Do You Have a Personal Real Estate Agent?
If you’re planning on buying a home, you may have already done some shopping around on your own. Perhaps you’ve checked out a few open houses or called the number on a For Sale sign to schedule a private viewing of that property.
Yes, you can do all of that on your own, if you have the time and expertise. However, statistics prove that you’ll be more successful in finding your dream home at the right price with your own personal real estate agent.
Did you know all Realtors work on behalf of the Seller of a home and not the Buyer?
By law, all Realtors—even the one showing the home, listening to your housing dreams and your financial details—work in the best interest of the seller. That is, unless a savvy home buyer signs a Buyer Representation Agreement with a Realtor who will work exclusively on their behalf during a home purchase. Without it, under the law of the agency, realtors must pass on any information that may influence the home-buying negotiations to the sellers of the home that their customers are bidding on; even how much they would pay for the home or their motivation.
Canadians now have two choices: customer relationship or client relationship.
A customer service agreement is a disclosure form that states that the realtor is NOT working for you as a buyer, but is providing customer service (fair and honest treatment, factual information about the property that is not visibly evident and to answer any questions you ask about the condition of the property) to you.
With customer status you are virtually “unrepresented” and in a “buyer beware” situation.
On the other hand, Buyer Representation Agreements state that the Realtor is working for you and that you are bound to that Realtor for the term of the agreement with a holdover period. In this case, your Realtor is bound to you with fiduciary duties, (loyalty, obedience, full disclosure, duty to use skill, care and diligence, duty to account for all monies) and protects your information.
A clincher is that it also allows the Realtor to share his/her expert opinions, giving you full advantage of their knowledge and expertise. During a viewing, your real estate agent will give you the inside scoop on that property, so you know the full story. Your real estate agent will also point out desirable features, and potential “issues”, that you might otherwise miss. Furthermore, it then becomes their duty to answer questions that you may not even know to ask and their accountability is much higher!
When it comes time to make an offer, your real estate agent will present and negotiate it on your behalf. If you don’t have your own real estate agent, you would have to deal directly with the seller’s agent, who is legally obliged to work in the seller’s best interests – not yours.
There is nothing in the Buyer Representation Agreement that states that you have to buy anything. It only states that if you do that you will use this particular brokerage and that they will be compensated for the service provided.
Why not protect your interests? Hire the person with the most knowledge to work on your behalf, can help you find and buy your ideal home, quickly, and make the entire process go smoothly for you and to do it at no extra cost.
How do you become a client? It’s easy—homebuyers sign an exclusive Buyer’s Representation Agreement with a Realtor. Usually, the buyer agrees to work with the Realtor for a specified period of time and the Realtor agrees to represent the buyer’s interests to the fullest. That’s it! The best part is that there is no special fee to the client. Instead the realtor gets paid via commission that comes from the seller’s listing agent, just the way it has always been. Yes, that’s right, all that hard work for FREE!
Bottom line: Your own personal real estate agent is there for you, every step of the way. At least, that’s how I work with my clients.
What to Look for in a Real Estate Agent
When buying a home, you want a real estate agent who…
- Takes the time to understand your needs and goals, so you have a true partner in your home buying journey.
- Explains everything clearly and answers your questions, so you’re never in the dark.
- Has expertise and a track record of success in the local market.
- Knows how to find great properties in your price range.
- Will alert you to new listings, quickly, so you get the jump on those opportunities.
- Will advise you on the best price to offer for the home you want.
- Will prepare and present the offer, and skillfully negotiate such things as price, conditions, closing dates, etc. so you get the best deal.
- Will save you potentially thousands of dollars by ensuring you don’t overpay for the property you want.
- Will recommend reputable home inspectors, movers and other professionals you may need.
Not every real estate agent offers all of these services. My clients say that I do. They also tell me how much they appreciate my professionalism, expertise and accessibility.
The best way to select the right real estate agent, is to meet with him or her in person. Ask questions. See if there is a good fit.
To schedule an appointment with me, please call or email. If it’s more convenient for you, submit the form below and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.