Why You Need a Realtor
Real estate transactions are amongst the largest investments that most individuals make. A trained professional can help make the experience pleasant and rewarding. In fact, with the assistance of a real estate professional, property sells faster.
Whether you're selling or buying property, a real estate professional can provide you with invaluable services and information. To see why you should choose RE/MAX and ALINA LOVIN to represent you in Buying a Home in Osoyoos, South Okanagan, click here.
Real Estate Professionals:
- ·Are educated about legal issues affecting real estate transactions;
- ·Are trained to negotiate the best prices and terms in the contract of purchase and sale;
- ·Provide objectivity in a potentially emotional situation;
- ·Are sources of information for current listings, market conditions; and can recommend lenders and real estate evaluators.
If you're still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are more reasons to use one:
- Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power - that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders - banks and mortgage companies - offer limited choices.
- Your REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in your home search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.
- Your REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc. There are two things you'll want to know: First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
- Your REALTOR® can help you with negotiations and inspections. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or appliances. The purchase agreement should allow time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
- Your REALTOR® provides due diligence during the property evaluation. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports.
- You will also want to see a preliminary report on the property title. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your REALTOR®, title search company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
- Your REALTOR® can help you understand different financing options and identify qualified lenders.
- Your REALTOR® can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
Your Responsibilities as a Buyer or Seller
As a buyer or seller, you should:
- Carefully read all documents and understand what you are signing.
- If you need special or expert advice, seek other professionals such as lawyers, notaries, accountants, home inspectors, contractors, engineers and surveyors.
The Agent is the real estate company under which the individual salesperson who is representing you is licensed.
REALTOR is often used interchangeably with Licensee, Real Estate Agent, or Salesperson, and in BC is licensed under the Real Estate Act . A REALTOR can use the term REALTOR if he/she belongs to a local board or association that enforces a strict code of ethics.
The Buyer is often referred to as the Purchaser.
The Seller is often referred to as the Vendor.
The Principal is someone who has engaged an Agent to act for and on his or her behalf either to buy or sell a home.
The Agency Relationship
REALTORS work within a legal relationship called agency. The agency relationship exists between you, the principal, and your agent, the company under which the individual salesperson who is representing you is licensed. The essence of the agency relationship is that the agent has the authority to represent the principal in dealings with others.
Agents and their salespeople are legally obligated to protect and promote the interests of their principals as they would their own. Specifically, the agent has the following duties.
- Undivided loyalty. The agent must protect the principal's negotiating position at all times, and disclose all known facts which may affect or influence the principal's decision
- To obey all lawful instructions of the principal.
- An obligation to keep the confidences of the principal.
- The exercise of reasonable care and skill in performing all assigned duties.
- The duty to account for all money and property placed in an agent's hands while acting for the principal.
- You can expect competence service from your agent, knowing that the company is bound by ethics and the law to be honest and thorough in representing a property listed for sale. Both buyer and seller can be represented by their own agents in a single transaction.
Dual agency occurs when a real estate agent is representing both buyer and seller in the same transaction. Since the agent has promised a duty of confidentiality, loyalty and full disclosure to both parties simultaneously, it is necessary to limit these duties in this situation, if both parties consent.
If you find yourself involved in a dual agency relationship, before making or receiving an offer both you and the other party will be asked to consent in writing to this new limited agency relationship.
This relationship involves the following limitations:
• The Agent will deal with the Buyer and the Seller impartially ;
• The Agent will have a duty of disclosure to both the Buyer and the Seller except that ;
• i. the Agent will not disclose that the Buyer is willing to pay a price or agree to terms other than those contained in the Offer, or that the Seller is willing to accept a price or terms other than those contained in the Listing;
• ii. the Agent will not disclose the motivation of the Buyer to buy or the Seller to sell unless authorized by the Buyer or the Seller;
• iii. the Agent will not disclose personal information about either the Buyer or the Seller unless authorized in writing;
• The Agent will disclose to the Buyer defects about the physical condition of the property known to the Agent.
When There is No Agency Relationship You may also choose to use the services of a REALTOR without having any kind of agency relationship. This might occur, for example, when you are being shown a property by the seller's agent.
The REALTOR you choose to work with in this manner has a legal and ethical duty to provide you with accurate, honest answers to your questions and can provide all these services:
- Explain real estate terms and practices
- Provide and explain forms used
- Assist you in screening and viewing properties
- Inform you of lenders and their policies
- Identify and estimate costs involved in a transaction
- Assist you in establishing your range of affordability
- Prepare offers or counter-offers at your direction
- Present all offers promptly
A REALTOR who is not your agent cannot:
- Recommend or suggest a price
- Negotiate on your behalf
- Inform you of his/her principal's top/bottom line
- Disclose any confidential information about his/her principal unless otherwise authorized
- You should not provide a REALTOR who is not your agent with any information that you would not provide directly to his or her principal.
Service Fee (Commission)
Members of the public are aware that in most cases properties offered for sale by members of the Real Estate Industry have a commission or fee that the Seller has agreed to pay to the Listing Agent.
The Listing Agent traditionally shares this commission/fee with the cooperating agent.
Commission and fee may vary.
"Copyright. British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission."
Home Inspections. . .
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of a home's structure and systems.
Why get a home inspection?
There are a number of reasons why RE/MAX recommends a home inspection including:
- To ensure you are not surprised by major defects
- So you can be advised about the various elements of the home including - heating and cooling systems, structure, electrical and plumbing
- To learn about how the mechanical systems work and need to be maintained
- Most homeowners are not expert in the numerous components of house construction
- A third party can be objective as there is no emotional attachment
Who should you hire?
Home inspectors are often referred by family or friends. Your RE/MAX agent can also provide you with a list of inspectors. Look for one that is trained and certified by a national organization such as Canadian Association of Home Inspectors (CAHI) or National Institute of Building Inspectors (NIBI) and who has errors and omissions insurance. Do not hire someone who will do any suggested work due to the conflict of interest.
When should you call?
Order the inspection after your offer has been accepted. The contact will stipulate the length of time you have to complete the inspection.
What is involved?
The home inspection will determine the structural and mechanical soundness of the home. Your home inspector can identify existing and potential problem areas, suggest possible solutions and provide estimates for the cost of the work required. You will receive a report outlining the inspection findings. You should accompany the home inspector during the inspection or arrange to meet them at the home so they can walk you through the report. If as a result of the inspection, you have further concerns, have a specialist in that area conduct a more extensive examination.
What does it cost?
Costs vary depending on a number of factors including: size and location of the home, features, age, and services required. Additional services may include radon, septic and well testing. Your RE/MAX agent can assist you in obtaining a quote from a potential inspector before you enlist his/her services.
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