need to make sure my clients understand all of these contracts fully. I will also obtain info about the well water and septic system (if applicable) and gather all documents about these as well as any updates/renovations and permits or certificates (e.g.. WETT or other inspections) on the home. I will check out the tax info and will view the property file at city hall as well as gather the site survey or district plot map. If it’s a strata property I will need to review all of the strata documents including minutes from their meetings, depreciation report, etc. Rural properties require a discussion with the Regional District about any possible sensitive habitats, archeological sites, etc. I ask my sellers what items they would like to include in the sale of the home and I ask them about viewing arrangements, open houses, etc. Then comes the fun part! I take measurements of the home, hire a photographer and sometimes even a drone, pore over and select edited photographs, submit all contracts to my office, submit carefully selected photos and documents to the MLS, design ads for print and internet, create social media posts, get that sign up, and get ready for the listing to hit the MLS! Then I am fielding tons of phone calls and emails especially during the first couple of weeks. I make arrangements for all of the showings and request feedback. And once an offer comes in I am able to discuss the offer as well as any conditions on the offer with my sellers. It can be a stressful time for sellers! I need to be there for them and help them through the negotiations. After the property has an accepted offer I make arrangements with my sellers to allow for the proper inspections to take place and am there in case of any issues. I am also available to accept back-up offers in case the original offer falls through. Once subjects have been removed I get that SOLD sign up and all the paperwork goes to my office as well as the seller’s notary or lawyer. And it’s CELEBRATION TIME with my sellers!
Now for my buyers:
For first time home buyer clients I have written an Informed Buyers Guide to help them get prepared. Making sure they’ve been pre-approved and have their deposit money ready to go is an important first step. Discussing agency and showing them a sample of the Contract of Purchase and Sale so they know what an offer contract looks like. Discussing conditions (will they need financing, will they need to sell their home first?) in advance in case the perfect property comes up and they need to jump on it! Talking about taxes and strata fees (if applicable), going over all the strata documents (if applicable) and discussing expected mortgage payments. Having a long discussion about their needs and wants. Viewing a bunch of homes that won’t meet their needs is a time waster for them and the sellers! Buying is a process of elimination, not a process of selection. So we really narrow down the list of homes to view. When they are ready to make an offer I need to do a comparative market analysis of the property to make sure the list price is a fair one to begin with. Then the negotiations begin. Once my buyers have an accepted offer I obtain the deposit and that is held in trust by my brokerage. Then there is a time period allowed for conditions to be removed. This is when I put on my “private investigator” hat and start doing a lot of research behind the scenes to protect my buyers. Rural properties involve a lot of investigations and because of this I would never recommend anyone purchase rural property on their own without a real estate agent! I will check the property file at city hall or call the Regional District to make sure everything is in order and there are no issues we need to be concerned about. I look at zoning, permitted uses, sensitive habitats, permits, and I view the title as well as the site survey and property disclosure statement. Then we book all the inspections and I will have made sure my buyers have the funds to cover these expenses in advance (rural property inspections are quite costly). For city homes it is usually just a home inspection that is required, but for rural properties we have septic pump out and inspection, well water quantity and quality tests, home inspection and sometimes a wood stove inspection, and occasionally we have to look at water licenses, shared driveways and shared wells and what the agreements for those are. I am present for all inspections and am there to make sure everything is in good working condition. Once subjects are removed and the purchase can proceed to completion I make sure I am always there to answer questions, and to offer advice on moving and service providers that go along with the process such as moving companies, maid services, etc. Once the possession date comes along I do a walk through to make sure there is no damage or missing items in the home. I always drop by for a visit a month or so later to say hi and to marvel at my clients so happy in their new home. This is the best part of the job!
So in essence, when it comes to my job as a REALTOR®, I am basically doing everything I can to fully represent my clients best interests! And since I work by referral only this means I have to do an amazing job in the hopes that my clients will recommend me to everyone they know! I want life long relationships with my clients. This job is not about transactions for me, it’s about helping people in what will be the most expensive purchase they will make in their lives and making sure they are making a good investment financially but also personally. Happy people make happy homes!