Real estate is a big deal. For most Indians, a home is the most expensive purchase they'll make in their lifetime. It's a serious transaction with significant financial and emotional attachment for the parties involved, and having proper representation is critical.
Real Estate Consultant’s representation during a real estate transaction is important for both buyers and sellers. Here are the ten main reasons:
When you work with a Real Estate Consultant, their Prime Responsibility is to protect you. That means you have an expert who is looking out for your best financial interests, an expert who's contractually bound to do everything in their power to protect you. The value of that commitment cannot be overstated. Real Estate Consultants have subscribed to the RERA's strict Code of Ethics as a condition of membership.
"Real Estate Consultants have the expertise and experience to help sellers protect their investment and help buyers build theirs."
A real estate consultant’s full-time job is to act as a liaison between buyers and sellers. This means that he or she will have easy access to all other properties listed by other consultants. Both the buyer’s and seller’s consultant work full time as real estate consultants and they know what needs to be done to get a deal together. For example, if you are looking to buy a home, a real estate consultant will track down homes that meet your criteria, get in touch with seller and make appointments for you to view the homes. If you are buying on your own, you will have to play this telephone tag yourself. This may be especially difficult if you’re shopping for homes that are for sale by owner.
Similarly, if you are looking to sell your home yourself, you will have to solicit calls from interested parties, answer questions and make appointments. Keep in mind that potential buyers are likely to move on if you tend to be busy or don’t respond quickly enough. Alternatively, you may find yourself making an appointment and rushing home, only to find that no one shows up.
However, buyers who are looking to purchase a home sold by owners may also believe they can save some money on the home by not having a consultant involved. They might even expect it and make an offer accordingly. However, unless buyer and seller agree to split the savings, they can’t both save the commission.
There are lots of sites where you can view price estimates for your home before you list it for sale, but you take a risk using them. In some markets, online estimates can be off by as much as 35 percent, and they often rely on tax records and data that can be as old as 6-12 months.
Real Estate Consultants know the local market, have access to the freshest sale data, and can quote or price your house in line with the market to maximize your earnings.
Finding the right home is the fun part. Then the real work begins. Today's contracts can be 50 pages long -- not counting addendums and riders. Real Estate Consultants can help you navigate these complex documents and craft an attractive offer that makes sense for you. Plus, when it comes to negotiation, your Real Estate Consultant is your advocate and can bring an objective voice to a very subjective situation.
Well, OK, actually they can. But because they are licensed professionals there are more repercussions if they do than for a private buyer or seller. If you are working with a licensed real estate consultant under an agency agreement, (i.e., a conventional, full-service commission agreement in which the consultant agrees to represent you), your consultant will be bound by common law (in most states - RERA) to a fiduciary relationship. In other words, the consultant is bound by license law to act in their clients’ best interest (not his or her own).
In addition, most consultants rely on referrals and repeat business to build the kind of clientele base they’ll need to survive in the business. This means that doing what’s best for their clients should be as important to them as any individual sale.
Many people don’t like the idea of doing a real estate deal throughconsultant and feel that direct negotiation between buyers and sellers is more transparent and allows the parties to better look after their own best interests. This is probably true–assuming that both the buyer and seller in a given transaction are reasonable people who are able to get along. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an easy relationship.
What if you, as a buyer, like a home but despise its wood-panelled walls, shag carpet and lurid orange kitchen? If you are working with aconsultant, you can express your contempt for the current owner’s decorating skills and rant about how much it’ll cost you to upgrade the home without insulting the owner.
Your real estate consultant can convey your concerns to the seller. Acting as a messenger, the consultant may be in a better position to negotiate a discount without ruffling the homeowner’s feathers.
A real estate consultant can also play the bad guy in a transaction, preventing the bad blood between a buyer and seller that can kill a deal. Keep in mind that a seller can reject a potential buyer’s offer for any reason–including just because they hate his or her guts. Consultant can help by speaking for you in tough transactions and smoothing things over to keep them from getting too personal. This can put you in a better position to get the house you want. The same is true for the seller, who can benefit from a hard-nosed real estate consultant who will represent their interests without turning off potential buyers who want to niggle about the price.
Many people avoid using a real estate consultant to save money, but keep in mind that it is unlikely that both the buyer and seller will reap the benefits of not having to pay commissions. For example, if you are selling your home on your own, you will price it based on the sale prices of other comparable properties in your area. Many of these properties will be sold with the help of a consultant. This means that the seller keep the percentage of the home’s sale price that might otherwise be paid to the real estate consultant.
Finally, if you do find that your consultant has gotten away with lying to you, you will have more avenues for recourse, such as through your consultant’s broker, with real estate governing acts (such as the RERA) or possibly even in court if you can prove that your consultant has failed to uphold his fiduciary duties.
When a buyer and seller work together directly, they can (and should) seek legal counsel, but because each is expected to act in his or her best interest, there isn’t much you can do if you find out later that you’ve been duped about multiple offers or the home’s condition. And having a lawyer on retainer any time you want to talk about potentially buying or selling a house could cost far more than consultant’s commissions by the time the transaction is complete.
Buying or selling a home is not like purchasing a grocery. Every home is different, and laws change every year and vary from state to state. Generally speaking, most of the Indian people purchase a new home once or twice in their lifetime, and a lot can -- and usually does -- change between transactions.
Real Estate Consultants are immersed in real estate, and they must stay current with all the updates in regulations, laws, contracts and practices. Once you retain your Real Estate Consultant, they put that knowledge to work for you.
Browsing online is a terrific way to start a home search -- in fact, almost 90 percent of people start their home search online. But when it's time to buy, knowing all the pros and cons of a property can help you make the right decision.
Real Estate Consultants live and breathe real estate, and they can share information about a home that you wouldn't otherwise know. For example, they can tell you about the Developers past & future. They even guide you about real time experiences from their other clients about project you have selected.
Your Real Estate Consultant can go beyond the aesthetics and tell you important details about homes you're considering.
When you work with a Real Estate Consultant, you're partnering with a professional who operates according to a strict code of ethics.
The Real Estate Consultant Code of Ethics ensures that consumers who work with a Real Estate Consultant are treated professionally and ethically in all transaction-related matters.
While there are certainly people who are qualified to sell their own homes, taking a quick look at the long list of frequently asked questions on most for sale by owner websites suggests the process isn’t as simple as many people assume. And when you get into a difficult situation, it can really pay to have a professional on your side.