Buying or selling a home is probably THEmost important financial transaction you will make during your lifetime, and having a trained, experienced professional who has theexpertiseis the logical and smart choice. After all, who would you consult if you had a heart condition… a cardiologist of course, because you want best there is … an experienced professional with the knowledge and expertise in this field. What if your child had a serious illness, you would of course seek out the best pediatrician so your child would have the best possible care. It’s no different when buying or selling a home.. leave it in the capable hands of the experienced and trained professionals.
Clients sometimes ask me why they need to hire a real estate agent when so much information is available on-line… and they could easily buy or sell their home through the internet or other marketing and advertising means, without a real estate professional. Some do, it is true, but many don’t, and the ones that do often end up in bad situations because of their lack of knowledge and expertise. One tiny mistake in the wording of the contract could land you in court or cost you thousands of dollars.
So if you’ve also wondered the same thing, here are 10 important reasons why you should hire a Real Estate Professional to represent you and your interestsin the purchase or sale of probably the most important, and expensive financial transaction you will make.
1. Education and Experience
It is true in these busy times and with our busy lives, we are all looking for more of that precious commodity … which seems to be becoming more and more precious. Hiring the professionals gives us that time. You don’t need to know about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does, and will relieve the stress. Henry Ford once said that when you hire people who are more knowledgeable that you are, it proves you are smarter than they are.
3. Agents act as Buffers
If you are selling your home, a real estate professional can pre-qualify a buyer before showing them your home, so only qualified buyers are viewing your home. If you are buying a home, the real estate professional who is a member of the real estate board, has access to all up to date listings of homes on the MLS service and can quickly narrow down properties to show you that meet your specific requirements.
3. Knowledge of the Neighbourhood
Real Estate agents have access to a diverse data bank of knowledge pertaining to any specific neighbourhood, i.e. schools, shopping, transportation, places of worship, and other demographics. They either possess that knowledge from working in the area, or know where to find it for you.. They can identify comparable sales and provide these facts to you prior to submitting an offer to ensure you are paying fair market value, and not paying more than you should for a home.
4. Guidance with Pricing
Contrary to the beliefs of some, it is not the agent who sets pricing for sellers or buyers, it is the current market conditions that dictates pricing. An agent can, however, provide information to the Seller to use as a benchmark or guideline to assist them in selecting a price range to offer their home for sale, based on similar homes in their neighbourhood that sold recently. In addition to location, the condition of the home plays a major factor in obtaining the highest sale amount. An updated home will naturally sell for more than one that has not been updated.
Real Estate Agents have access to current market conditions and activities which they can share with you, which will govern your selling or buying process, i.e. median or average sales price, how many days on the market; ratio of list to sold price, are just a few. All these things will assist you in moving forward with the information you need to make an informed decision. Market conditions are ever-changing, and most often are determined on the time of year you list your home for Sale. Generally the market is a little quieter than normal around Christmas for example, or during the months of July and August. There are many factors involved to determine how you should proceed and a trained real estate professional can help guide you through this process.
6. Professional Networking
Real Estate Agents network with many other professional who can provide you with services you will need to buy or sell your home, such as a qualified, certified home inspector, a mortgage agent, or a real estate lawyer. Real Estate agents can provide you with a list of these professionals who have a reputation for efficiency, competency and competitive pricing and you can then choose which professional you want to hire.
7. Confidentiality and Negotiating Skills
Real Estate Agents negotiate well because unlike most buyers and sellers, real estate agents can remove themselves from the emotional aspect of the transaction, remain objective and professional, and because they are skilled at what they do. Its part of their job. Real Estate agents are not messengers delivering buyer’s offers to sellers or vice versa, they are professionals who are trained to present their client’s case in the best possible light, while maintaining complete confidentiality from competing interests.
8. Processing Paperwork
A few years ago, real estate transactions required little paperwork, a one page deposit receipt were the norm. In today’s world Agreements of Purchase and Sale Agreements can often run 5, 6 or 7 pages, depending on the number of clauses or conditions contained in the Agreement. In addition to the Agreement itself, there may also be waivers to remove conditions, and sometimes Amendments to the Agreement. In an effort to try to combat money laundering, the Federal Government implemented a mandatory statute in June, 2008 making it mandatory for each agent to see a form of photo identification from each client, and record this information on an Individual Identification form which is retained in the file. Along with the Identification form a Receipt of Fund document is completed to record when the deposit was received and in what form, i.e. bank draft, certified cheque, etc. One of these forms completed incorrectly as one oversight could result in the negation of a transaction or cause legal difficulties, and possible a law suit.
9. Education and Experience - Protecting Your Interests First and Foremost
In most scenarios, closings run very smoothly, but for those cases where problems arise, your Real Estate Agent is there to assist you, or point you in the right direction to get matters resolved. Sometimes questions arise after closing, and an honest, Real Estate Agent will be there for you to answer any questions you may have that were overlooked in the excitement of closing, and moving.
10. Develop Relationship for Future Business
Providing a high level of service to clients gives real estate agents incentive to ensure their clients are happy and satisfied. This often leads to referrals, which is the livelihood for many agents, and few would survive if they were solely dependent on merely drumming up new business. It also means that an agent who stays in the business will be there for you when you need to hire an agent in the future to handle your next real estate transaction.