You’re looking for a home. You search online, attend open houses and drive around areas where you’d like to live, scanning for real estate signs.
Good for you! You’re being proactive and getting a feel for what’s out there.
But there’s more to it than that.
Hunting for properties on your own is like driving with one headlight on. Sure, you’ll illuminate some of what’s available, but only half the road is visible. This is where it’s crucial to have your own REALTOR® assist you with a house purchase, from the get-go.
Here’s what a purchaser’s REALTOR® brings to the table:
A licensed REALTOR® has access to some MLS® documentation that isn’t always available to the general public, even though there’s a lot more information available online to prospective purchasers these days.
Most REALTORS® have a subscription to alternative registries, allowing them to see the history of a property back to the original deed in most cases.
A purchaser walks a fine line when estimating what to offer on a home – your REALTOR® can use these research resources to help you achieve just the right balance.
How? Your REALTOR® can prepare a Market Evaluation on a property to ascertain its value, based in information available on MLS® and other realty-related databases. A Market Evaluation is a document that uses a number of comparable properties to calculate the value for a property. It is an essential tool when it comes to figuring out what would be a reasonable offer on a home – an offer that takes your budget into account and is likely to be considered seriously by the seller.
In most cases, you do not pay a commission to a REALTOR® who assists you in finding and purchasing a home. This is negotiated with the selling agent and is usually not an out-of-pocket expense for you.
Each REALTOR® offers a unique set of qualifications. By choosing your own representative, you can engage the real estate professional who’s best suited to you.
Expertise is essential. A qualified REALTOR® knows how to draw up a strategic Offer and interpret a Counter-Offer.
They have access to every Nova Scotia condominium corporation’s Declaration and By-laws online, plus building and unit plans. Their expertise enables them to interpret these materials – they know exactly what to look for.
They can advise you on what costs are involved with any property purchase: legal fees, mortgage application fees, deed transfer tax, survey fees, fire insurance premiums, home inspection fees, HST – the list goes on – so you can budget for them.
They know the risky areas and keep an eagle eye out for any red flags that may present themselves: Septic systems, furnaces, hot water heaters – those can be trouble areas that require examination and possible replacement.
Sewer line inspection, radon testing…depending on what areas require it, your REALTOR® will include a clause in your Offer that allows for important testing to be carried out – this will protect you.
And they can recommend qualified professionals to do the inspecting!
An experienced REALTOR® knows the potential pitfalls. They’ve shepherded buyers through many a purchase and they’ve seen, first-hand, what can go wrong.
This is the kind of expert you want on your team – someone who can prevent problems before they happen because they’ve seen it all before. They know the risky areas and keep a sharp eye out for any red flags that may present themselves.
From drawing up the initial offer to negotiating dates, deadlines, inclusions and a firm price, your REALTOR® will defend your interests with bulldog determination.
Your REALTOR® conducts all negotiations based on YOUR instructions – you are in control in every aspect of the decision-making process.
Your concerns are your REALTOR®’s concerns and you can count on their firm hand and fierce loyalty throughout.
REALTORS® know EVERYONE. Social people by nature, most have an extensive contact list. From Mortgage Brokers to real estate lawyers, home inspectors to moving companies, your REALTOR® has a whole network of connections and is happy to recruit them for your benefit.
Fun fact: REALTORS® stay in touch with other REALTORS® and regularly exchange notes on the local market. They often know a property is available before the sign goes up!
CODE OF ETHICS
Just as important as it sounds, a strong code of ethics is essential to any REALTOR®’s practice. In Canada, all licensed REALTORS® are required to adhere to an industry-wide Code of Ethics and it is part of a real estate Broker’s responsibilities to ensure that this code is followed – to the letter.
There are many REALTORS® to choose from out there and no matter which one you select as your representative, the Code of Ethics should be as important to them as it is to you.
For most people, a home purchase is the largest investment they will ever make. Your REALTOR® knows and respects this. They are there for you and will act as a buffer between you and the outside stressors involved in every stage of the transaction.
Your REALTOR® will also explain everything to you in plain English, not legalese. They will outline your options clearly and ensure the final decision-making power is yours and yours only.
At a time in your life when you need a knowledgeable, experienced ally, a staunch defender and sometimes a shoulder to cry on, you’ve got one in your licensed REALTOR®.