6 Reasons To Work With A Calgary Realtor

 By: Catherine McDonald
1. Specialist

A Realtor is a licensed Real Estate Specialist. Realtor is commonly used as a generic word for real estate broker or agent, but only a member of the National Association of Realtors can be called a Realtor. The association provides advanced educational opportunities to its members, enabling them to offer accredited sub-specialties such as buyer's representation, residential real estate expertise, condominium specialist, rural specialist or Internet readiness to the public. Many excellent Realtors do not have extra certifications and designations, but if you should notice letters next to an agent's name, be sure to inquire about its meaning. For their own reasons, many real estate professionals choose not to join the professional association. If you would like to work with an agent who is not a Realtor, ask about the agent's experience and specialties.

2. Investment

Realtors invest their time to work for you with no upfront fees on a contingency basis. Even attorneys charge by the hour except for some high-risk lawsuits. You don't typically pay for any services up front with an agent. That means your agent incurs the costs of doing business on your behalf when you are purchasing a home. Therefore, it's in your agent's best interest to work quickly, diligently, and use all his or her resources to help you meet your goals. Some agents will ask you to sign a buyer's brokerage contract which allows him or her to represent your interests. Be sure to ask what the advantages are, and what your release options are. Make sure you understand how the agent you choose will work with you, according to the laws and regulations of your province. Carolyn and Catherine prefer not to tie in their clients in to a buyer's brokerage contract...our services are free as our commissions are paid out from the seller of the property.

3. Current Market

Real estate professionals have house-by-house, street-by-street, and market-by-market experience. Their experience is invaluable and can't be learned overnight. Realtors who have weathered the pendulum swing between buyers' markets and sellers' markets know that the real estate market can turn abruptly. Rising and falling interest rates affect the number of available homes for sale and their prices within weeks or days. All it takes is the entrance or exit of a major employer, and thousands of homes in a neighborhood can be affected. As neighborhood experts, experienced brokers and agents can help you with home buying strategies and proposals that will get the price and terms you want

4. Up to the Minute Information

MLS data entry can take from one to 10 days, depending on the listing agent, his or her broker, and the MLS. By the time the home is posted on the Internet, it could already be sold. Clever agents don't wait that long to find a home for their buyers; they network with each other. Your agent will tell other agents about you and your wish list in exchange for information about upcoming homes for sale and have access to the Realtor's MLXchange database system - as soon as properties are loaded into the system an auto-notification can match automatically with client search criteria and be emailed out within minutes of listing. That's how many homes are bought and sold in a hot seller's market, without a sign ever going into the yard. If you want to be the buyer positioned to make first and best offers on these homes, hire an agent.

5. Complexity of the Real Estate Transaction / Contracts

Less than a decade ago, a home could be bought with a two-page contract. Now consumer-mandated seller's disclosures, environmental and structural reports, and other liabilities have turned the home transfer into a complicated transaction. Note that contract requirements change frequently, and vary from city to city. Realtors are required to know the current documentation requirements. Realtors work with contracts daily, and can fully understand which points are harmful and beneficial to you. From helping you make a reasonable offer, to providing for the discovery and disclosure of material facts, your agent can also interpret information for you. If you found out the neighbor next door to the house you are buying just built a new fence, what does that mean? You won't have to replace the fence on that side for a long time. To your agent, it could mean something else...encroachment?

6. Representation of Your Interests

Your agent not only represents your interests but also works on behalf of the transaction. Does that seem like a conflict of interest? It isn't. Buyers and sellers are natural adversaries. You want to buy for the least price, and the seller wants the best price. Agents must be skilled negotiators to keep bargaining chips from turning into deal-breakers. As the buyer, remember that you are the one in control. You can instruct your agent how far to go in negotiations on your behalf. One day, you'll be glad your agent talked you out of walking away because the seller wouldn't leave the chandelier.
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