Five Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying A Home
#1. What is the cost of using a buying REALTOR®? It is a common misconception that you save money by not using a buyer’s agent. However in residential real estate, the commission is usually paid by the seller regardless if a buyer’s agent is involved or not. Therefore you might as well take advantage of the free benefits an experienced real estate professional will bring to the table. Note that there are rare scenarios where a buyer is required to pay their REALTOR® out-of-pocket, but this would have to be fully disclosed and agreed upon in a signed document.
#2. Do you know what kind of buying REALTOR® you would like to work with? It is important to research REALTORS® before working with one. What kind of credentials do they have? Do they have positive reviews from helping other buyers purchase their homes? What are they able to contribute to your home search process? Don’t be afraid to ask your potential buying REALTOR® what sets them apart from the others.
#3. What kind business are you supporting by giving your REALTOR® business? In a generation that represents responsible consumerism more than ever, a thorough understanding of your REALTOR® should be mandatory. Do they give back to the community, therefore allowing you to give back through your purchase? Are they known for ethical practices within the real estate industry? Do they have kids which means, in turn, your support is helping with sports teams or college funds? Do they have a giant comic book collection and your support will help them double that collection? It is your responsibility, as a responsible consumer, to support a REALTOR® whose values align with yours.
#4. Can you trusts your REALTOR®? If you’ve done your proper due diligence as a future real estate consumer, you can rest assured that your REALTOR® will carry out their fiduciary duties to the best of their abilities. If your agent is a REALTOR®, and not just a real estate agent, they are bound to a code of ethics. It essentially stipulates that REALTORS® legally owe their client a list of fiduciary duties such as honesty, protecting your best interest and confidentiality. The code of ethics is strictly enforced and discrepancies can lead to serious REALTOR® penalties such as thousands of dollars in fines or lengthy suspensions from practice.
#5. How does your buying REALTOR® protect you? In Saskatchewan, REALTORS® are required to keep full files of all documents in all transactions for seven years. Consequently if you have any questions or lost paperwork for your home for resale or refinancing, which often happens, you can count on that safety net. Secondly, your buying REALTOR® has access to all MLS® data which can protect you from overpaying for a property, which is especially common when purchasing “For Sale By Owners”. REALTORS® are also heavily insured by Errors And Omissions so if for some reason a mistake is made, you could be shielded by this. Lastly, with a skilled REALTOR®, you are protected from being manipulated and/or blind-sighted during negotiations.