A quick Google search will reveal that there are about a million blog posts with the same "questions to ask your agent". How long have you been in the business, how many homes do you sell, what is your percentage of phone calls to sold signs... blah blah. Yes, these are great and you should ask away - the more you ask the better. That being said, here are eight questions to ask your agent when selling your Ottawa condo.
1. Do you focus on condos?
- You would have no idea the number of times I have heard wrong information given out by agents to clients about condos. Sure, we can't know everything - but even having a basic understanding should be expected. Example. I overheard an agent once tell his client that the condo fee rises the higher a condo is within a building. facepalm. Yes, my license allows me to sell a commercial property, and I have even taken a mandatory commercial property course - but I don't know everything about commercial deals and am not the best agent to handle a commercial deal. Condo living is different that freehold living, and buying/selling a condominium is taking freehold properties and adding extra complexities. The deals are done on different forms, there are extra conditions and clauses only for condominiums, and extra knowledge that you only know by "being in the trenches".
2. Have you sold my floorplan or sold in my building?
- How familiar is the agent with your specific building? Some buildings I have sold every floorplan since it has been launched. Does the agent know where the amenities are and how to get around the building? Even details like having a good relationship with the concierge, security, or property manager goes a long way when we need something.
3. Who is most likely to buy my condo?
- One of the first steps when creating the marketing plan for each listing is sitting down and walking through who potential buyers are for the condo. Owner-occupied or investor? Older or younger. Married? Kids? Most buildings have a mix of people, but there is a general trend. Can the agent see the trend? Targeting these buyers, rather than wasting resources on buyers who are unlikely to buy it. Modern two story loft with stairs? Willing to bet it isn't being bought by an older couple looking to downsize.
4. Other than units in my building, what units/buildings are our biggest competition?
- Having a knowledge of other units and other buildings will help you get a better perspective on the market and what to expect. Knowing that there are three hot units in a building across the street, will help when pricing.
5. What are the largest issues we will have with selling the condo?
- You can't sugar coat everything and most places have something that isn't going to work for most buyers. Is it size? Is it the damaged floors? Is it the view, building, location, furniture, etc? Can you address it beforehand or mitigate the issues early on?
6. How will you market the condo?
- Unlike a residential home, most buildings will not allow a for sale sign. Some buildings have banned open houses. The agent needs to have the tools (not just know about them) to sell in today's world. Facebook, Google, Instagram, targeted ads, VR.... what is the agent going to do in order to get in front of the right buyers? Do they have a plan to get the condo sold?
7. Do you do your own photography?
- The number of horrible photos that are used on the MLS blows me away. Hiring the best agent means having an agent who knows the value of highering a professional photographer. This should almost be the first question that you ask - it's that important. Have they done dusk shots?
8. Do you have a handyman that has experience with condos?
- If you need any work done (such as replacing floors, or sometimes even painting), there are almost always extra steps that are needed before work can be done in the condo. Getting condo board approval is the most important, but even just keeping the neighbors happy can go a long way. Many trades are used to working on job sites that are loud and dirty, not in modern buildings with shiny elevators and neighbors who can hear everything. Some buildings have specific rules about construction waste or using the elevators.
Thinking about selling your Ottawa condo? I would love to chat more - fill out the form below!