Depending on blind luck to find a home or sell a home can be a time-consuming, complicated and a potentially costly experience. If you don’t have the depth of knowledge and substantial amount of time to follow up on all details promptly and accurately, you will be better off selecting and working with a REALTOR® from the start.
- If you are buying, a REALTOR® can help you identify what you want in your new home. A swimming pool? Garage? An extra bedroom? Schools nearby? A particular kind of neighbourhood?
- Your needs, wants and budget will be compared with what’s available in the marketplace. This will save any buyer time and effort. You will be accompanied to view only those homes that fit your price range and criteria, and you will be provided with facts on the neighbourhood, heating bills, the condition of the furnace and so on.
- If you are a first-time buyer, a REALTOR® can direct you to information about incentives that may help with the down payment and get you the maximum benefit possible.
- If you are a seller, don’t expect to “save” the real estate commission by selling your home yourself. Most buyers will see it as a “bargain,” and will assume you will sell for a discount because you don’t want to pay the real estate commission.
- Interview REALTORS® whose offices are in or near the neighbourhood you want to buy or sell in.
- Jot down the telephone numbers and names of REALTOR® on “for sale” signs in front of properties, or that appear in local real estate newspaper ads.
- Think about using one familiar with your neighbourhood, as they will have a thorough knowledge of the local market and provide information on schools, public transport, shops and recreation facilities in the area. Find out about a REALTOR®’s primary focus. Some REALTORS® specialize in selling commercial properties, while others concentrate on selling residential real estate. Some specialize in high-priced homes, while others work primarily with modest homes.
- Ask for recommendations from friends and colleagues.
- When interviewing REALTORS®, prepare a list of questions to ask, such as how many properties they have sold in the last six months, how close the selling price was to the listed price, how long they have been with their present firm, do they have access to the MLS®, and any other questions you might have.