by Todd Lewys
It’s a scenario that REALTORS® experience all too often.
During the middle of a busy day, their phone rings. As it turns out, it’s a buyer interested in viewing a home the Realtor recently listed.
The Realtor — as he or she should — asks if they’re being represented by a Realtor.
In a high percentage of cases, the answer is, “No.”
Not wanting to miss a possible chance at a sale, the Realtor then goes into scramble mode in an effort to accommodate the prospective buyer.
They take a quick look at their schedule, and see that — due to a market that’s been hotter than was anticipated — they just don’t have the time to show the caller the home.
They then call their assistant. By some minor miracle, the assistant is able to fit the would-be buyer into their schedule to show them the home in the evening.
However, they can’t be sure the showing will be meaningful.
Because the person viewing the home isn’t represented by a reputable Realtor, there’s no knowing if they’re pre-qualified to make a purchase, or if they’re serious about buying a home.
Chances are, they could just be getting a feel for what’s out there.
WinnipegREALTORS® president Blair Sonnichsen, a Realtor with 36 years of experience, said there are a multitude of reasons why buyers should enlist the services of a Realtor.
“Buyers should hire a Realtor for many reasons,” Sonnichsen explained. “First, hiring a Realtor saves time.
“Second, a Realtor provides buyers with market awareness and the value of a property, or properties,” the association president added.
He indicated that there are two areas in which buyers greatly benefit from having a Realtor help them to find a home.
“A Realtor doesn’t sell you a home, they use their expertise and experience to help you choose one that best suits your needs,” said Sonnichsen.
“At the same time, there’s the value of all the added benefits that come from establishing a professional relationship with a Realtor — knowledge of the latest interest rates, access to mortgage professionals and home inspectors, moving/storage discounts, even home warranties.”
Ideally, before all those benefits become obvious, there’s an initial meeting that establishes a Realtor-client relationship.
“Everything should begin with an interview that determines the overall process, i.e., how the Realtor-client relationship will work,” explained Sonnichsen.
“The Realtor will ask a buyer how they want to be communicated with; for example, a buyer might want only late night emails on homes so they know when they arrive.
“In that sense, clarity is achieved, as the buyer only had to explain themself once.”
From there, the Realtor will then discuss the overall buying process in full detail.
That ensures a buyer will be pre-qualified, is familiar with past sales in areas they’re interested in purchasing in, and will gain a good understanding of market value.
The education provided by the Realtor ensures that a buyer is as organized and well-prepared as possible.
He added that a Realtor’s objectivity and professionalism is also a huge asset once a buyer, who could be mentally or emotionally tired after a lengthy search, finds a home that they want to purchase.
“A Realtor can be of great assistance in reducing spontaneous decisions.
“In this instance, their experience is invaluable. They can guide clients, reminding them of the fundamentals they discussed.
“This reduces compromise and indecision.
“And because this is a relationship, not simply a real estate transaction, the buyer will know the Realtor has their best interests at heart.”
The bottom line on buyers choosing to go without a Realtor?
“You’re short-changing yourself in the process if you attempt to purchase a home on your own.
“Realtors possess a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and connections which provide buyers with the resources and knowledge that will enable them to find the home that best suits their needs in the shortest possible time,” concluded Sonnichsen.