I've recently had my first encounter with a buyer who insisted on working for themselves and I wish I could say it was a great experience. Luckily for the buyers, I represented patient sellers, I am a competent agent with integrity and selling a fabulous property. It was a lot of work on my part, correcting mistakes, ensuring everything was done on time so both sides experience a smooth transaction. I worry for others in a situation unlike this one.
It never made any sense to me as to why anyone would buy a home without representation.
Here are just some of the reasons why you should:
- Objectivity: A home is an emotional purchase. Say what you will, your negotiating skills in this forum is at a disadvantage. I agree, you could be a master negotiator buying a car or the like, but when it comes to your home, you could be making a huge mistake. Your spouse or child's feelings let alone your own, will influence your negotiating position. In representing a seller to get the best price and conditions, I am obligated and will take advantage of this area of weakness.
- Paying too much: How do you know you aren't paying too much? In a case of For Sale By Owners (FSBO's), they may value their homes similar to what is being sold through the MLS, which means you will be paying commission. MLS comparables include commission so if you are buying privately, why are you paying commission? A MLS listing could be overpriced as well. Among other services, having your own REALTOR® also means you'll receive a Comparative Market Analysis to ensure the value of a home is representative of current market conditions. If/when you decide later is when you'll find your mistake.
- Protection: REALTORS® are experienced dealing with real estate transactions because we work them every day. Without experience behind you, you leave yourself vulnerable to different case scenarios that can make the glory of buying a home, an utter nightmare.
- Accountability: If anything goes sideways, there is nobody to back you. REALTOR® come with Error & Omissions Insurance and in Nova Scotia, we are accountable to the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission; there to protect the public side of any real estate transaction.
- You don't save on closing costs: At the end of the day, the cost of commission is irrelevant to your position. Paid through the sellers lawyer, it doesn't affect your closing costs whatsoever.
- You don't know, what you don't know: Without experience behind you, you don't know what to expect, what to look for or what to ask. What is a typical transaction look like? Where do you get information relevant to this particular property and neighbourhood? Who are the best inspectors you can trust? What should you be aware of? Etc.
- You could miss a great opportunity. Unless you are experienced at seeing various styles, ages and types of homes you may pass on a home because it didn't "appear" to meet your needs. I, in particular, am experienced in seeing past the obvious and see potential. Knowing your needs, I offer solutions that can help make what could be a "pass" for a, "OMG, this is perfect" home at a great price. There's opportunity for faster equity and at the end of the day, isn't that what real estate is? An investment?
Contact me if you wish to have a, "Nova Scotia Buyer's Guide" I created for my buyer clients or ask me questions. If you're thinking of buying tomorrow, in one month or one year, I am here to help.