Being a REALTOR is not all champagne dreams and caviar wishes. Of course, you know the image of most top producers–top down on the convertible as you drive to the country club. Sealing a deal on the eighteenth green, then sitting back and celebrating our success with a Filet Mignon and Martini (shaken, not stirred).
Well, this country girl prefers an ice cold beer, and here in Ontario, they make us work for those clients and that beer.
Over the last year or so, things have seemed a little bit different, though. Houses are selling faster than they used to, property values are going up, and people are talking about how lucky it is to be a REALTOR in a market like this.
This isn’t the first time, of course, and it won’t be the last time that people wonder what we’re doing to earn those commissions. No, we’re not just client chauffeurs, though sometimes that’s part of the job.
A great REALTOR is like the proverbial swan–serene on the surface, but paddling like hell underneath. We are marketing experts, financial wizards, counselors, coaches, and more. Our value is in our network, our knowledge, and our knack for multitasking.
I know it’s tempting to think when the market is hot that you don’t need a REALTOR. Just stick a sign in the yard and you’re done, right? Well, not exactly. Even in an up market, the expertise and experience of a knowledgeable REALTOR is an asset you don’t want to do without.
REALTORS are home owners just like you. And when we buy and sell our own homes we too want to make sure we can save as much money for ourselves and not get caught in the red tape. We understand the impulse to DIY your home sale to avoid those commissions.
But the reality is that great REALTORS are not only there to help with individual sales, but by supporting and improving the local market, impact the health of that market for everyone. Through the way we do business, the way we represent our area, and the advocacy that we do at the local, provincial, and national level, we actually help to create the market conditions that make for stronger home values. Here are just a few of the ways we help and reasons why you still need a REALTOR.
Fiduciary Responsibility: This is a fancy way of saying that our responsibility–our only responsibility–is to your financial benefit. There is nobody else in the home sale process for whom you are the top priority–not the closing attorney, not the buyer’s agent, and not the buyers themselves. You need someone to not only analyze the market and ensure you get every penny you deserve for your home. You need someone to help negotiate and structure the deal for your maximum benefit.
Homeowner Advocacy: Through our association with OREA (Ontario Real Estate Association) our top mission is to help build stronger communities. That means we create advocacy programs like the “Don’t Tax My Dream” initiative to organize resistance to a proposed Municipal Land Transfer Tax. This program successfully galvanized Ontarians in opposition to a tax that would affect home affordability now and down the road. This initiative is just one way we are ensuring that you get the benefit of your home’s increased equity and market value, not municipal authorities.
Tax Rebates: In addition, programs like the Land Transfer Tax rebate for first-time homebuyers–a program we promoted–has resulted in thousands of dollars in savings for Ontario homebuyers. More savings translates into more buyers and better home prices, keeping our local market strong and growing.
Streamlined Processing: Through our advocacy, we have created and promoted the use of technological advances to make the homebuying and selling process more convenient, secure, and seamless than ever before. Tools like Electronic Signatures allow us to simplify the paperwork process and provide better communication for our clients. That translates into more sales and more successful closing processes.
But we’re just getting started. There is so much more that we are doing to help create ongoing growth and optimal results in the Ontario market. We know that the more we work with regulatory and taxation agencies, the better the process for everyone. That means more people entering the home buying market, and more competition for your home. That translates into better prices and shorter days on market.
Some of our current initiatives include:
- A full review of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act. As the real estate industry continues to grow and develop, we need to ensure that our process and guidelines keep pace with the rapid changes in technology and marketing platforms. By ensuring that we are the industry leading voice in real estate, we ensure that the Ontario market remains the most competitive and desirable in the country.
- Condominium Regulatory Changes. Designed to enhance affordability and consumer protections, we engage in ongoing advocacy for comprehensive improvements to the way condominiums are managed and regulated. Condominiums make up more than half of all new home construction, so taking care of this important sector of homeowners and homebuyers is good for the entire Ontario housing market.
There’s nothing more important for the health of a real estate market than ensuring that the system works for homeowners and home buyers. Just like in your individual transaction, we take our duty seriously to support and improve the local market, which then supports and improve each property’s value and potential.
Let me put my market expertise to work for you. Whether you are selling, buying, or know someone with real estate goals in mind, I want to help.
Contact me today to get your home listed and one of those FREE chauffeur tours around town.