Yesterday the Government of the Northwest Territories announced its “Emerging Wisely” plan for a phased relaxing of COVID-19-related restrictions. Even before this announcement we in the real estate industry had already seen signs of life in the market (there have been 30 new MLS® listings in the first 13 days of May), so if phase one of Emerging Wisely proceeds on May 16th, we expect real estate activity will increase sharply. That’s the #1 reason why now is a great time to connect with a Buyer’s Agent. And here are five more great reasons.
#2. You’ll be Competing Against Buyers Who Are Working with Buyer’s Agents
If you have decided you want to buy a home, you are about to enter into a marketplace where other buyers may be looking for the exact same type of home you are hoping to find. The market can be more competitive some years than others, and we don’t really know how things will shape up this year, but there is always a possibility that you could find yourself in a competitive situation. And there is a chance the buyers you will be competing against have a head start; they may have been working with their Buyer’s Agents for a while, they’ve had the chance to get to know each other, and the Agents have an in-depth understanding of the buyers’ wants, needs, hopes and dreams. In short, they are ready to pull the trigger on an offer. This is not a level of readiness that most buyers arrive at on the very first day they connect with a Buyer’s Agent; it takes time, so it’s important to start the process early.
#3. In the COVID-19 Era, Properties Are Sometimes Snatched Up Without Warning
This change has surprised everyone at our brokerage. A year ago, if you had asked me how much interest there was in a given listing, I could have answered you with a high degree of certainty based on attendance at open houses, the frequency of viewings, people coming and going from the office signing documents, etc. But today, signs of activity are hidden from view. There might be two or three different REALTORS® within our brokerage, let alone other brokerages, who have been covertly meeting with buyer clients online, exploring a given listing’s virtual tour and using tools like Zoom to review and prepare offer documents. One day you’re browsing a listing online, thinking about calling a Buyer’s Agent to discuss submitting an offer, and the next day it appears as “Sale Pending.” Make no mistake, this has always been the way of things to a certain extent, it’s just that now your Buyer’s Agent, and even the Listing Agent, won’t be able to see it coming as well as they might have last year. So what can be done about it? In the face of all these technological advances, good Buyer’s Agents are also going low tech – they are building closer relationships with other Realtors, both their teammates and Realtors at competing brokerages, to ensure that they have direct access to listings the second they hit the market, or even before they hit the market. But this won’t benefit you if aren’t actively working with them yet.
#4. Listing Agents are Reluctant to Allow Unrepresented Buyers into their Clients’ Homes
In the COVID-19 era, Buyer’s Agents provide certainty for home owners by making sure that only the most serious of potential buyers advance to the in-person viewing stage. This may begin to change as the GNWT’s Emerging Wisely Plan takes shape, but vetting buyers will still remain a very important factor. Until a vaccine exists and is widely administered, home sellers will not open up their doors to just anyone. Given this, Buyers Agents now play a more important role than ever before.
#5. It’s Hard to Beat the Value for Dollar
When people list their homes on the Yellowknife Multi-Listing Service, they agree up front to pay a commission to the Agent who will eventually work with a successful buyer. So, the commission is already built into the listing contract. You could choose not to work with a Buyer’s Agent, but then the entire commission will simply go to the Listing Agent, and you will be unrepresented. That would be a mistake. Working with a Buyer’s Agent costs you nothing – it is the best financial decision you will make this year.
#6. Buyers Agents are Good at What They Do
Before 2012, Buyer Agency wasn’t a “thing” in Yellowknife. Realtors only represented homeowners and buyers were left to fend for themselves in making the biggest financial decision of their lives. Our brokerage changed all of that and since then our Buyer’s Agents have refined their craft and keep finding new ways to add value. And we are very fortunate that buyers keep coming to us and trusting us with their purchases – so far this year, even in the midst of a pandemic, we have represented almost twice as many buyers as any other brokerage (1.8 times to be precise, based on Yellowknife Real Estate Board MLS® statistics from January 1 to May 13, 2020).
We love representing buyers, and we truly believe that Buyer Agency is more valuable now than ever. So please don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of our team. Paula, Mike, Dwayne, Jean, Devon, Jennifer and Kathy are here to help you. Establish a relationship with a Buyer’s Agent who is the right fit for you and your family, and they will guide you through what may be the most important financial decision of your life.
*Trademarks are owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA (REALTOR®) and/or the quality of services they provide (MLS®).