Most consumers rarely engage in selling or buying real estate. It is therefore natural for them to not be fully aware of the intricacies of the industry, as let’s say an investor might. One of the greatest advantages of having a REALTOR© represent the consumer, be it buyer or seller, is to benefit from their extensive experience in the business, with the ultimate objective of securing the best deal possible. However for this to happen, the REALTOR must be ‘contracted’ by the consumer in order for them to ‘represent’ them.
Without a contract, the perceived ‘representation’ is limited to the agent conveying information provided by the other party, buyer or seller, that the buyer or seller must then analyze and make their decisions upon. This is referred to more as working ‘with’ the customer, rather than working ‘for’ them. A far cry from an optimal position, in as far as the customer is concerned.
True value and advantage lies in the customer’s ability to tap the agent’s extensive negotiating, neighbourhood insight and overall expertise, to their advantage. To benefit from their recommendations on how to approach the negotiating process, rather than just relaying to them an asking price and carrying back counter offers. As a home buyer, you want your agent to put serious skills to bear, much like a lawyer might. But they can legally only do so if they are under contract to ‘represent you.’
While the benefits of remaining free to work with one or more agents may seem appealing to some, there are many risks associated with such an approach. Carolyne Realty Corp. has a great write up on representation that covers the subject in far more detail and might be a good read for any buyer or seller. Realtor.com, on its website, also stresses the importance of proper representation when consumers are ready to take their search from online to real-life. Not just in securing the best deal possible, but also to access accurate data and facts about a property before making the leap.