Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I choose Erik Hopkins to help sell my home?
Selling a home involves more than just putting a "for sale" sign on your lawn. It's a step-by-step procedure that involves a lot of care and attention, complicated further if you are considering buying another home as well. If that's the case, now you have two transactions to handle at once that need to blend together comfortably.
Hiring a REALTOR® to help with these goals should not be taken lightly. After all, your home is your investment and you'd like to sell it for the highest dollar possible, in the least amount of time, and with the least amount of hassle. To ensure that happens you'll want a strong base of trust and comfort with your REALTOR®. Whether you've sold a home before, or if this is your first time doing so, I want you to make the right considerations for your next sale. And that's exactly why our free, no obligation consultation will be of great value to you. Past clients have felt refreshed afterwards, and we're confident you will too.
The biggest hurdle at this point is making the call. It's in your hands to do so. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Below is a summary of my role in the selling process, and some of the key benefits I offer sellers like you.
- Personal Consultation
Our friendly persona will only make selling your home that much easier when I meet to discuss your situation. You'll have lots of questions that I can help answer. I will tailor my marketing approach to service your needs. My goal is to assist you in achieving your dreams.
- Competitive Commission Packages
If you're like most people you'd like a quality job for a decent price. I can certainly help with the quality, and I can also help with the price. I offer competitive packages tailored to your needs for you to choose from.
- Home Evaluation
This is an analysis of your home using the "Direct Sales Comparison Approach", which will project current market value. A detailed explanation will be provided to you.
- Seller Agency
I will discuss representation. Most real estate transactions involve two REALTOR'S; the one who represents the seller and the one who represents the buyer. I will explain how it works and what it means.
There are many forms, legal papers, and other select items needed to market your property. These are carefully detailed, verified for accuracy, and discussed with you. I also take inside and outside digital photos of your home and note the room measurements and square footage.
- Informative Reports
I provide easy to read reports that outline tips and strategies; to ensure a successful sale, to dress your house for success, and to pack your belongings safely. I also discuss the various costs you'll have with a helpful net sheet.
- Multiple Listing Service®
Details and photos of your home are submitted to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board where our MLS® is housed. The computerized information is available to over many hundreds of member REALTORS® and promoted to the buyers they represent.
- Internet Listing
Once your home appears on the local Multiple Listing Service® you will automatically be uploaded to the Cross Canada website... www.realtor.ca (formerly mls.ca). I also add your home to the "Our Listings" page on this website complete with description and scrolling photos. I respond to all Internet requests for information in an expedient manner.
- "For Sale" Sign
A "For Sale" sign is placed in your yard showing my contact information. It is a key necessity to attract calls. This will expose your property 24-7.
- Newspaper Advertising
I advertise your home in local newspapers which are widely distributed to all neighbourhoods in South Surrey and White Rock, and surrounding areas. I respond to all requests for information in an expedient manner.
- Open House
I advertise "Open Houses" in the Peace Arch News and the Now newspapers. Your Open House will be scheduled during a two hour timeframe on either a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
- Feature Sheets
I provide customized, in-home feature sheets with full-colour pictures for any prospective buyers to pick up during a viewing.
- "New Listing" Flyers
I deliver "New Listing" flyers to the local residents promoting your home. You may have a neighbour who has a friend or relative who'd like to live close by.
- Fraser Valley Real Estate Board
I submit the fee and do the necessary paperwork to list your home on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board's MLS® System.
I will arrange appointments to show your home to any of my prospective buyers, as well as scheduling appointments for co-operating REALTORS® for their buyers.
- Full Communication
I provide feedback on showings and monthly market updates until your home is sold. I also encourage interaction if you have a question, problem, or objection so I can provide a smooth and easy sale for you.
If any of my "Buyer Clients" are interested in proceeding with an offer on your home then I draft the "Agreement of Purchase and Sale" accordingly, discuss it with them fully, and have it signed.
I present any offer from my buyers, or a Co-operating REALTOR®, as soon as possible. The price, conditions, and terms, are fully discussed with you. Changes are negotiated with the buyer, or their representative, until the offer is accepted or rejected.
I help fulfill any conditions within an accepted offer by problem solving, answering questions, or arranging inspection appointments.
Copies of the offer, waivers, and amendments, with all final terms, signatures, and initials is disbursed to all parties accordingly, including the seller, buyer, brokerages, lawyers, mortgage specialists, etc.
Sold Sign and Website Updates
A "Sold" sign is placed over the "For Sale" sign, and my websites will be updated with the new sale.
All office records and paperwork is updated accordingly with the new sale.
Up to Closing
I help fulfill any other obligations in the offer that may not be conditions, ie.
obtaining city permits, surveys, etc. and I help with any problems that may arise so your moving day is hassle-free.
Why should I use a REALTOR® rather than selling my home myself?
As a professional dedicated to helping others in the real estate market, it's not uncommon for me to offer advice to those who choose to sell their properties themselves. I respect your decision to sell privately and I would like you to know that I am always available to answer any questions you may have regarding the sale of your home. My years of experience can pave the way for you. This is a free service I am offering you. You are under no obligation to sign a contract.
If you're currently selling privately then perhaps I can be of assistance in searching for your next property. I have "hands on" access to hundreds of listings, and it's certainly easier to find what you're looking for with the right help. You will get instant access to new listings that suit your wants and needs as they become available online.
And, whether you're currently selling privately, or just considering it, please review the following advantages to using the services of a REALTOR®:
- Setting your own price may not be beneficial to you if you're not aware of market conditions.
- You're always on call - ad calls, sign calls, open houses.
- Difficult to qualify potential buyers - Are they just nosy neighbours? Are they there just to check out your valuables? Can they afford your home?
- It's easy to praise your own home, but difficult to get purchaser feedback & critique - buyers are usually polite and may not tell you the truth.
- You're not exposing yourself to the vast number of true buyer's because your marketing plan is limited - will you be getting the highest and best price?
- You don't have over 800 REALTORS® working for you & you may not be advertised on the Internet.
- Drafting the offer can be challenging - There are many clauses to consider these days and many loopholes you should be avoiding. Yes, a lawyer can draft the offer, but there's a fee attached.
- How will you know if an offer is a fair one? - Lawyers aren't aware of current market values.
- Most buyers like to work with a REALTOR® when negotiating rather than working with you directly - because their interest needs protecting too!
- Buyers know you're selling your own home to save commission, so they will inevitably reduce their offer by this amount so they end up saving money instead of you.
Did you know? Over 80% of all homeowners who try to sell privately end up using the full services of a REALTOR®.
What is agency and how does it affect me?
Agency is the working relationship that the REALTOR® has with the client, be it a seller or a buyer. This relationship is usually stipulated in a written agreement and signed by the parties involved. In the seller's case this contract is known as the "listing agreement". The agreement outlines the responsibilities that the REALTOR® has toward his client and that the client has towards the REALTOR®. Sellers should be aware that upon receiving an offer on their home, that your REALTOR® is working on your behalf, and that very likely the buyer has a REALTOR® working on their behalf. Having an agency relationship allows the REALTOR® to give you advice, act on your behalf, represent you in negotiations, and keep any confidential information to themselves.
Are commission rates a fixed amount?
No, each brokerage is independently owned and operated and therefore sets its own standards and policies, including setting commission rates. Rates will vary from brokerage to brokerage. Erik Hopkins offers competitive packages to help service your needs.
How do you establish a price for my home?
A good REALTOR® should provide you with a Current Market Analysis (CMA). This is also called an Evaluation or an Opinion of Value. The REALTOR® will compare the features and characteristics of your home with similar properties that have sold recently. This shows the REALTOR® what buyers are willing to pay for such a property in the marketplace. Since no two homes are identical the REALTOR® may make monetary adjustments up or down for certain features that your home has, or lacks, over the comparables. The REALTOR® will also take into account the overall condition of your home, its location, and any trends in the economy that may indicate rise or falls in the market. After compiling this information the REALTOR® will suggest a selling range for your home.
What are some cost effective ways of enhancing my home?
The first thing on the list would be to clean everything from top to bottom. If your home sparkles then it looks cared for, and that's important to the buyer. You should also remove clutter from rooms, hallways, and closets, so your home feels spacious. Making small repairs and painting where necessary is relatively inexpensive and can go a long way to beautifying your property.
What paperwork is required to get my home listed for sale?
There are two kinds of paperwork needed; materials from the homeowner, and the forms the REALTOR® needs to get your home on the market. As the homeowner you will be asked to supply a copy of your survey, if you have one, your property taxes, costs for heat and hydro, and any documentation regarding capital charges, your septic tank, and your well, if these apply. The REALTOR® needs to fill out a number of forms, including; a listing contract, a parameter sheet outlining the features and details of your home, an agency pamphlet, and a "Seller Property Information Statement", which outlines all the structural, environmental, and legal issues that you're aware of, regarding your home.
My home is listed on MLS®, what does that mean?
Getting your home listed for sale on the MLS® exposes your home to all the REALTORS® who are part of the system. There are many hundreds of REALTORS® who belong to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board where our MLS® is housed. REALTORS® see the computerized details of your home and then make an appointment to show it to any prospective buyers that they are working with. Showings occur from different REALTORS® until the right buyer makes an acceptable offer.
What are the best ways to attract a buyer to my home?
The best way to attract a buyer to your home is to be listed on the MLS® System. This will expose your home to over 800 REALTORS® who are members of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. These REALTORS® connect with buyers on a day to day basis. Having a "for sale" sign on your lawn and having Internet exposure are also very powerful. These items expose your home 24 hours a day. Buyers can also be generated from "newspaper ads" and "open houses" but statistics show that only 1% of the time does the buyer purchase the home that they call on, or see.
What steps do I take when a buyer makes an offer on my home?
Normally, the REALTOR® who is working with the buyer will draw the offer, be it your REALTOR® or a co-operating REALTOR®. When the offer is ready an appointment is arranged to present it to you. Your REALTOR® will go through the offer with you step by step, and clause by clause, and make any changes that may be necessary. Some changes may include the price, the closing date, inclusions and exclusions, the deposit, etc. These changes are then sent back to the buyer to peruse and modify if necessary. The offer continues to go back and forth until it is finally accepted or rejected. Upon receiving an "accepted" offer, the time limits start for any conditions in the offer to be met. Once the parties fulfill their conditions then waivers are signed and submitted, and the offer becomes "firm".