MYTHS AND FACTS
Myth: I'll have a better chance of finding my dream home if I use more than one Realtor.
Fact: This is the most common misconception in real estate. The truth is actually the exact opposite. In fact if a Realtor realizes you're not being faithful to them they'll put less effort into helping you accomplish your goals. More than likely they will move on to another buyer who will remain loyal. On the other hand showing loyalty to one Realtor will encourage that Realtor to provide you with the highest level of service possible. Having one Realtor that is dedicated to helping you find your dream home is a much better option then having two or three Realtors doing the bare minimum just to keep you as a contact.
Myth: Working with the agent on the sign is a great idea since they know the most about the house and they have to protect my interests too.
Fact: The agent on the sign, also known as the listing agent, is only contracted to the seller and is therefore legally obligated to act in their best interest and their best interest alone. They are under no legal obligation to protect you or your rights beyond being fair and honest with you. Only when you have a Buyer Representation Agreement with a buyer's agent will your rights and interests be fully protected. Also, while it is true that a listing agent will know a lot about the home, it is also a fact that they must make everything they know readily available to a buyer's agent and to a potential buyer. Therefore they don't really have the upper hand after all.
Myth: Signing a Buyer Representation Agreement means I'm stuck working with that Realtor even if they're not doing a good job for me.
Fact: A respectable and professional Realtor will always have a Satisfaction Guaranteed Agreement to accompany any relationship establishing contracts. A satisfaction guarantee signed by both parties will allow you to opt out of the Buyer Representation Agreement at any time if you are not satisfied with the service being provided.
Myth: I will have to pay the Buyer Agent's fee out of my own pocket.
Fact: As a buyer you do not have to pay any out of pocket fee to a buyer's agent. A buyer's agent is paid a percentage of the sale price out of the proceeds from the sale. This fee is typically worked into the seller's closing costs.
Myth: Every Realtor is the same.
Fact: Not all Realtors are created equal. Realtors can be like licensed drivers; anyone can get a license but it doesn't mean they are truly qualified or dedicated to adding significant value to the home buying process. When deciding which Realtor you want to help you buy your new home, make sure they are dedicated to helping you and not their bottom line. You also want someone who is going to go above and beyond to make sure all your goals have been met without applying pressure sales techniques. Finally, someone with extensive knowledge of all legalities of the process will be better able to help you. Ask to see testimonials from other past clients. Reading these reviews is a great way to find out if the Realtor you're thinking of working with is really the one for you.
Myth: I don't need a Realtor to find a home; I can search MLS.ca and find one on my own.
Fact: MLS.ca can be a great place to start exploring the types of homes in your price range at the very start of the process; however, as you get further along it can actually be more of a frustrating tool then a helpful one. This is because MLS.ca is not updated live. It actually takes approximately 72 hours for updates to reach the public site. This means that a lot of the homes you see on MLS.ca may actually be sold or off the market for one reason or another. For all buyers this can result in disappointment. For example, you may feel you've found your dream home only to realize once you call you're Realtor that it's already sold. The best way to stay up to date is to have a Realtor send you all new listings that match your criteria automatically sent to you as soon as they become available. You'll be the first to know and you'll save yourself a lot of wasted hours searching on MLS.ca.
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