Have you ever wondered what your real estate agent is doing behind the scenes? You wouldn't be alone. Most consumers have only a vague idea of what goes on in the background when buying or selling a home.
So, let's take a look at 5 important ways your REALTOR® helps you.
Explaining the Process
When you work with a licensed REALTOR®, you are working with a person who has successfully navigated many months of intensive training and testing. In addition, real estate professionals have seen their way through many a successful transaction.
As a result, your agent will not assume that you know everything that goes on in the selling process.
Instead, you will be provided with a detailed explanation of what to expect at each phase. This puts you in the position of being well informed about the landscape ahead.
The most professional REALTORS® will actually preempt many of your concerns by foreseeing challenges before they occur and talking you through each eventuality. Anticipating your questions and areas of discomfort by offering explanations and reassurance in advance can go a long way to making a complex process comfortable.
Assessing Your Needs
Why are you moving? It's one of the first questions your real estate agent will ask (and will usually be followed by many others).
Qualifying questions help to establish potential time constraints for your sale, among other things. A detailed picture of your wants and needs is critical in order to serve you most effectively.
Be candid when answering these questions. The more honest you can be about what's happening in the background, the better position your REALTOR® will be in to help you achieve your target price in your ideal timeframe.
Honesty & Integrity
When you work with a real estate professional in Ontario, you can expect strict compliance with provincial laws as well as a tightly regulated Code of Ethics. This is important for buyers and sellers because it means you will receive the highest level of service, honesty, and integrity.
As a client, you are also owed a duty of confidentiality and loyalty by your real estate professional which means you have someone truly advocating on your behalf.
Representing a buyer means your real estate professional maintains the strictest confidence including your reasons for a purchase, how much you are prepared to pay, and what concessions you may be prepared to accept.
Acting on behalf of a seller means agents maintain utmost confidentiality including what offer you would accept, your reasons for selling, and what you might be prepared to concede in negotiations.
Arriving with a Plan
What are you looking for in your new home? Double-car garage? A pool? A fenced-in yard for the dogs? Is there a particular building design you had in mind? How about the location of the neighbourhood? Proximity to schools? Will you eventually need to be close to the office again?
Your agent will compare your needs and wants with your ideal budget. They will help narrow down what is currently on the market, what might be on the way, and make recommendations that save you time and effort.
Importantly, your real estate professional will also be aware of properties that may not be listed on MLS®. These are known as exclusive listings, and they tend to attract a very select market of homebuyers.
Because your REALTOR® is part of a vast network of buyers and sellers, they will have access to information the average consumer will not.
Your agent will also accompany you as you view your selected houses. They will help you assess suitability, price, and assist you in narrowing down the must-haves from the nice-to-haves.
Your sales representative will provide information on the neighbourhood, cost of utilities, and condition of the home's features. What they don't have immediate access to, they will research for you. In short, your agent does the heavy lifting and protects your interests in the process.
Agents As Skilled Negotiators
When buying or selling a home, it's incredibly helpful having a licensed real estate professional on standby, ready to negotiate on your behalf. Your sales representative will assist in negotiating an offer, act as a mediator to resolve potential conflicts between you and the seller, and draw up a legally binding agreement.
Crucially, emotions can run high during negotiations. Sellers often see their home as the single largest investment to recoup, while buyers imagine everything that can go wrong in years to come if they make the wrong purchase decision. This is when it's critical to have an objective real estate professional handle the flared tempers and potentially unreasonable demands. REALTORS® are experts at smoothing out the rough edges of a negotiation.
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