Buying or selling a house on your own sounds like an easy task, but anyone who has tried it, quickly learns how difficult it can be and how much the experience of a licensed real estate broker can simplify the process.
“In a way, anyone can sell a house, but it doesn’t mean that you will have an easy transaction or get a fair price,” said Daniel Dagenais, a Realtor® in Pointe-Claire and president of the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board’s (GMREB) Board of Directors. “There’s no point in selling your house and feeling like you’re king because you did the transaction yourself and didn’t pay any commission, but you actually sold it for cheaper than it’s worth.”
Dagenais outlined several key attributes that real estate brokers bring to the table when it comes time to buy or sell a house.
Brokers set fair prices for buyers and sellers
Real estate brokers in Quebec have access to the listings not only of houses for sale, but also those with the prices of houses that have already sold and those that have expired. Armed with that information and their own experience, they can quickly establish the right price for a house.
“The best price for a house is not necessarily the highest price, but is a fair price,” said Dagenais. “Sometimes buyers are not well educated about the market and they see something for sale and they end up paying too much money. I think this happens with buyers who are not using a broker.”
Brokers negotiate on behalf of their clients
Negotiating a closing price when buying or selling a home can be stressful. Real estate brokers conduct many transactions throughout the year and are emotionally detached when negotiating on their client’s behalf.
“A lot of people think they know how to negotiate,” said Dagenais. “This may be the case, but even for a good negotiator, a broker acts as a middleman who has a certain distance in the process. When you have a Realtor® making an offer and he’s asking another Realtor® to respond, it’s much easier than for the Realtor® trying to negotiate directly with a buyer or seller who becomes way too involved emotionally.”
Brokers have specialized knowledge of legal requirements
There is a lot of legal paperwork required to complete a real estate transaction that can overwhelm someone not trained how to do it properly. As part of their training to obtain their license in Quebec, real estate brokers spend a full 45 hours learning the intricacies of filling out the necessary forms to buy and sell a house.
“Filling in the forms properly is crucial. If you make one little mistake, maybe you don’t put the comma in the right place, it could jeopardize the transaction, create a lawsuit or just create dissatisfaction,” noted Dagenais. “We might have only a few hours to get an answer back so it has to be on the spot and you have to be very comfortable with all aspects of filling in the forms properly.”
Brokers are highly trained
Before they can buy or sell houses, real estate brokers must undergo close to 400 hours of training that takes about four or five months to complete. They must then pass a government-regulated exam in order to get their license. Before 2010, the exam was multiple-choice, but now students have to write long-form answers. To keep up with changes in the industry, brokers are also required to take 18 units of continuing education every two years, which amounts to 18 to 36 hours of additional training.
Brokers follow a code of ethics
Real estate brokers must act ethically in their dealings with the public and any who fail to do so can be fined by the Discipline Committee of the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec.
Dagenais also noted that real estate brokers are subject to a code of ethics and are covered by professional liability insurance that provides financial protection to consumers in case of unintentional fault, error, negligence or omission committed by a broker.
Brokers have access to specialized technology
From drone photography to virtual reality, the real estate industry follows the latest tech trends to help bring buyers and sellers together, but their biggest technological strength is their extensive database system of properties for sale.
“The most important tool is the database system that allows us to see all of the data of all the properties,” said Dagenais. “We can really evaluate properties on the market.”
Brokers are part of a network
Real estate brokers represent both buyers and sellers and work with each other to bring the two together.
“The key really is collaboration and we have an industry that is providing all the tools for collaboration. For real estate brokers, it’s kind of unique that when you accept a mandate to sell a property, you also include a portion of your compensation that you will give to a competitor who brings you the buyer. The high level of collaboration between brokers is really a unique feature of Quebec’s real estate industry.’’
“When you hire a real estate broker, you are really hiring 13,000 brokers,” said Dagenais, alluding to the number of brokers working in Quebec, “plus the visibility and access to Centris.ca with close to 100,000 available properties.”
Source: Mark Stachiew, Special to National Post | February 22, 2017