I’m not in South Beach. Today I’m in downtown Toronto, my hometown. This is King West, 438 King West to be exact, the Hudson building, and I’m on the 19th floor. If you’re thinking of listing your property, you’re probably going to want to hire a real estate agent. But you know what? There’s so many Toronto real estate agents out there nowadays. How do you know which is the right one for you? If you’re thinking of listing your property, you’re going to call a few and you’re going to interview them. But what do you ask them? What’s the right questions?

I’m going to give you five questions right now you should ask any real estate agent that you’re interviewing and I’m going to go as far as to say that these are five questions that any half-assed realtor is not going to want you to ask. Okay, here we go.

The first question that you should ask any realtor that you’re interviewing to list your property is this: how long have you been a real estate agent? Before you decide to become a real estate agent, you’ve got two years to finish your schooling while you’re allowed to trade real estate and 70% of the people that start the schooling don’t finish. That means that any agent that you’re interviewing that has less than two years of experience may never even become a full-fledged agent. Hey, imagine they did this with doctors. They said come in and do half your school, go out and do a few surgeries, see how you like it, then come back and finish if you think it’s the right fit for you. You know what would happen? Those doctors would kill people like those agents will kill your deal, except the doctors will lose their license. The agents won’t lose theirs, they’ll just go on to the next victim.

Okay, the second hard question that you want to ask any agent that you’re interviewing is this: are you a full-time agent? You know, I know lots of so-called realtors that are running around doing everything from walking dogs to waiting tables, personal training, I even know a few that are firemen and policemen. Think about it. Are you going to want to list your place with somebody that’s going to serve you dinner later that night? Or maybe pull you over when you run that red? A full-time realtor doesn’t get paid until he sells your place. He’s hungry, he wants to sell it. Somebody with a second job doesn’t care. They know that at the end of the week they’ve got a paycheck coming in. Their priorities are skewed. Use a full-time agent. Their priority is to sell your place and make you money.

The third important question you’re going to want to ask any realtor that you’re interviewing to list your place is this: how many deals did you do last year? How many properties did you sell? You know, fully 20% of all Toronto realtors didn’t sell a single property last year. That’s one in five, so if you’re interviewing five realtors, good chance that one of them didn’t sell a single property. 60% of realtors did less than one deal per quarter. That’s less than one every three months. At that rate they’re basically poor, but more importantly, they don’t have the working, practical knowledge to deal with situations that may arise during your listing and they’re probably not going to get you the top price.

Okay, the fourth hard question you’re going to want to ask any realtor that you’re interviewing to list your place is this: what was your average selling price last year? Of all the properties they sold, how much were they worth? You know, just because an agent has multi-million dollar listings in Forest Hill, which looks great on paper, doesn’t mean that they’re the best agent to sell your condo downtown. Do your homework. Ask any agent that you’re interviewing to bring you a few completed listings from last year and see if they’re listings are the right kind for the type of property that you’re going to be selling.

Okay, the fifth, probably the most important question you want to ask any realtor you’re interviewing is this: what neighborhood do you work in? Of all those listings that you had last year that you sold, how many were in my neighborhood? Whether the median price was $500,000 or $5 million doesn’t matter as much as whether those listings were local and relevant to your listing. It’s no secret that I hate dealing with agents from the 905. It’s not because I don’t like them personally, it’s because they’re a pain in the butt to deal with. You know, when I need them to do something, they can’t come downtown because of traffic. When I got to send a fax, it’s long distance, which is a pain in the butt for my office. You know, these agents don’t know where the liquor store is, they don’t know what school zone you’re in, they have a hard time parking downtown, and they don’t know where to catch the TTC. That’s not somebody that you want representing you in a market for people that are looking to buy in your neighbourhood.

My name’s Chris Borkowski. Everybody calls me Condo Chris and I’m a broker with Re/Max Hallmark right here in the beautiful city of Toronto. You know, I hope I’ve given you a few tips today to help you hire the right agent who will give you the best service and help you make maximum profit when selling your property.

If you have any questions, or you’re looking for a great Toronto condo, Toronto real estate investment, or office space, call me at 416-486-5588 or email condochris@gmail.com.