I’m of the generation that knows next to nothing about buying a home. In high school CAPP (career and personal planning) class we learned not to submit résumés on fluorescent pink paper (something, I’ve learned, they encourage in university co-op programs). In math class, we applied algebraic formulas to arbitrary scenarios about cement trucks or airplanes when we could have been applying them to mortgages, something we would realistically need in the future. I hear they’re changing this now and high school students are actually learning about banking and mortgages, things they’ll need later in life. For everyone in my generation, this series is for you.
I’m going to start with a potentially controversial topic: Why Realtors® are useful. I’ve said it before: using, or not using, a Realtor is your personal choice, and whichever you go with is a fine one. Personally, I use a Realtor. Here’s why.
· At one point in my life I worked two jobs and went to school full time. I don’t anymore, thank goodness, but I still work full time, have a dog and significant other to look after, have friends and family to keep track of, and play on a hockey team. I also like sleep and occasional down time. I’d rather not spend my spare hours sifting through MLS or attending open houses. This is why Realtors are great – it’s their job to sift through the pages of listings and preview the homes that may be suitable for you. Realtors save me time.
· Closely related to this is the fact that Realtors have access to other Realtors. Through this widespread Realtor network they find out about listings that haven’t gone on the market yet. This could get you a head start to investigate the details about the property and neighbourhood before writing the offer.
· When you take a day to tour homes you’re interested in, your Realtor will drive you. This gives you the opportunity to focus on the area in comfort with complete attention rather than trying to find the property on your own.
· I was recently interested in a house and asked my Realtor to take a look at it. Within the hour he responded with an email with concerns about the property for reasons I hadn’t thought of: possible oil tank in the yard, septic (the house wasn’t on the city’s sewer system), knob and tube wiring. The asking price was also high for a property with so many possible issues. It also had been listed for an extensive period in a market where houses typically sell within a week or so. An experienced Realtor can spot problems in the property you may miss, and can advise you on market value.