Although I once called myself a shopaholic, I’m not afraid to admit that buying and selling a home – twice in my lifetime now! – were not my smoothest transactions. To be sure, the outcome was desirable, but the process wasn’t always the easiest (or the most beneficial to my wallet).
Today, I’m sharing my five lessons learned, and introducing you to Nobul – an innovative real estate platform which offers buyers and sellers complete marketplace transparency.
(Also, read on for information about the Nobul $100K giveaway!)
1. Don’t hire the first agent you meet. While house hunting back in 2015, we met an agent at the very first open house we popped in to. She seemed professional, pleasant and well connected – in short, while she didn’t sell us the house, she nevertheless sold us on her services. We signed with her and came this close to paying an astronomical amount of commission on a property that was decidedly not our dream home.
The fact is, it simply didn’t enter our minds that we could shop around for an agent, but we weren’t alone; a recent Angus Reid Forum survey found that when it comes to selecting an agent, 75% of millennial homeowners hired the first agent they met. To put it in context? The average millennial Netflix user browses 10-20 titles before making a selection.
2. Learn about real estate commission rates. Specifically, who pays what? What is an average commission rate? Can rates be negotiated, and if so, when should the discussion come up? It may surprise you to know that commission rates can vary widely from agent to agent and aren’t necessarily a measure of the quality of service you’ll receive. In fact, the real estate agent who sold our house in 2018 charged us 3% less than the one we contracted in 2015.
Having an open conversation, access to past and present customer reviews, and the ability to filter through a variety of agents in the area is paramount to finding the right one.
3. Have a clear understanding of what you can afford. Here’s where you’ll want to sit down with a mortgage advisor, a budget-minded real estate professional, or both. According to the aforementioned survey, one third of prospective millennial home buyers stated housing prices are affordable in the area they plan to live – despite the average bungalow costing $521,250 nationally and an average millennial after-tax household income of $44,093. It’s time to crunch some numbers! The right real estate agent will help you stay within reasonable parameters of both your budget and projected income.
4. Demand transparency. Real estate agents should be held accountable for their performance. Gather information from prospective agents about their listings from the past 48 months, including:
– Average commission per sale
– Number of properties advertised
– Number of properties sold
– Number of days on market
– Percent difference between asking and selling prices
And, solicit customer testimonials (and ask to directly connect with past clients, if possible). Remember, it’s not that relationships with real estate agents are inherently negative; rather, it’s the lack of transparency between parties that can create issues.
5. Try something new. Introducing Nobul, the world’s first and only digital marketplace that matches home buyers and sellers with real estate agents – at no cost to the user. In other words, you have nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain by checking it out.
Nobul is an amalgamation of more than 400,000 agents across all brokerages, making it agnostic and consumer centric. (Translation: they don’t play favourites.) Users simply share what they are looking for and then agents bid for their business. All agents are prescreened for reliability, and are rated following a transaction to ensure accountability and transparency. This creates a valuable database of the best rated agents to choose from in cities across the country.
How I wish I had visited Nobul when we were selling our home! Although I had a pleasant experience with my real estate agent, I always feel that you can never be too informed.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, it’s the perfect time to check out Nobul: Every consumer who buys or sells a home through Nobul between November 1st, 2019 and February 29th, 2020 will be entered into a contest to win one grand prize of $100,000 CAD cash! (Open to Canadian residents only, click here for full contest rules.) Additionally, every consumer who buys or sells a home through Nobul (until further notice) will receive $1000 cash, and if a consumer is in the first 100 deals to close each month, they will receive an additional $1000 cash.
Are you in the market for a new home? I hope you’ll find my tips helpful. And, if you do check out Nobul, please do let me know in the comments! I would love to hear about your experience.
This post is sponsored by Nobul. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.