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We have been hearing from more and more Liberty Village condo sellers in distress lately. The call usually goes something like this…

“We met with you a few months ago and we loved your marketing approach and local expertise BUT my cousin’s friend was willing to list my condo for less commission. I wanted to save money.” I usually respond by asking how that worked out…

Needless to say, I’m hearing from them because it didn’t work out. The property hasn’t sold and the seller is upset because they don’t feel that their current agent is doing enough to get the property sold. It must be stated very clearly that if a seller is still under contract with an agent, we are not permitted to coach or make any suggestions – especially to break their current contact – nor do we. What we do say is “call us when you are no longer under contract and we can definitely help”.

Here are 5 signs that you may have hired the wrong real estate agent:

1 – The agent doesn’t actually see the property or know anything about the property they are listing for sale. There are many agents out there who take on listings they never actually see. Generally, the reason for this is because you have hired a Realtor who doesn’t work in Liberty Village or is unfamiliar with the area. You need someone who will effectively communicate the language that IS the Liberty Village neighbourhood. If you do not know what I am referring to take a good look at this website.

2 – Poor Listing Photographs that appear on MLS. This one really gets me going. Agents who include only one photo or a variety of grainy, dark, poorly taken photos for the MLS listing of the condo you have just hired them to market and sell. Some agents do not understand that their real job happens AFTER the listing contract is signed. We are meant to market a property to the widest audience possible and make your condo look like a million bucks. We know full-well that the first thing that buyers look at are the pictures.

3 –Incomplete MLS Information: It appears that few MLS listings are complete or accurate nowadays. Some agents don’t use the room description fields to detail the best features and finishes, nor do they include room measurements. Some simply offer generic cliches such as “Great downtown condo close to amenities; perfect for your buyer.” Surely you have seen “Location, Location, Location!” How insulting. Why not describe the actual condo, layout, view, finishes, amenities and why Liberty Village is one of the greatest neighbourhoods in Toronto?

4 – Did you get help to prepare your property for sale.? Realtors should be working on staging, upgrading, marketing and other preparations for a period of time prior to the property being listed on MLS. Few condos are ready to be listed tomorrow. I don’t believe in simply signing listing contract and slapping a listing up on MLS, as there are many things that should be done in advance of the listing. In an increasingly competitive and saturated downtown condo market, the key to a quick and profitable sale is in differentiating your condo from the others. This takes a lot of work and guidance from serious professionals.

5 – The condo is now listed for sale, where did my agent go?: “The listing contract has been signed, the MLS listing is up and I haven’t heard from my realtor since!” We hear this one a lot. Besides taking care of the showing logistics, our role is to provide you with feedback when available, communicate interest/lack of interest, discuss why showing numbers are promising or disappointing, talk future strategies and of course, communicate and negotiate any offers that come forward. Seems pretty obvious doesn’t it.

There are always going to be cheap discount “service providers” in any marketplace. That’s the business model they have chosen for themselves. Do you really want one representing what is likely your single greatest investment? In almost all cases, you get what you pay for. By all accounts, the same is true in real estate. With condo numbers increasing at jaw-dropping rate (just look around Liberty Village), standing out in the crowd when it comes time to sell is more and more crucial. Just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s worthwhile. Nor is it a great idea to hire a friend of the family’s because you would feel bad not doing so.

It’s your largest investment—don’t take the risk. Get in touch with us at the CamberWalden Group to see the difference.


Michael Camber

Michael Camber is the #1 selling real estate salesperson in King West and Liberty Village. Since 2003 he has been helping his clients achieve all of their real estate objectives.

1 Comment

  1. Sacramento Realtors - October 29, 2012 Reply

    Not to hijack this thread, but I’m interested in seeing if I’m eligible for a short sale and I have no idea how to find a local, highly regarded realtor… have you ever heard of this realtor? They’re located in sacramento, near my office and I can’t find reviews on them – Becky Lund & Associates – Sacramento Realtors, 8814 Madison Avenue #2 Fair Oaks, CA 95628 (916) 531-7124

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