Many agents do not have clients sign a buyer agreement. It is a fact. The reason is that many buyers don’t want to be committed to signing to one particular agent. Its like dating, many people like to play the field. They don’t want to commit to one person. Some people do not sign a buyer agreement because it will mean that they are officially in the hunt for a house. Then there are other people that have been through the ringer and want to sign an agreement, go look for a house and move in. No games no fuss.
While there are so many reasons people have to not sign an agreement with an agent, many people expect agents to work for them with no commitment. When I speak to a buyer I always tell them the same thing, the people that make a commitment to me are the buyers that I take care of first. Anybody would agree that it only makes sense.
Here are the major “Bites” to sign a buyer agreement with an agent:
1. You will get first crack at the best deals: An agent that knows he will get paid from a deal closed will give those clients the best deals in town. Agents always get properties that are not on MLS or even hit the market. (Chris was right about that one)
2. Motivation: An agent that has a signed commitment to you will be motivated to get you into a house because he knows that your officially in the hunt and not just looking.
3. BEST INTEREST: Your best interests are at the forefront. Not the seller, or anybody else. He is working for you and you alone.
4. Research: A buyer agent will do research on comparables and what else is selling. This will help in negotiating the best price for you. Not just taking the seller agents word for it that you’re getting a good deal.
5. Hire: I believe that when handling a big purchase like a house you should have somebody who does the work for you. While looking for a house is a joint effort, many tasks of handling appointments, contracts and ancillary contacts are needed to close a deal and get you into a great property. There are many unspoken tasks that go unnoticed and people who look for a house on their own know what I’m talking about. The best thing to do is remove some of the burden an let a professional do it for you.
One of the most difficult tasks a Real Estate Agent must do is represent two parties if the need arises. Some buyers do not like to use a buyer agent because they feel it is just easier to use the listing agent or they feel they will get a better deal because they usually ask the listing agent to reduce their commission and pass along the savings. While this may be true in some instances, sometimes it is better to be properly represented and make sure your best interests are being handled correctly.
There are many reasons to use a buyer agent, it is my opinion that each party should be represented by an agent. Would you go into a court case if you were charged with a crima and use the prosecutors lawyer? No you would get your own representation. Why would you try to represent yourself?
Multiple representation also gets tricky in that you must understand that some agents are not ethical. There are some Real Estate Agents that are looking out for themselves and their seller client first before looking out for you. It is not supposed to happen but it is a reality. CREA has been long looking at abolishing multiple representation because of the conflict of interest that arises during multiple representation. It is also a reason why there are so many lawsuits and complaints with RECO. It is a very fine line an agent must walk in order to be fully ethical and neutral.
I always hear from people that they decided to use the listing agent and were shocked and unhappy because they felt that their interests were not put first. I always inquire why buyers feel that they do not need any representation; they always say the same thing to me, “I felt that I would get a better deal.” The funny thing is later most people realize they would have paid less for the house or property because a buyer agent would have made sure that they were not overpaying for the house.
When the market spikes so high in a certain area while other markets are slow it is called a bubble. This can happen in a country, city or neighbourhood. For the past year and a half or so its been happening in the GTA. This is great for people selling properties but if you are buying a property watch out. In the GTA there are a huge number of speculators in the market and people who buy when the market is low. The purpose is to renovate and resell, then make a profit. In this type of market it is extremely difficult to buy low because everything in the bubble is high. These buyers are constantly looking for the bubble to burst and waiting to pounce like a lion.
There are always reports of the market dropping due to economy, inflation, and of course the unemployment rate. While these are all major factors the biggest factor that will drop the market is Interest rates. This controls the market as well as the other factors. If you go south it is a mess and the government is trying everything to spark the housing economy. The problem is that it is still very hard to get financing when you don’t have a job. This is an example of a market gone haywire.
Nobody knows what will happen in any economy but here are a few reasons why a market drop is good for the economy to stay balanced for the future. Now I’m saying a little drop, not a fall to the center of the earths core.
1. It will further stimulate the buying of properties
2. It will stimulate construction due to companies buying and selling, renovating
3. Depending on how much the interest rates go up, it will allow some buyers into the market to buy their first home.
4. There is more scrutiny on the homes that are bought and some homes are forced into renovation allowing a better inventory. This is due to more clauses in contracts. More clauses means a seller will make sure that the proper maintenance has been done. Home Inspections and Finance clauses are not waived in this market.
5. House prices will catch up to income of buyers. In a market bubble, many peoples income does not support the average price. Therefore more money must be spent on the purchase price. In a market drop incomes are allowed to catch up, therefore more houses are affordable.
A market bubble is happening right now in the GTA, ask any agent north of the city. While it has been a crazy year for asking prices, the market has slowed down a bit. This is also due to seasonal lows. The market however does not show any means of slowing down, but …. there are factors that indicate a burst, stock market drops, inflation rates going higher, gas prices staying high, unemployment at an all time high and our dollar staying high slowing down manufacturing jobs. Most of all is the world economy seems to be in spinning out of control. Eventually it has to catch up to our little market bubble here in the Greater Toronto Area.
This article was written by Ernie Arrizza
Whether it’s coming inside after hitting the slopes, playing ice-hockey, or walking the dog on a brisk night: there’s nothing better than curling up to a nice, warm fire. A fireplace will keep you cozy on cold winter nights, but it should also be safe and energy efficient. If you’re looking to add a new fireplace to your home or upgrade an existing one this season, make sure you know all the options available.
Wood-burning fireplaces are great for those who love the majesty of an open fire, the smell of burning wood, and the sound of crackling logs. However, you may not know that older wood-burning fireplaces are not very energy efficient and can actually pollute the environment. The good news is that there are newer, safer, and more advanced wood-burning fireplaces available. Look for models that are certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)*, as they emit 90% less smoke than traditional wood-burning fireplaces and distribute heat better in your home.
Electric fireplaces are the perfect way to set the mood, and temperature, at the flick of a switch. They are safe, convenient, low-maintenance, and cost little to install. Although electric fireplaces probably won’t add to the value of your home like other types might, they are great for small spaces and don’t require a chimney or outdoor venting. Most models also come with the option of having the decorative fire turned on while the heating element is off: a great feature if all you’re looking for is a little ambiance.
Gas fireplaces are popular options because they are clean burning, efficient, and don’t even require a chimney. Although they may not offer the same flame sensation as real wood-burning fireplaces, gas is more energy efficient and you won’t need to worry about cleaning up woodchips or ashes. They also distribute heat better and provide a constant supply of fuel, even if the power fails. Look for models that have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating; the higher the rating, the higher the efficiency.
If you already own a fairly old or outdated fireplace, there are still options available. Electric and gas models, for example, are easy to upgrade or replace entirely if you’re looking to make your fireplace more energy efficient. Similarly, you can purchase inserts for traditional wood-burning fireplaces that cause less harm to the environment and improve heating efficiency. And if you want to experience an open fire a little closer to nature, consider buying an outdoor fireplace. Outdoor fireplaces come in many shapes and sizes; just make sure to check your local municipality’s by-laws for safety regulations.
For these and other questions please feel free to contact us anytime at 906 608-0141 Isidro Pereira (RHI)