Do I need a Realtor?? Answer obviously is a resounding YES.
Would you let your plumber do an open heart surgery on you? Choose the right professional for any right task.
Maybe you’re buying a home for the first time. Or maybe you’re selling your old home to move up to something new. Whatever the reason, the buying and selling of a home is a big event. It’s an intricate process involving many specialists. One of these specialists is a REALTOR®, whose job it is to make the transfer of property as easy as possible.
But not all licensed or registered Brokers or salespeople are REALTORS®. The term REALTOR® is a trademark identifying real estate licensees in Canada who are members of The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). REALTORS® adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice. The code of ethics is a firm set of rules, describing what kind of performance you have a right to expect from a REALTOR®. It’s your guarantee of professional conduct and the best in service.
That’s why many buyers and sellers turn to a REALTOR®. As a member of their local real estate Board, REALTORS® have their finger on the pulse of the housing market and are in daily contact with buyers potentially interested in your home.
You can trust a REALTOR® to protect your interests and to look after details. And all the while, you’re an active partner in the process, working with a REALTOR® every step of the way. So the more you know about buying and selling homes, the better your working relationship with a REALTOR®.
A REALTOR®’s commitment to high standards of professional conduct works to the advantage of buyers and sellers alike.
A REALTOR® is knowledgeable about developments and trends in real estate. A REALTOR® will get you the facts: comparable prices, neighborhood trends, housing market conditions and more.
A REALTOR® is committed to ongoing education to increase competence and effectiveness in real estate trading.
Every REALTOR® has been trained and tested. And REALTORS® are bound by a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice that ensure fairness to all parties in a transaction.
A REALTOR®’s pledge is to be honest in disclosing property information and forthright in providing the facts needed to help you make one of the most important decisions of your life.
And remember, only a REALTOR®, a member of The Canadian Real Estate Association, has access to the Multiple Listing Service®,Canada’s most powerful real estate marketing system
Did the above sound like marketing? Not really. It is stating the facts.
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®.
But if you’re still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are a dozen more reasons to use one:
1. Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power — that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders — banks and mortgage companies — offer limited choices.
2. Your REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in your home search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.
3. Your REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning. schools, etc. There are two things you’ll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
4. Your REALTOR® can help you negotiate. There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
5. Your REALTOR® provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your REALTOR®, title company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
6. Your REALTOR® can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.
7. Your REALTOR® can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
8. When selling your home, your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.
9. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your property. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your REALTOR® acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.
10. Your REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. When a property is marketed with the help of your REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
11. Your REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing — a lot of possible pitfalls. Your REALTOR® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.
12. Your REALTOR® can help close the sale of your home. Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).