1. Service every step of the way
Real estate agents don’t have the monopoly on market information that they once enjoyed. You can visit the CENTRIS website and find the essentials yourself. But then what?
“Buying or selling a property involves many steps,” says Maude Bujeault Bolduc of the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ). “Preparing a listing, determining an appropriate price, coordinating showings…and that’s not counting all of the important paperwork, like contracts, marketing plans, offers to purchase, counteroffers, etc. It’s reassuring to have a trained professional to guide you through all these steps.”
According to OACIQ, even the simplest property transaction involves a hundred different decisions and steps, and it’s not unusual that additional challenges come up along the way. Do you know what to do, for example, if an offer is withdrawn or if multiple offers to purchase arrive at the same time?
2. Effective, continuous management
Your professional and personal responsibilities don’t disappear when you decide to buy or sell a property. Do you really have an hour or two every day to commit to the process? It takes time to answer questions from potential buyers and to scrutinize new listings. And this doesn’t include preparing for and managing showings.
A real estate agent strives to be available at all times; for instance, if a potential buyer wants to see a property in a hurry on a weekday afternoon, an agent will make it happen. In the first quarter of 2016, Quebec properties took an average of 133 days to sell, according to CENTRIS. This can be a stressful time, especially if there are daily logistical challenges.
3. A worry-free transaction
“If a property sells in a week without any hitches, people think that they could have handled the transaction themselves,” says Maude Bujeault Bolduc. “That’s why many people think of a real estate agent as an insurance policy. If everything goes well, fine. If not, you’ll be really happy you’re not left alone with the problem.”
Professional liability insurance, created by OACIQ, protects the public by covering losses caused by an agent’s mistake or omission. Make a mistake without an agent though, and it could be time to break open that piggy bank!
4. Unbiased support
Buying or selling a property is an emotional experience. A real estate agent provides the neutral, balanced advice that you need in order to make wise decisions. That Italian-marble façade might look beautiful and valuable to you, for example, but not to potential purchasers. Real estate agents understand markets and relative values.
5. Protection for the consumer
The OACIQ ensures that all real estate agents comply with brokerage law including the golden rule that professionals must always work in the best interests of their clients. If mistakes occur, the organization’s discipline committee responds accordingly.
To help clients choose an agent, OACIQ’s website posts a wealth of valuable information, such as an agent’s certification status, training, and disciplinary record. In addition, OACIQ operates a help line that answers the questions of buyers and sellers before, during, and after real estate transactions.
6. Turnkey network
Mortgage broker, home inspector, lawyer…we never buy or sell a property by ourselves. The expertise of many professionals is critical to a successful transaction. Using a real estate agent means tapping into their network of qualified, experienced professionals. Now that’s useful!
7. An experienced negotiator
When to table an offer? At what price? Which clauses will appeal to—or turn off—the seller? When you find your dream home, you better have the answer to these questions. An experienced real estate agent knows how to guide you through all the critical decisions related to buying and selling a property.
During negotiations, the agent’s experience will help avoid emotional reactions that lead to problems, such as offering more than the listed price (or the market value) because you’re worried about a bidding war, or insulting the seller by asking for décor changes.
The purchase or sale of a house is, without question, one of the largest financial transactions of our lives. “Why wouldn’t you work with an experienced advisor and a legal framework?” asks OACIQ’s Maude Bujeault Bolduc.
- Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards, 2014
- Residential statistics, CENTRIS, April 2016