If you are a long-time homeowner, you probably haven’t been paying too much attention to the real estate market and what realtors are up to. Until recently. With the way the Niagara real estate market is going, we are seeing a lot of people perking up and taking interest in what’s going on in real estate and considering entering the market for the first time in years.
The real estate game has changed, and not just the way the market is taking off. The internet and social media are making it easier than ever for people to join the real estate game, which means that as real estate agents in Niagara, we are working harder than ever to offer you more of the right services to make buying and selling your home easy.
The real estate you used to know
If you haven’t been in the market to buy or sell your home in the past decade or so, you probably have a very outdated memory of what it used to be like to work with a realtor. There was a time when realtors were the keepers of all things real estate. If there was any data to be had to price your home or determine the true value of a property you wanted to buy, you needed a real estate agent to give you access to that exclusive information.
The real estate landscape today
The internet has changed everything, obviously — real estate included. All the data you are looking for, from real estate listings, to property values, to virtual home tours and videos, is all a click away. And with this shift, the role of realtors has needed to evolve. We know we aren’t the keepers of all information anymore, but we are the keepers of detailed knowledge of the local market that isn’t as accessible online.
The real value in a realtor comes from their ability to interpret the information that you, as an average home seller or home buyer, may not be able to deduce yourself. Sure, you saw pictures of the house next door, and you know what it was listed for, but you won’t know the ins and outs of what went on throughout the transaction.
And with more options for privately listing your home, some people are attempting to go it alone to avoid paying commissions. But with REALTOR.ca seeing literally billions of page views a year, you want your home listed on the Multiple Listing Service, something you can’t do on your own. Add in a realtors extensive contacts — including stagers, contractors, and other agents — and you’ll be glad you decided not to go it alone.
Is your realtor keeping pace?
So, how do you know if your realtor is keeping pace with the way the real estate industry is going? Good news — you’re already doing it! Start Googling and check out what their online presence looks like.
You want to find a realtor with a website that doesn’t just work for them, but for you. That means listing are updated regularly, they have a blog that is drawing people to their site, and they are easy to get in touch with.
Next, social media. Are they on Facebook? They should be! With 72% of all online adults active on Facebook in 2016, Facebook isn’t just a place for life updates and photos — it is one of the best marketing tools there is. When a listing is posted on social media, the reach grows exponentially. Shares, comments, likes all spread the word through the online grapevine, getting more eyes and more interest on your home.
Finally, more and more, people are looking to build a relationship with a realtor they can trust. You don’t want to be just another transaction, and in a market that is moving like Niagara’s right now, it’s easy to let that happen. Unless your realtor cares. Buying and selling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. It’s a lot of money and a lot of big decisions. Finding a realtor who is there for you, will answer your calls, texts and emails at a moment’s’ notice and will guide you through the process isn’t just important, it’s essential.
Sure, you can pick a random name out of one of the hundreds of cards that have probably landed in your mailbox recently. You could even give it a go yourself. But at the pace the market is moving, you’ll truly benefit from choosing to work with a BETTER realtor who is moving just as fast, without missing a step.