WHY USE A REALTOR®?
REALTORS® are trained professionals who bring a wealth of experience and resources to their clients, whether that client is looking to buy their first home or is a seasoned seller. Expert knowledge of the communities in which they work, the ability to accurately price and market properties, and experience in negotiating buying and selling prices are just a few of the things you can expect from a licensed REALTOR®.
Consider some of the advantages of using a REALTOR® when buying or selling:
•A REALTOR® has the knowledge, experience and resources to find properties in your price range and homes that match your individual needs.
•You can get information on schools, transportation and other services in different neighbourhoods, and access the MLS® service, which provides up-to- date details on a wide variety of properties in the markets you are exploring.
•A REALTOR® can help you understand property financing, taxes, insurance and the steps you'll have to take to complete a real estate transaction.
•You can save substantial time by allowing the REALTOR® to "preview" properties that fit your budget and expectations. This way, you may only have to visit a handful of homes to make a wise and informed selection.
•A REALTOR® will explain the various financing alternatives available and provide up-to-date information on interest rates and mortgage options.
•They will act as a mediator to off-set potential conflicts between you and a seller.
•A REALTOR® will draw up an offer to purchase and assist with all details required to make a successful transaction, including when to bring in other professionals (lawyer, lender, home inspector, insurance broker and others).
•A REALTOR® is an expert in effective advertising and will cover all the costs as part of their service to you
•Your home will receive far-reaching market exposure through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®)
•You can depend on their support every step of the way.
•A REALTOR® will provide you with a full explanation of the selling process and what to expect from the beginning.
•A selling price will be established in consultation with you that will appeal to buyers interested in your type of home and neighbourhood.
•A REALTOR® will assess your home and provide you with tips on how to highlight its best features and make it more appealing.
•A marketing plan for your home will be developed to help it sell quickly at or near the asking price. In addition to MLS® listing and advertising in the newspapers and other media, most plans will include a number of open houses.
•A REALTOR® will save you time by separating the lookers from the buyers and ensuring that only serious buyers visit your home.
•When an offer is received, a REALTOR® will use their knowledge and experience to negotiate an agreement on your behalf and according to your instructions.
•If you accept an offer, the REALTOR® will participate in drawing up a legally binding contract that protects your interests, ensures any conditions to a binding agreement are fulfilled, and that all your questions and concerns are dealt with to your complete satisfaction.
HOW TO SELECT A REALTOR®?
Using the professional services of a REALTOR® is a smart business decision. Real estate transactions may be among the largest investment decisions you make. It's important to find the right REALTOR® to work with.
There are 1000+ REALTORS® working north of the Malahat. Some are fresh new REALTORS®, looking to build a career and eager for clients. Others have been in the business for 20 years, or more, and are well established. Some REALTORS® specialize in a particular community or property type, such as townhouses or commercial properties.
It's a good idea to meet with and interview several REALTORS®. You'll learn about how they do business, whether their personality is a good fit, and whether you have confidence in their ability to do the best job, for you.
Before you enlist the help of a REALTOR®, you should have a clear set of objectives in mind. Be honest and open in discussing your financial situation and, if you're buying, carefully review the features you absolutely must have in a home, versus those features you'd merely like to have.
Where to begin the search? Ask friends and colleagues for referrals. Check out REALTOR® websites. See who is actively listing similar properties. Visit a local real estate office, tell them what you're looking for, and let them help match you with a REALTOR®.
Whomever you choose, be assured that REALTORS® abide by a Code of Ethics demanding high standards of professional conduct to protect the interests of their clients.
WHAT IS MLS®?
The Multiple Listing Service® is a co-operative marketing system that maximizes exposure of properties for sale. It is a central registry of properties used by REALTORS® to match buyers with properties for sale. Most homes sold in Canada are sold via the MLS® systems operated by real estate boards across the country.
The MLS® system includes a sophisticated computer database of properties indexed by price, location, type of home, number of bedrooms, amenities and so forth.
The VIREB MLS® maintains information on between 4800-7000 active listings of property for sale on the Island, and typically receives 77 new listings every day. Listings range from undeveloped lots to business opportunities or special properties. Listings are updated throughout the day.
Why does it work?
The strength of the MLS® system rests in the quality and accuracy of the information. Government, economists, financial institutions, appraisers and others all rely on MLS® data. This is because REALTORS® who submit the listing information, and MLS® staff at real estate boards who conduct quality control, are trained and educated in the complexities of real estate.
REALTORS® know how to describe a property accurately and what information must be disclosed in an MLS® listing. For instance, if there is a restriction on the use of a property, something called an easement, this information must appear in the MLS® listing.
Also, the MLS® connects buyers and sellers. If the MLS® system did not exist, sellers would have to choose an individual real estate brokerage to list their home and only that brokerage would have the information about it and the ability to show and sell it. If the MLS® system did not exist, buyers would have to go from REALTOR® to REALTOR® to view the listings of each individual brokerage.
Many alternate systems and services exist to buy and sell homes and they all compete for customers. The MLS® is the REALTOR® option.
How does MLS® benefit consumers?
A large part of the REALTORS® job lies in finding properties that meet a buyer's needs. Using the MLS®, a REALTOR® can search the database for homes that suit budgets, location preferences and family requirements, and quickly put together a short list of suitable homes. This way a buyer can decide what home they want to see, what their options are and what types of properties the market has to offer.
For sellers, the MLS®, matches your property with as many qualified, motivated buyers as possible. The MLS® exposes your property to people most likely to purchase it and makes sure you won't waste your time showing your home to those who are not truly interested. When you make the decision to sell ensure you ask your REALTOR® about an MLS® listing. The MLS® will ensure wide exposure of your home to a broad range of interested people.
What about REALTOR.ca?
The public website www.realtor.ca is not the MLS® system. Local MLS® systems are owned and operated by local real estate boards, for use by REALTORS®. Realtor.ca is an advertising vehicle that gives consumers direct access to information about MLS® listings. The website is provided by REALTORS® across Canada to help market properties on behalf of their clients. The home listing information on www.realtor.ca streams from the MLS® but does not contain the full collection of information on the system.