Why Use a Realtor?

Why use a RealtorThere are several good reasons to use a realtor when purchasing a house in Canada:

  • It’s free. A realtor’s service to a buyer is free; the seller pays both his realtor’s commission and your realtor’s commission.
  • Ethics above all. The realtor won’t try to match you with the listings he has for sale. Instead, he will interview you to find out all the details about your situation and what you’re looking for in a house. The realtor will then develop a profile for you: your desired location, house size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, price, and so forth. Based on this profile, the realtor will send you all the properties that meet your needs, regardless of which realtor is selling that property.
  • Working only for you. There is a small chance that your realtor will be the seller’s realtor for the property that you choose. In such a case, the realtor will either have you sign an acknowledgement that you know he is representing both you and the buyer, and that he has a conflict of interest, or he will refer you to another realtor to represent you in the purchase.
  • Representing your, and only your, interests. A good realtor will represent you in the purchase the way a lawyer represents you in court. He will handle the negotiations for the property, gently and politely, as is the Canadian way, but strongly. The “right” balance between assertive and polite is a question of local custom, and takes time to master. Your realtor will know and tell you when the asking price is a deal that you should grab without asking for reductions, when a property is in a bidding war and you’ll have to offer above asking price, and when you can push a lower price. Your realtor will know and recognize terms in the contract that might make the purchase difficult for you. Two critical terms are the time given to you for subject removal (removing your subject conditions and making a firm offer), whether it’s five or seven days, or even more, and how long it will take for the seller to provide you with strata documents.
  • Electronic resources that your realtor sees first. When you go onto realtor.ca it might seem like you have access to everything that’s listed in the country, and that you’ll be able to identify properties that match any search criteria you might have. However, that’s not the case. Your realtor has an advantage here. First, it takes a few days before a new house is loaded into the online system and you can see it. Your realtor, on the other hand, will receive automatic updates the minute that a house that fits your criteria is uploaded into the national system, and will receive all the details. Furthermore, the search engine that realtors have access to is more complicated and sophisticated than the one that’s made available to the public, and makes it easier for your realtor to identify properties that you would want, and for which you could qualify for a mortgage. In Canada, a quick response time is its own advantage. Some of the good properties that are well-priced are sold either the same day or within a few days of being listed, often at a price higher than asking. If you’re receiving your information a few days after the property is listed, you might miss the best deals.

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