As I sit ruminating this evening about real estate in our wired world, I ask myself, why do prospects need Buyer’s representatives anymore?
With the constantly evolving technology of our highly accessible MLS® system, savvy Buyers, I like to call them Buyers 2.0, can seek out and find listings at the touch of a computer or cellphone keyboard, which meet their criteria in their quest for their perfect abode. Indeed, they know what they’re looking for even better than we do, as they in fact, live with their hopes and dreams every moment of every day. We, on the other hand, do not.
So then, the question I put to you is: where do we, as real estate professionals, fit in with respect to Buyer representation?
We are happy to search the MLS® database for listings – we look at them constantly throughout the day as it is, but technically you don’t NEED us for that job. What you do need is representation, and this is a far more important role than that of listings-researcher.
You, as a Buyer, need us to help you through the legal and sometimes frustrating process of buying a home – that place to call your very own – or not. That’s right; sometimes we’re going to tell you that a house is not right for you.
Early on in the offer process, we’ll pull together pricing information for you. We’ll establish what other homes of similar size, age, amenity and utility have sold for recently, in order to make a comparison with the home you wish to buy. This is critical information for you to have so that you don’t overpay for the house.
Part of your offering-price strategy will include understanding the factors that affect property values. We’ll give you location information so that you’re clear on the various nuances of your chosen neighbourhood or area – whether it’s good, bad or has future potential.
When we find the right place, we’re there to write an airtight contract and then to negotiate it on your behalf, face to face if we can, with the Seller and his/her representative. We give a voice and often a verbal picture to your side of the offer and the negotiating table. That’s what we do many, many times in a year, so we’re good at it. Really good. Then, when that magical meeting of the minds takes place between buyer and seller, aided in no small part by your buyer representative’s tenacity and skills, and you get an accepted offer on the home of your dreams, we’ll rejoice with you. But not for long, because our work is far from complete.
Next, we’re there at the ready with advice that is focused on what is ultimately the best outcome for you. We’ve got experience and education in financing issues, in insurance issues, in inspection issues, in condominium issues, just to name a few. Wells don’t shock us – we shock them. We’ve seen more things go down a toilet then you can imagine, and we’ve got the `poop` on septics. We’ll insist on a home inspection, and possibly a WETT inspection, and then we’ll help you determine what things are worrisome, what things are critical, what things aren’t even worth discussing and what things are blowing smoke. We’ll steer you away from harmful structures. We’ll fight for you (and sometimes with you) if it’s the right thing to do, for you. We’ll see you through to closing and we’ll pass along tips and advice that we’ve gathered for decades.
In Ontario, we have a form to establish this relationship in writing – to clearly set out the terms. But what it all boils down to is this: when you buy one of the most financially valuable assets you’ll likely ever own, you need a buyer’s representative to be in your corner: right where you need us – and right where we should be.
Marg Scheben-Edey is a Broker with RE/MAX four seasons realty limited, Brokerage in beautiful Collingwood, ON. With three decades of experience, Marg is a leader in the local real estate marketplace and is ready to help guide both Buyers and Sellers in achieving their real estate goals. Email Marg