With MLS® results continuing to set new records in Winnipeg and across the country, recognition is in order for the REALTOR®, the professional who is central to a real estate transaction.
A REALTOR® has the expertise, experience and necessary tools — the Multiple Listing Service® and the Canadian Real Estate Association’s MLS® advertising property website www.mls.ca — to help sellers and buyers successfully complete real estate transactions.
The 1,200 full-time licensed real estate professionals, who are members of the Winnipeg Real Estate Board, the Manitoba Real Estate Association and the Canadian Real Estate Association, make it their business to know the market. They are intimately aware of local market factors and conditions. They understand financing and terms and conditions which allow them to price a property so that it can be sold at the best possible price, in the least amount of time and with the minimum of hassle.
To give the property maximum exposure, REALTORS® list it on MLS®, a complex information-sharing and co-operative marketing network created by REALTORS®. While it is now a highly-sophisticated computer-based system, it began as an exchange of paper listing information and photographs.
Only a REALTOR® is able to place your listing on MLS®, and detailed information about your property is shared with all other REALTORS® through the entire MLS® system. All 1,200 local and 83,000 REALTORS® across the country have the opportunity to sell your property. Many locally, as well as some nationally, have potential buyers interested in buying your property.
When buying a property, the MLS® system becomes an invaluable research tool. The MLS® system also supplements the in-depth knowledge the REALTOR® has of neighbourhoods and current market conditions to help you make a smart buying decision.
It should also be pointed out that MLS® provides REALTORS® with access to more detailed information than that found on a website. MLS® information includes room-by-room measurements and specifics on the property condition, renovations, property zoning and even rental rates where applicable. Through MLS®, REALTORS® can access the sales history of a home to see how many times it has changed hands and at what prices. They can also do a solid comparable market assessment with other recent sales and MLS® market activity in the area. For some specific properties where there have not been enough recent sales in a particular neighbourhood, REALTORS® may go beyond the immediate vicinity to consider sales activity in similar-price range neighbourhoods.
Marketing your home effectively is critical to getting the desired results. Your REALTOR® will often recommend home repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your home. You want to create the most favourable impression to achieve an excellent offer.
One of the best tips on presenting your home is stay out of the way and let the professional do his or her job. They will answer questions on price, terms, possession, etc., and maintain objectivity in responding to buyer objections. A REALTOR® frees you from problems associated with showing your home. Your REALTOR® acts as the marketing co-ordinator, disbursing pertinent information about your property such as placing strategic ads, holding open houses, using the MLS® to full advantage and reaching out to an extensive network of other REALTORS® and business contacts. Their network and contacts often result in achieving a successful sale.
REALTORS® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position. They are familiar with real estate financing and can help pre-qualify buyers to see if they can afford your home. You do not want to be wasting time and energy with someone who cannot afford your home.
The complexity of a real estate transaction cannot be underestimated —there are more than 145 steps. As can be appreciated, a successful sale requires an organized, step-by-step approach that many homeowners don’t have the time, skill or experience to carry out. Between the sales agreement and closing, questions may arise and REALTORS® are the best people to help resolve these issues so the transaction can be successfully completed.
First and foremost, it is important you understand in all of this that the REALTOR® must abide by a strict code of ethics and adhere to provincial law. A REALTOR® must disclose to you who exactly they represent in any real estate transaction. Your listing REALTOR® is, in law, your agent. An agent owes his or her client the duties of utmost care, integrity, confidentiality and loyalty.
REALTORS® are required to upgrade their professional skills and knowledge every year through mandatory education courses. Professional development sessions are also put on by the Winnipeg Real Estate Board to keep them abreast of the latest developments and trends in real estate. You can therefore expect a high level of service, honesty and integrity.
And, REALTORS® lend a helping hand to others outside their profession. For example, REALTORS® served more than 500 holiday meals on Good Friday at the Siloam Mission, a homeless shelter in Winnipeg’s inner-city core area. This successful volunteer effort was followed up on Saturday, June 24, when 350 patrons of the downtown homeless shelter were treated to a summer barbeque. Both these events were put on by the Manitoba Real Estate Association’s new REALTORS® Care Committee.
“REALTORS® Care is about focusing our combined efforts on shelter-driven projects and charities in Manitoba,” said Deborah Goodfellow, chair of the REALTORS® Care board of governors and organizer of the Summer Sizzler BBQ.
MREA president Ron Tardiff said, “We live and work in these communities and it is an opportunity to give something back.”