Long before I was Realtor, I owned a condo on the Lakeshore in Toronto. When it was time to sell, I needed representation. I was young and had never sold a property before, so I really needed some ‘wise’ help.
I met with several Realtors, and if I were to describe them in one word, it would be ‘shark’. They hustled, they made lofty promises, they did the whole ‘wheel and deal’ thing. I knew that if I worked with a ‘shark’, they probably wouldn't remember me after the cheque was cashed, and that bothered me. I was nothing more to them than a dollar sign.
Eventually, I found a Realtor through a friend and we instantly clicked. She was not pushy or demanding; she was honest and patient, and she listened even while she shared her knowledge and experience with the market.
When I was hesitant about some of her suggestions to enhance my condo (and I definitely was!), she would patiently explain how it would benefit me. Most importantly, though, was the fact that she took the time to build a relationship. I was not just a dollar sign to her.
That experience is what actually inspired me to become a Realtor 15 years ago.
So, I would like to share a few key tips that will help you find a Realtor that values a long lasting relationship.
1. Where do THEY live?
A Realtor who lives in the area where they are selling (and not just seasonally) has a vested interest in that community. They know the area, the people, and when it comes to cottage country especially, they understand and will communicate the differences between summer and the other three seasons.
2. Don’t Miss Out
If you’re buying, they will keep you ‘in the loop’ about new properties that fit your criteria. New properties come on the market all the time, and your Realtor should be watching those listings even more diligently than you. It would be a shame if you missed that perfect cottage because they were too busy to tell you about it.
3. Thank you for calling, I appreciate the feedback
If you’re selling, your Realtor should quickly update you with feedback about showings on your property. You should never have to contact them for feedback. After all, the best way to sell your property is to know what people are looking for, and you can’t do anything about people’s comments if you’re chasing someone for answers, right?
4. Forget what you have been told
They will not over-promise and under-deliver. It can be challenging to come up with a value for your property in Muskoka, but you should be given a thorough Market Analysis that is honest and accurate. Those who put a high price tag on a property that exceeds market value will only harm the outcome and cause your property to sit for seasons.
5. Cottage Time or Your Time?
A great Realtor is available when you need them, and keeps reasonable hours. If they work on ‘cottage time’…run!
6. Out of The Box
They will think of new and exciting ways to market your property in a variety of different areas beyond the Muskoka borders. We are a global world and it is important that everyone has access to your property. You never know where a prospective buyer could be coming from, which is why…
7. Online or Bust
They will have a strong marketing campaign online. Word of mouth is important, but a strong online presence is mandatory in our connected world. We’ve all done it: we see a ‘For Sale’ sign on a property that interests us, and we go online to see what it’s like. If that property can’t be found online, we immediately forget it exists.
8. Preview, Preview, Preview
Your Realtor will preview as many properties as they can so that you don't have to make too many trips up the 400. Their strategy will be to save you time, so they will have a list of properties ready to view when you are.
What other things do you look for in a great Realtor? Let me know in the comments below.
When you are ready to buy or sell your cottage give me a call and I would be happy yo sit down with you to explore all of your Muskoka options.