A REALTOR® is a licensed real estate professional who is a member of a local real estate Board, The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and a provincial association. In my case, the local Board is The Barrie & District Association of REALTORS® (formerly the Barrie & District Real Estate Board), the provinical association The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). A REALTOR® has successfully completed an intensive course of study, maintains his or her education with mandatory semi-annual upgrading and has skills, knowledge and experience in real estate transactions. REALTORS® are licenced, must adhere to provincial law and abide by a REALTOR® Code of Ethics, ensuring a high level of service, honesty and integrity.
Using a REALTOR® to buy or sell real property is the best decision you can make. REALTORS® have access to the Multiple Listing Service®, commonly referred to as the MLS®. The MLS® is simply the most powerful marketing tool ever developed for the sale of real property.
If you are selling a property, listing with a REALTOR® who uses the MLS® means your property gets maximum marketing exposure to all other members of the local Board. You'll have REALTORS® everywhere trying to find a buyer for your property. It is the MLS® computer system that will provide other members of the real estate Board with detailed information about your property.
Don't be fooled by those who will make a case that it is easy to sell real property without the services of a REALTOR®. A property marketed for sale without being listed on the MLS® through the services of a REALTOR® lacks the one form of exposure which results in the overwhelming majority of sales. In fact, homes sold as a result of MLS® listings outnumber those sold as a result of all other kinds of marketing put together!
If you are buying a property, the MLS® system is a valuable research tool for your REALTOR®. They'll input the criteria you want and generate a list of all properties that meet your needs. These homes might be listed by other REALTORS® from five or ten other companies - to your REALTOR®, it doesn't matter. Their goal is to help you find the property you want. The MLS® system supplements the in-depth knowledge the REALTOR® has of the neighbourhood and current market conditions to help you make a wise buying decision.
Buyers who "go it alone" are at a disadvantage relative to those who engage the services of a REALTOR® to help them. While it is true that todays' buyers have access to a multitude of real estate resources never before available, including a fantastically useful online database of homes culled from MLS® listings called REALTOR.ca, it is also true that a REALTOR® has more and vastly superior information at his or her fingertips. For instance, a REALTOR® has easy access to zoning information, property assessment and tax information, previous listing and sales information and information about the sales of area and comparable homes at his or her disposal. This information is not otherwise readily available and is information which is virtually essential in ensuring a buyer makes the best possible decision with respect to a real property purchase.
So whether you want to find and purchase the home of your dreams or want to sell your home as quickly as possible and for the very best price, carefully consider your objectives before making a hasty decision. Using the services of a REALTOR® is the very best way to ensure that your real estate needs are met.