Brides: Hiring A Realtor
Should We Hire a Professional Realtor?
Real Estate Agent Dino Di Saverio gives us his tips on why hiring a Realtor helps you shop for a home and why it is a valuable asset…
Whenever you and your significant other decide it’s time to begin the house hunting process, you’ll have to decide whether or not you are going to tackle this BIG endeavor alone or with the services of a professional Realtor. I guess it’s the same dilemma couples have of whether or not they’re going to hire a professional wedding planner to advise and look after every detail of their special day. The only difference is enlisting the services of a professional Realtor isn’t going to put a dent in your cheque book. Now, I bet I even got your fiancé’s attention with that one. Humour aside, working with a Realtor is quite simply a win-win situation. Here’s why:
1. A Sales Representative who uses the term “Realtor” is an individual who is licensed under the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), and as such, MUST adhere to a strict code of ethics and conduct. What does this mean for you? Well, as your representative in negotiating a deal on a subject property, a Realtor must strive to protect his/her clients’ interests; in this case, protecting you, the Buyer. It’s reassuring to know that you can have someone look out for your best interests at all times, guiding you through the transaction process.
2. Representation –Representation is critical for Buyers, especially First Time Buyers who are unfamiliar with the buying process and/or who have little knowledge of the market. Although the sales representative who is working on behalf of the sellers can assist you in buying that home, their duty is not going to be looking out for your interests, but rather the interests of their selling clients. You are much better off having someone on your side, someone who is willing to put up a fight to ensure you get what you want out of the deal.
3. Market Knowledge: A good Realtor is one who knows his/her community like the back of their hand. He or she should be aware of property values in all parts of the geographical area being considered, to ensure that as Buyers, you are not overpaying for a particular property. A Realtor also has exclusive access to sales history for any given home in your geographic location; this will provide you with the data you need to make an informed and wise decision when drafting a reasonable offer on a specific property.
4. Inventory: Realtors are affiliated with both a brokerage (i.e. Century 21 Dreams), as well as members of a district Real Estate Board (i.e. Oakville-Milton District Real Estate Board). What this means is, Realtors are notified within their brokerage of new property listings as well have Board access to all new listings in that geographic area. For a Buyer who frequently checks Realtor.ca, new listings don’t make it onto that site until a minimum of 24 hours. In a hot market, a desirable and well-priced listing can fly! That one day can make all the difference in the world in terms of whether or not a Buyer gets that property.
5. Value: Knowledge of value is especially important if a Buyer wants to renovate or flip a particular property. In this case, it is REALLY IMPORTANT to have a Realtor by your side because you DO NOT want to over invest in a property. A Realtor can advise as to what would be an appropriate renovation or upgrade budget for that particular neighbourhood. As well, he or she will point out which spaces and features in the home will bring back the most return.
6. Perspective: When you and your significant other start looking for a home, it won’t take long until the two of you begin quarreling over each of your ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes.’ It is inevitable if you think you’ll last the whole home buying process without a single fight. Because you are pouring so much hard earned money into this very big investment, both of you are going to be very particular about what you want. However, it’s very easy to lose perspective during the buying process, and because of that you may make hasty decisions (i.e. going over your budget to get what you want), or unreasonable (i.e. not realizing all of the factors that impact value in a home); such as no hardwood floors in the house being a deal breaker. A good Realtor will do his/her best to ensure the Buyer stays grounded at all times.
7. Mediator: One of the biggest perks to working with a Realtor is that once you have picked the house you love and settle on a price you’re willing to pay for it, your job is done! Your Realtor will then talk to the selling agent and negotiate on your behalf. This is essential because if sellers had to negotiate directly with buyers, the battle would be a nasty one. Sellers tend to stubbornly adhere to their price and Buyers aren’t willing to pay more than what they deem fair. Having Realtors act as middle-men/women, eases the tension of the negotiating process and alleviates offending either parties.
I mentioned at the beginning of this article that it will cost nothing for you, the Buyer, to work with a Realtor. The reason for this is that the listing agency (brokerage) sets out a percentage of the sale price or dollar amount they are willing to pay the co-operating Buyer Brokerage. This commission amount is agreed on by the sellers and is acknowledged by the Buyers. However, should the commission amount being offered be less than what your Realtor expects, he or she may ask you to compensate them for the difference. Matters such as these would be outlined in the Buyer Representation or Customer Service Agreement that you sign with your Realtor. In most cases, a standard commission rate is offered to buyer representatives, and as such, they will not ask you for more money.
Just make sure that you carefully read over and understand the terms & conditions of any agreement/contract you sign with a Realtor when enlisting their services. There is a lot to digest, so make sure you ask for clarity if something doesn’t make sense.
Should you have any questions about Buyer Representation or other Services, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Happy House Hunting!
Dino Di Saverio