By Michel Friedman

A lot has been written about the doom and gloom of the real estate industry as we know it. Many are searching for reasons why you should use a Realtor. But even with high tech advances and licensing authorities tying our hands behind our backs, real estate is still a “peoples’ business”.

Online retail is becoming more popular but there will always be a place where people can go to touch, feel and smell the merchandise or product. In real estate it is even more important to do that.

The help of a licensed Realtor is in my opinion critical for a fair and hassle-free transaction.



Here are 15 reasons why you should use a Realtor:

  1. Most accurate and up-to-date market area comparables (sold and active properties).
  2. Most up-to-date and accurate evaluation of a home.
  3. Ability to “sell the house” to Realtors who are active in the area so they can bring their buyers.
  4. Quick exposure to thousands of agents who each can bring a buyer (better chances of getting a higher price). Quicker sale, higher price.
  5. Provide secure, day-long, easy access to the house.
  6. Ability to market – spend money up front on cards, letters and newspaper advertising.
  7. Extensive social networking marketing.
  8. Can lead to “multiple offers” situation resulting in an over asking selling price.
  9. Reviewing offers with the seller, analyzing the offer, proper (legal) sign backs without needing a lawyer.
  10. Proper and legal handling of deposit monies.
  11. Provide buyers a wide variety of homes to visit and transportation to buyers.
  12. Third-party (mediator) negotiations make it easier to reach a deal (but still working for your best interest).
  13. Assistance with mortgage financing, home inspections and assisting your lawyer until closing.
  14. Screening of potential frauds.
  15. Does anybody (seller or buyer) really save money when both ends want to save?
To FSBO sellers:

If you want to sell your house, which is valued at $600,000, and a buyer comes in (no agent) and tells you, “I will pay you $500,000 for your house”, chances are you will say no and be angry about the offer.

If that same buyer came in with a Realtor, the buyer has probably been pre-qualified (meaning the bank allowed them to buy a property for $600,000). Their Realtor showed them other properties and this one is the best $600,000 property on the market. The Realtor also most likely showed them what other properties are selling for and are listed for (comparables) in that area. It will be easy to sell the house to the same buyer that the private owner most likely kicked out for full market value.

I once approached a FSBO and tried to convince her to list her house with me. She told me that she sold the house already and was very proud to show me a napkin on which it said: “I will buy your house (with the amount to be paid). Under that it said “ I (the seller) hereby acknowledge receiving $10,000 as deposit for the purchase of the property.”

I asked the seller if she received the $10,000 and she said the buyer gave her $5,000 and told her he will bring in the other $5,000 in two weeks. I don’t know what happened to the deposit but the seller still lives in the same house 15 years later.

What if a buyer is flying in from out of town for two days to buy a house and then flies back to prepare for the move? Is that buyer going to have time to look at your house when they work with a Realtor who will show them a dozen houses in one day? What if they pass by your house during the day? Is there a lockbox on your house? You could have just missed the highest paying buyer.

When you sell your house and go to buy the next house for yourself, will you go to FSBO homes only or will you ask a Realtor to show you properties?

To buyers working without a Realtor:

Will you also “close” the property without a lawyer? You can if you want to, but it doesn’t make sense, does it?

How much will your lawyer charge you to put together a “custom” agreement of purchase and sale and will the lawyer charge you if the negotiations are not successful?

What happens if your home inspector did not catch the fact that the house was previously a grow op and the seller who did not disclose that fact has left the country shortly after closing?

What happens if there is asbestos or UFFI in the house and the home inspector was not asked to do the special inspection for it?

What if you paid too much for the house?

What if a Realtor has information about a specific property that you can take advantage of, but you are not working with an agent?

For both buyers and sellers:

Yes there are options today, yes there is technology today. Working with a Realtor is still the best and safest way.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Realtors are dinosaurs …and like all dinosaurs we try to justify a dying industry. Not because we are rational but because we are afraid for our livelihood. When I started real estate in 1983 all of the 15 reasons were true. Not any more . As a matter of fact they are nonsense. The truth now is that the realtors value comes down to one thing. Opening the door for a client too busy to do so.Once that hurdle is jumped say goodbye . Lawyers and one man brokers can do the rest. Spouting go get um charlie phrases at this point are embarrassing mantras of times of long ago. Within 5 years the realtor career population will be reduced by at least 50%. The agenda is clear from all aspects. Advancing technology, government policies and controls, the demise of the MLS. over regulation and the greed of the banks which want more money left as equity in homes versus realtors pockets.

  2. Michael really…………
    1) Order an Appraisal for an Appraiser – why would you sell your single largest asset using a price the courts, banks and government will not accept
    2) RECO has stated this is only possible with an Appraiser
    3) RECO has stated all homes that meet the Buyers critieria MUST BE relayed to them
    4) SEE 3 above
    5) RECO allows convicted criminals and sex offenders to be registered but registrants can’t inform their clients of who should not be allowed in their home without breaking the Code of Ethics.
    6) The best 4 out of 10 homes on the market paid 160% higher fees than needed to hire people with no education or formal training in marketing or advertising other than knowing how to publish their registrant name without breaching provincial trading legislation,
    7) What they read an article on how to use Facebook?? No education in copyrights, displaying property in PIPEDIA compliant manner etc etc.
    8) Clearly you did not do 1 and 2 above accurately
    9) It is a breach of RECO to not suggest recommending a lawyer review the paperwork before it is signed.
    10) Yes that is a great reason to use a REALTOR as is access the E&O insurance but you can do that for $99 with a mere posting too!
    11) Taxis are cheaper
    12) You need proof and an asterisk before you can make a statement like that. In Ontario RECO has never ever made a similar statement.
    13) Unless you are trained and skilled in these areas you cannot assist it is specifically outlawed in trading legislation.
    14) YES Fintrac forms will be completed either by the Realtor, bank or lawyer and any other professional who feels it is a good idea.
    15) Yes are who the winner is will determined in the negotiation. So having a trained, expert negotiator or using a trading model that reduces risk of making mistakes is probably the best route. Unfortunately that is not possible with a REALTOR today.

    Are you saying a FSBO via mere postings are getting the same protections from trading legislation than other listing types??

    Is there really a need to fear monger buyers too???

    • Ross,

      It must have been a difficult conflict for you as a practitioner to face consumers, since you wouldn’t have been able to offer the kind of unfettered service you seek to suggest is advantageous for you and consumers, now, as an Adviser. To appease HWR, I’m going to limit my response to just three items.

      Regarding your item: “5) RECO allows convicted criminals and sex offenders to be registered but registrants can’t inform their clients of who should not be allowed in their home without breaking the Code of Ethics.” Powers greater than RECO make the decision as to whether or not those who have been convicted of crimes should be allowed to walk among us, again. Why don’t you explain to the readership what you would have RECO do in this regard, instead of being the hypocritical fear mongerer that you are?

      Regarding your item:” 6) The best 4 out of 10 homes on the market paid 160% higher fees than needed to hire people with no education or formal training in marketing or advertising other than knowing how to publish their registrant name without breaching provincial trading legislation,” Without the full context, your aforesaid statement is a hollow or worthless claim, but it is consistent with your style of working in an abstract manner to try and limit the possibility for specific scrutiny. However, let’s say for sake of argument you RossK (as the preeminent then practitioner in all of Ontario) were the marketer (listing agent) of the “best 4 out of 10 homes on the market” (a seller’s market) and you sold said homes. Would you have likely accomplished these sales by charging the seller less than 2% in total commission, and not having used the Multiple Listing Service, or would exposure on the MLS and you having charged 160% more in commission been integral to these successful sales? Ross, in your entire real estate career, how many residential homes did you sell for less than 2% in total real estate commission? I’m skeptical that you as a practitioner ever made a value argument (residential) that involved a less than 2% total commission — unless marketing wasn’t required. In my situation, we have experimented with professional advertisement agencies that would have the kind of qualifications you promoted here, and they were released because they didn’t have the product knowledge that is essential to being of any meaningful value.

      Regarding your item (9). Michael’s technical point isn’t negated by your technical point. In a competing situation aspects of REBBA would make your point moot against Michael’s and you know this, so you’ve limited the context in a self-serving attempt to try and impress novice readers.

      Whatever flaws you may be able to expose in organised real estate (accurate or not) don’t amount to an axiomatic RossK value argument.

  3. ” Yes there are options today, yes there is technology today. Working with a Realtor is still the best and safest way.”
    The bottom line of this article speaks volumes.
    Here at IMS Incorporated we stress the same idea on a daily basis. It’s safe to say with accurate data and the assurance a realtor can bring to the selling/buying process you can almost never go wrong.The general public usually doesn’t make major decisions without being highly informed on the choice they are about to make.
    Why should it be any different when it comes to real estate? If anything that’s when you have to ensure all your I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed.
    We are the “Google” generation but we all know that the auto complete function doesn’t have all the answers!
    This article was well written and made valid points Kuddos

    • Some of this is typical realtor speak but much of it is very true and relevant. Ross your feedback makes no sense, but that’s typical Ross, always having something to say about everything. These are relevant points and great ammunition for industry members. Now we just sit and wait for Alan to analyze the $#!? Out of this!

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