by Todd Lewys
There is much more to being a REALTOR® than listing a home, or helping a client find one.
The first thing a REALTOR® offers sellers — unlike private selling systems — is exposure. Not only does a REALTOR® have access to the MLS® listing system, which draws thousands of eyeballs to the Internet and printed listings daily, but they also have an established network through which they can spread the news about a client’s home.
Many buyers are looking for a certain type of home, and a REALTOR®, who communicates daily with a host of other REALTORS®, can, in some cases, find a buyer who’s tailor-made for a client’s home.
Even if that doesn’t happen, putting the home on the MLS® listings with a comprehensive list of its features and attributes guarantees interest.
“As REALTORS®, we not only have access to the MLS® data base, but we also have resources at our fingertips that we can tap into to help both buyers and sellers,” said REALTOR® Renee Dewar.
“We have established relationships that enable us to call in a home inspector or engineer for a buyer who might have questions about the structural integrity of a home, or stagers or painters if a client needs to bring their home up to speed in one or all of those areas to help it sell as quickly as possible,” she added.
While sellers benefit from the exposure and resources that a REALTOR® can bring to bear to sell their home, buyers, on the other hand, benefit from the selection that comes from enlisting the services of a professional REALTOR® who has a knowledge of the local market.
First, a REALTOR® will talk at length with a client about what they are looking for in a home.
Once that criteria is established — budget, size of home, type of home (bungalow, two-storey, bi-level, or condominium), location and desired features (attached garage, basement with developed lower level, sunroom, gourmet kitchen) — then the REALTOR can scour the MLS® listings and present a client with a list of possible homes to look at, using their expertise to choose the ones that will best meet their clients’ needs and budget.
Dewar said that’s where a REALTOR’s experience comes to the fore for clients, such as first-time buyers.
“First of all, we can get them in touch with an accredited mortgage professional to get them properly qualified and pre-approved,” she said. “That way, when a home they like comes up, they’ll be ready to make an offer.
“Before that even comes up, we’ll ask the questions required to find out what type of home will suit their needs better — a single family home or a condominium.
“Basically, we’re there to help clients through the whole process. It can be very intimidating, so we’re there to guide them through it every step of the way,” she added.
REALTOR® Steve Gallagher said that a REALTOR®’s experience is invaluable, no matter whether you’re buying or selling.
“We do this all the time,” he said. “We’re in homes every day, so we know buyer tendencies. “At the end of the day, sellers want to have as much money in their pocket as possible, and buyers want to find the right home.
“Our experience and resources help make a stressful process as stress-free — and successful — as possible,” he added.
Most importantly, said Gallagher, helping a client find or sell a home is serious business to REALTORS®.
“If you’re buying, it’s our job to qualify people so they’re solid and ready to go when they find a home they like,” he explained.
“When it comes to sellers, we’re going to give them the straight goods. If something needs to be changed to make a house look presentable to sell, my name’s going on the sign outside, so it’s going to look perfect.
“And I’m not going to tell a client they need to spend $4,000 when it only takes $500 and some paint to gain that perfect look,” added Gallagher.
At the end of the day, it’s about one thing, according to Dewar.
“It’s not about the sale, it’s about helping clients,” she said. “We’re here to guide people through the home buying process to the best possible results.”
The best way to ensure maximum exposure of your property is through the services of a REALTOR® who has access to the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®).