Is it necessary to buy a house through a Realtor? Although you are not legally required to, why would you undertake such an important purchase without the help of an expert? The Realtor's expert knowledge of the neighbourhood, future development plans, taxes, zoning, transportation, schools and community services will help you select the property that meets your needs. Your REALTOR® will also advise you on financing options and recommend other professionals needed to complete the sale. You will be dealing with sellers and their agents, so you want to make sure you have someone who will represent and promote your interests.
As a buyer, your REALTOR® will:
- Help you determine the type of property you need and can afford.
- Help you find available properties and make appointments to view them.
- Advise you about market conditions and provide information about the community.
- Explain the forms used in a real estate transaction and help you prepare an offer to purchase.
- Present your offer to the seller and negotiate on your behalf.
- Recommend other professionals, such as a certified home inspector or lawyer/notary.
- Help you understand agency relationships.
The buyer can benefit from agent representation, too. The Realtor’s expert knowledge of the neighbourhood, future development plans, taxes, zoning, transportation, schools, and community services will help you select the property that meets your needs. By combining personal knowledge with research, your REALTOR® will be able to provide a comparison of similar properties and market statistics. Your REALTOR® will also advise you on financing options and make recommendations of other professionals needed to complete the sale.
The contract of purchase and sale is initiated when an offer is made by the buyer to purchase the seller’s property. The contract outlines the terms and conditions of the offer, such as offer price and any subject conditions. The seller may reject the offer or make a counter offer. Once all terms have been accepted and both the seller and the buyer have signed the contract, each party is legally bound to fulfill the conditions of the contract.
Dual agency is created when an agent represents both the buyer and a seller in a single transaction. This can happen if a REALTOR® who is representing a buyer sells one of his or her own listings to that buyer (see diagram on bar).
A dual agent must be impartial to both the buyer and the seller and fully disclose all information pertinent to the transaction. A REALTOR® can be a dual agent only if both the seller and the buyer agree in writing.
Remember: always read all contracts and disclosure forms before signing. If you have questions regarding agency relationships contact your Realtor.