Why Use a REALTOR®
In today’s sellers market, many homeowners have considered “going it alone” and selling their homes without the help of a REALTOR® to “save the commission.” However, once they realize how complex and intimidating a real estate transaction can be, most people reconsider and enlist the services of a REALTOR® to guide them.
In reality, a “for sale by owner” transaction usually doesn’t result in the cost savings the homeowner may have hoped for. Most often, “for sale by owner” translates into “discount” for potential homebuyers. As well, the sale of a home requires an organized, step-by-step approach that many homeowners just don’t have the time, skill or experience to carry out.
Do you have the time?
A REALTOR® provides many services including identifying your needs and wants, helping to set a listing price within current market guidelines, developing a marketing plan, offering tips and advice to make your home more attractive and “saleable,” and acting on your behalf during negotiations to ensure your interests are protected. Even if you had the time to do all this yourself, how much would you really save when you factor in the amount of time you’d have to invest.
Another advantage of working with a REALTOR® is the far-reaching market exposure your home will receive through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS® System). MLS® System is a computer-based system that relays information about your home to a vast network of REALTORS® and therefore, potential homebuyers in your market. The greater the exposure your home receives, the more likely you are to find a buyer willing to pay your price.
A REALTOR® has vast amounts of real estate knowledge and the experience required to stay cool, even in a hot real estate market. In Ontario, a REALTOR® is a licensed real estate professional who is a member of a local real estate board as well as the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). When you work with a REALTOR®, you can expect strict adherence to provincial law as well as to a code of ethics ensuring you’ll receive the highest level of service, honesty and integrity.
Setting a price
One of the most important services a REALTOR® will provide is helping you determine the “asking price” of your home. Setting a sales price is one of the most difficult and yet critical steps in the home-selling process. This is an area that requires extensive knowledge and training as well as access to sophisticated market analysis. Most “do-it-yourselfers” lack these resources and end up “guessing” at their price. If you set your price too high, many prospective buyers will be frightened off without even looking at the property; too low, and you could miss out on thousands of dollars. A REALTOR® will work with you to decided upon and negotiate a realistic price that meets your objectives.
Selling your home is not a simple procedure. It involves large sums of money, stringent legal requirements and the potential for costly mistakes. A REALTOR® is committed to spending the time it takes to help you sell your home in the least amount of time and for the best possible price.
Material provided by the Ontario Real Estate Association
Value of a REALTOR®
Whether selling your home, or looking for a new one, the over 400 REALTOR® Members of the REALTORS® Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound work together to help you! This REALTOR® network allows them to share information and resources that places you in the best position possible to secure the biggest financial investment most people experience in their lifetime.
Who is a REALTOR®?
Not all licensed or registered brokers and salespeople are REALTORS®. Only real estate licensees who are members of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) are REALTORS®. These REALTORS® are committed to a high standard of professional conduct, ongoing education, and to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice. Using the service of a professional REALTOR® helps in disclosing maximum property information and facts therefore reducing your risk.
Teaming up with a REALTOR® provides you with invaluable access to professional real estate expertise and knowledge. You benefit because:
- Your REALTOR® can help determine your buying power and refer you to lenders best qualified to maximize your loan and minimize your cost.
- Your REALTOR® has full access to all the features of the Multiple Listing Service®, Canada’s most powerful real estate marketing network.
- Your REALTOR® provides local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc. REALTORS® assist you in making the best choice selecting an environment where you and your family can grow.
- Your REALTOR® has a finger on the pulse of the housing market and is knowledgeable about developments and trends in real estate; and,
- Your REALTOR® has the facts on comparable pricing, neighborhood trends and housing market conditions, data you can use to set your best course of action and maximize your homes resale value when you are ready to sell.
- Your REALTOR® can negotiate the best deal. There are myriad negotiating factors, including price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings or equipment. By negotiation alone, your REALTOR® often saves you more than the cost of their service.
- Your REALTOR® assists you in providing due diligence to evaluate the property. This may include inspections for mold, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you in determining what conditions to recommend and assist in finding qualified professionals to investigate and provide report to you.
- Your REALTOR® can guide you through the sales process making sure everything flows smoothly from initial offer to closing.
- Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often REALTORS® will provide guidance on staging or repairs that enhance the salability of your property. Your REALTOR® will harness the power of the Multiple Listing Service® to expose your property to a large network of qualified buyers as well as coordinate marketing through the most effective array of other advertising media.
You are protected when you work with a REALTOR® for a number of reasons:
- All REALTORS® are graduates of a real estate education program and are committed to pursuing ongoing professional development courses;
- REALTORS® must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice your guarantee of professional conduct and service excellence.
- All REALTORS® carry errors and omissions insurance;
- A licensed brokerage supervises the business conduct of all REALTORS® to ensure their compliance with Ontario law.
Going it Alone
If you sell the home yourself, you will get limited exposure by putting up a sign, running some ads, and telling your friends. On the other hand, if you work with a REALTOR® you will get instant and mass exposure to a large number of prospective home buyers.
A REALTOR® has access to the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System. This computerized system operated by the local real estate board, compiles information about listed properties in the area and makes it accessible to member companies. As a result, when a REALTORS® lists your home, REALTORS® from other companies learn about your home and try to match it with buyers with whom they are working. These buyers may include people from out-of-town who are trying to relocate to your area.
A REALTOR® can speed the selling process in other ways:
- By specializing in real estate, a REALTOR® knows market values and can therefore help you set a
- competitive price for your home.
- A REALTOR® can free you from the hassles associated with showing your home and screen out people who are merely curious.
- A REALTOR® is objective when negotiating with buyers and experienced in reading the fine print of
- By staying on top of the mortgage market, a REALTOR® may know how to wade through financing tangles and clinch a sale.
Selling a home is not something that anyone can do in their off-hours. It’s a specialized service, best handled by a professional REALTOR®.