Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent for You
A REALTOR® represents your interests when purchasing a home, one of the most significant financial investments you may make. For this reason, it’s essential to select an advisor with in-depth knowledge of your local real estate market and specialized experience in the property types you are interested in.
Our experience lets you know that the perfect home for you does exist – We promise!
But you’ll have to look for it and it may require patience depending on what it is you are looking for. We have that patience. You need an agent who listens, one who hears and understands what you are communicating, an agent you can trust to stay on top of new listings as soon as they come on the market, who lets you know of that information right away and works within your schedule to show you those listings before they are sold to another buyer. That’s the way we like to work.
As your Buyer Agent, it is my guarantee to you that no-one will work harder than we will to locate the home of your dreams in the time that you want.
First, it is important you understand whose interests Realtors® are legally bound to serve in a real estate transaction.
The Listing Agent
The Listing Agent is under contract with the seller to market and sell their property for the best possible price. Working with a listing agent means that they can:
- Arrange a showing of the property.
- Assist with financing the property.
- Provide details about the property.
- Explain all the forms and agreements related to buying the property.
Your Personal Realtor®
When you engage the services of your own personal agent—someone who is under contract to work solely in your best interest—you get all of the same services listed above plus your personal Realtor® provides:
- Confidential assistance that addresses your needs first.
- Honest, loyal and diligent care free from any conflicts of interest.
- Access to all listings including MLS, bank owned properties, distress and estate sales, even homes that were previously on the market where the seller might still be interested in selling.
- Expert advice on useful clauses such as home inspections and financing to protect you fully.
- Expert negotiation of the offer to purchase to achieve the best possible price and terms.
- Expert advice on market value, inclusions, location, as well as help you decide when you should walk away.
- Discovery and disclosure of all information about the property including liens, warranties, disclosures, seller’s purchase price, and market and planning activity in the area.
- As your Personal Realtor®, it is my job is to ensure you are an educated buyer in all aspects of your home buying process.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) requires REALTORS to disclose Agency Relationship to a potential client at the earliest time possible. We will discuss Agency Relationship in full during our initial consultation. In the meantime though, this is a brief synopsis.
Realtors work within the Law of Agency. An Agent is legally obligated to look after interests of the person he or she is working for. That person becomes the “Client”.
Over the years, many buyers have thought the agent helping with their purchase was working in their best interest. The law, however, states that the agent’s duty lies with their client, and until now, that has generally been the vendor. It may appear that the Realtor working with the buyer is acting as his Agent, but that is not necessarily the case. In fact, usually the listing salesperson and the selling salesperson both represent the Vendor. This means that both agents are obligated to disclose any information to the Vendor that may influence the negotiating process. A buyer can still expect competent service knowing the agents are bound by ethics and law to be honest and thorough in representing the property for sale.
The Ontario Real Estate Association required agents, as of January 1st, 1995, to disclose to everyone involved (buyer, seller and other agent) who it is they represent. THE BUYER NOW HAS A CHOICE. The buyer can hire an agent to work 100% on their behalf to negotiate the best price for them. This way, the buyer can now become the client and their agent must disclose to them any information he/she finds about the seller’s situation that may influence the negotiating process. The buyer’s agent can be paid by negotiating a fee for his services with the buyer OR can request the standard percentage of sale price through the sale, as agreed upon in the original Listing Agreement.
It’s simple! The buyer must now sign a Buyer Agency Agreement with the agent, whereby the buyer agrees to work with that agent exclusively for a designated period of time (usually 3-6 months). In return, the agent agrees to represent the buyer to the fullest, making sure their interest is protected when going to buy a home.
Dual agency takes place when the same agent or agency represents the buyer and seller. At such a time, the salesperson must disclose to both parties that he/she is representing both parties, and that all pertinent information must flow both ways.
Now that you’ve mastered this step of the buying process, read about what still lies ahead in the next chapter on How to Conduct Your Home Search.