When you want to buy or sell real estate, there are a number of things to consider when choosing your representation. With the change brought about to allow properties to be listed on the MLS in Canada without paying a commission to a Realtor, there can be a natural inclination to avoid paying a professional and trying to save that money. There are however, several reasons to hire a professional to assist you. For ease of browsing, we'll use point form.
-Commisson are paid by the selling agent, not you, as the buyer.
-Listings are delayed on the public MLS site. Hiring an agent to assist you will allow them to set up a search for your specific criteria, which will have new listings emailed to you every morning, allowing you to see properties before they are sold.
-Experience in the process. Buying in the GTA is a very competitive market and can happen very quickly. You need someone to guide you through the process and that knows how to handle multiple offer situations, bully offers and even just to have access to offer dates and other up to date info.
-Realtors are experts. A good real estate agent is a professional that can estimate market values and give advice. Knowing what a property is worth is necessary in today's market. Agents have access to selling prices and will be able estimate the value of a home. In a hot market, it is common to have low asking prices to get multiple offers and drive up the price. Knowing what a property should be valued at will help you to purchase the property without overpaying.
-To help keep emotions in check. Having a Realtor on your side that will provide a level-headed perspective to the purchase and make sure that emotions aren't dictating decisions.
-Buyers are using Realtors. For the reasons stated above, almost all buyers use an agent to help them purchase a property. If you are offering a cooperating commission to buyers agents, you may get some agents that will show your property, but many agents do not like to work with owner/sellers.
-Market strategy. A good Realtor should know the market and have a good idea of what a house will sell for. Armed with that knowledge, they should come up with a pricing and marketing strategy that will maximize exposure and selling price of your property.
-Experienced perspective. A good Realtor should know what draws people to a house and how to maximize the selling price by presenting the home in the best light possible. From professional staging tips, to photography, to recommended repairs and upgrades, a valuable agent will be able to guide you, and make your home appeal to the greatest number of buyers.
-Negotiating power. A professional real estate should be an experienced and very proficient negotiator. Without allowing emotions to dictate their actions, your Realtor should be able to negotiate on your behalf to make sure you get the highest selling price possible.
-Homes listed by a real estate agent sell for more. Likely due to the above stated reasons, according to the National Association of Realtors, the average selling price for homes listed by agents were reported to be 18.6% higher than for sale by owners.
-You may pay more for lawyer's fees. Since the agreement of purchase and sale has been drawn up and reviewed by professionals, lawyers typically charge a higher fee to make sure that the paperwork is all completed properly.