The Right REALTOR® for An Estate

We have been asked to write about real life real estate experiences in respect to being a Master-ASA member.

This one was typical in many ways. It was a 1950s home, original owners who only repaired when necessary but the house was predominately original and hence, very outdated.

The parents had both died, the family inherited the home but none of the heirs lived in Canada anymore and the Executor was the family lawyer, in Toronto. I had worked with this lawyer before and he called me in.

The house was basically vacant when I went to inspect it, very shabby, staging would not help this home. It required major renovations throughout and frankly, it did not smell that nice either.

The family wanted a friend who was a Realtor to handle the sale, they were going to be favourable to the family and commission would be saved. The fact that the agent had little experience with an estate or with a vacant property did not matter to them.

The lawyer insisted that he wanted an experienced Realtor and a Master-ASA. I got the listing and immediately pressed the Executor for some funds to hire a few trades. The entire house, save for bathroom and kitchen had outdated, worn, shag carpet. It was ugly and was the source of the musty odour. I had it removed and the hardwood exposed. The hardwood had lost its shine but it was in excellent condition. Next, I had small repairs done, new toilet seat, fixed a rusted sink, etc. Even though the home was ripe for gutting and renovation it still had to show to its best.

Through strong marketing (despite its tired condition, a professional photography shoot, a website was created). It was promoted throughout the neighbourhood.

In the end, I was able to sell it for substantially more than the Realtor friend suggested and I had it on the market and sold within 8 days. It closed within 30 days and family was happy.

A lesson for anyone selling – when engaging a Realtor you have two choices. 1) you can have a reduced commission or 2) you can get less money for your property. You cannot have a cheap commission and a top dollar. Bargain agents bring bargain buyers. Bargain agents do not undertake the time to be spent prepping a home for sale nor do they bring in professional photographers and create specialized websites to sell the home. They do not invest in promotion to the neighbours and other areas. Top Realtors, Master-ASA members bring abundant service people to the process, their own skills and years of experience. Funny thing, it costs no more to hire them as an amateur because Realtors do not get paid until a sale transpires.

And that lawyer, the Executor, one of the finest recommendations I have had in my career is now posted online, at Rank My Agent. Proud of the service I did for these people, that is my training as a Master-ASA.


Barry Lebow, Master-ASA is one of Canada’s most recognized real estate authorities. He has earned close to 20 professional designations in real estate and is now entering his 48th year in real estate.




Posted in Financial, General Information, Legal Stuff, Psyche
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