Selling or buying a property is likely the most important transaction you will ever make in your life. The process may be lengthy, taxing, demanding, complicated and frustrating. Hiring a real estate broker to take you through this process presents a host of benefits.
It’s in the law! This may be a lame excuse but in 2009, the Real Estate Service Act (or RESA, and not RESA Law as it is redundant because Act=Law) also known as Republic Act 9646. If you will read between the lines, the primary intention was to help the country’s social political economic development and progress of the country. It will be best and legal to hire a REB not a person who does not possess the necessary license to practice. Although there is RESA, property owners or buyers still have the option to act on their own personal capacity even if they are not REBs themselves. The ulterior motive of the seller or buyer is understandable – to save on costs.
- REBs have the necessary knowledge and experience. The real estate broker has the the necessary training and experience with the property buying or selling procedure as well as the paperwork. Issues may arise on legal, taxation, technical etc. It’s not possible to keep tabs on all aspects of the today’s real estate market. But you don’t need to bother trying to know everything if you hire the services of a knowledgeable and experienced real estate broker. The REB will guide you through the entire process, making everything smooth and stress-free. A REB keeps up to speed! The is expected to be updated and knowledgeable to manage the sale or buying of a property. If not, the REB will be truthful enough and strive to research and know what needs to be understood further. There are many laws relating to a property transaction apart from RESA and the property owner may not have all the time and necessary resources to understand. If seller is in a rush to sell with the motive of having the proceeds in no time at all. A full time REB will have all the necessary network of fellow REBs, the skill to market and promote the property easily. Provided however, that property seller has submitted the necessary documents as ATS, SPA, title to property, tax declaration, extra judicial settlement, authorization to secure certified true copies etc. Another condition for the sale to take place soon is when asking price is within the market range. A REB can suggest an appraisal report after which a pricing strategy can be discussed. Sale may happen sooner than expected but not guaranteed.
- REBs help you save time and energy. You may have the knowledge but you may not have the time or you feel time spent on more important things is more valuable than doing the things that a REB can doo. Your REB will handle everything and make the whole process more convenient for you. Your REB may even have the staff or colleague to do ridiculously time wasting activities. If looking to sell a property, the broker will handle showing the property so you don’t have to make all those tedious appointments yourself. The broker will also filter all those troublesome phone calls that lead to nowhere, thereby helping you identify serious buyers. If you’re a buyer, your broker will protect you from being inundated with calls and the tactics of marketers and sellers. A property owner may have the resource to start the selling process. But is the property owner ready for all the hassles of understanding what will expedite the sale by understanding the property strengths, the meetings and showing of property, depressing the emotional tendencies because of feelings of attachment to the property, the suppression of feelings of being harassed with the counter offer that may be ridiculously low during the negotiation. You just simply make your life easy and you avoid all the hassle!
- REBs have extensive knowledge of the neighborhood. REBs are expected to have the intimate knowledge of street-by-street and even house-by-house market, including the buyers’ markets and sellers’ markets. As a result, they possess inside scoop on the market and know more details of various properties on the listing. They can identify comparable property sales and hand this information to you, so you can make an informed decision. You just good understand and believe REBs.
- REBs can provide information on current market conditions. No one understands current market conditions better than real estate professionals. They are well-versed with almost all aspects of real estate market, especially how different factors such as interest rates and unemployment rate affect the market. By weighing all the data, including ratios of list-to-sold prices, median and average sales prices, average per square meter cost of similar properties and average sales prices, they can advise you on your options so you can determine how to proceed.
- REBs can provide valuable price guidance. Real estate brokers are tireless analysts who can successfully help you sell for the optimal price or buy at the right price. Your real estate broker will evaluate all the data and guide you in making the right choice yourself, without pressuring you to accept a particular price.
- REBs have professional networks. Working with a real estate broker will give you an insight into the real estate industry and help you start building networks for future deals. Your broker can give you references, including real estate lawyers and practitioners or related professionals, with whom they may have worked.
- REBs can help in the negotiation process because negotiation is tricky business. Many people don’t like the idea of doing a real estate deal through an agent and feel that direct negotiation between buyers and sellers is more transparent and allows the parties to better look after their own best interests. This is probably true–assuming that both the buyer and seller in a given transaction are reasonable people who are able to get along. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an easy relationship. What if you, as a buyer, like a home but despise its wood-paneled walls, shag carpet and lurid orange kitchen? If you are working with an agent, you can express your contempt for the current owner’s decorating skills and rant about how much it’ll cost you to upgrade the home without insulting the owner. For all you know, the owner’s late mother may have lovingly chosen the décor. Your real estate agent can convey your concerns to the sellers’ agent. Acting as a messenger, the agent may be in a better position to negotiate a discount without ruffling the homeowner’s feathers. A real estate agent can also play the “bad guy” in a transaction, preventing the bad blood between a buyer and seller that can kill a deal. Keep in mind that a seller can reject a potential buyer’s offer for any reason–including just because they hate his or her guts. An agent can help by speaking for you in tough transactions and smoothing things over to keep them from getting too personal. This can put you in a better position to get the house you want. The same is true for the seller, who can benefit from a hard-nosed real estate agent who will represent their interests without turning off potential buyers who want to niggle about the price. Practicing and up-to-date REBs are skilled negotiators who will always strive to get the best possible price. Your REB can use his/her personal experience and the lessons learned from dealing with all types of real estate transaction to ensure that you’re getting the best possible deal.
- REBs can help with the paperwork. Real estate transactions typically involve exhaustive paperwork, including tricky contract documents, requests, offers and endless counter offers, legally mandated disclosures, and more. A REB can make the process easier for you by handling all the paperwork and legwork. Contracts can be hard to handle. If you decide to buy or sell a property, the offer to purchase contract is there to protect you and ensure that you are able to back out of the deal if certain conditions aren’t met. For example, if you plan to buy a home with a mortgage but you fail to make financing one of the conditions of the sale–and you aren’t approved for the mortgage–you can lose your deposit on the home and could even be sued by the seller for failing to fulfill your end of the contract. An experienced real estate agent deals with the same contracts and conditions on a regular basis, and is familiar with which conditions should be used, when they can safely be removed and how to use the contract to protect you, whether you’re buying or selling your home.
- REBs can provide professional advice in respect of the closing process. Closing a real estate transaction is a typically long and lengthy process. There are also a number of complications that may arise after closing, such as property inspections, cost of repairs, real estate taxes and more, which can derail the process or even cost you later. Your REB can identify any potential problems before they occur and straighten out the confusion.
- REBs can help with future transactions. The REB you hire is going to be around for the long run, and will be there for you when you need to buy or sell a property. REBs depend on referrals to grow their business, and they’ll make all efforts to ensure you’re happy and satisfied so you can recommend them to your friends and family.
- REBs can be depended on for any confidentiality issues and expected to hold on to truth. Because they are licensed professionals there are more repercussions if they do than for a private buyer or seller. If you are working with a REB under an agency agreement, (i.e. a conventional, full-service commission agreement in which the agent agrees to represent you), your agent will be bound by a common law to a fiduciary relationship. In other words, the agent is bound by law to act in their clients’ best interest (not his or her own). In addition, most REBs rely on referrals and repeat business to build the kind of clientèle base they’ll need to survive in the business. This means that doing what’s best for their clients should be as important to them as any individual sale. Finally, if you do find that your REB has gotten away with lying to you, you will have more avenues for recourse, such as through your REBs professional association, the Professional Regulations Commission or possibly even in court if you can prove that your REB has failed to uphold his fiduciary duties.
When a buyer and seller work together directly, they can (and should) seek legal counsel, but because each is expected to act in his or her best interest, there isn’t much you can do if you find out later that you’ve been duped about multiple offers or the home’s condition. And having a lawyer on retainer any time you want to talk about potentially buying or selling a house could cost far more than an agent’s commissions by the time the transaction is complete.