Value of REALTOR® in current market

Winnipeg’s September MLS® market remained exceedingly strong. Sales of 1,060 units equaled September 2005, the previous month and year that had recorded the best-ever sales total. 

Dollar volume once again set an all-time new monthly high in September with over $177 million in sales. 

As a result, sales were among the best annual WinnipegREALTORS® performances on record for the first three-quarters of 2007 at over 10,500 MLS® sales. Year-to-date dollar volume of $1.78 billion also moved ahead at a quick pace, and is closing in on last year’s highest record dollar volume total of $1.86 billion. 

It is safe to say  that for the first time in WinnipegREALTORS® 104-year history over $2 billion worth of MLS® transactions will be recorded by the end of the year.

However, with success comes responsibility. There is no question that the current sellers’ market (it has been a sellers’ market for a few years) can lead to multiple offers — simply matching the MLS® list price may well fall short of the final price realized for a home. Since sellers are in the enviable position of being able to dictate terms, it does not mean buyers should lose sight of taking due diligence. 

Under the present market conditions, a buyer is significantly better off enlisting the expertise of a REALTOR® who brings to the table the tools needed to deal with multiple offers. 

A REALTOR® will provide answers to the following questions:

• What price should you offer? 

• How much are you prepared to counter-offer if you find yourself in a multiple offer situation? 

REALTORS® will review and analyze any recent sales and/or listings of similar homes in a neighbourhood, providing an assessment of what homes are commanding on the market. They are trained professionals experienced in negotiations that take into account current market conditions. They also bring objectivity to a situation where emotions can get the better of you. 

Beyond hard data on the  market, REALTORS® do develop an innate sense of determining realistic pricing. 

REALTORS® also pre-qualify buyers to determine what they can afford. 

If a buyer does need financing to purchase a home, it is not advisable to make a conditional offer with the hope that financing will eventually come through — a contract is a contract.

Buyers can speak to the REALTOR® about professional inspections as part of the viewing process, especially if they are concerned a seller might not accept an offer conditional to an inspection. 

The concept of caveat emptor, or buyer beware, is alive and well in Canada. Buyers need to take heed — sellers are not required to guarantee the condition of their property (some exceptions apply). 

This is another reason to have a professional guide you through every step of the purchasing process in order for you to come to an informed 

final decision. 

It is important to know that REALTORS® are governed by a code of ethics and standards of business practice. As your agent, the REALTOR® owes you his/her utmost care, integrity, confidentiality and loyalty.

The real estate industry understands how stressful the home buying process can be for everyone involved, especially with limited inventory of highly-sought after properties in specific price ranges and neighbourhoods. 

The reality in Winnipeg is that sellers’ market conditions will likely continue due to solid employment and improving net migration to Manitoba. People need a place to live and existing homes tend to be the default choice when new homes are not readily available, or are too expensive, and rental accommodations are limited or not suitable.

It should be pointed out that local and provincial organized real estate has convened a task force to review the rules associated with multiple offers so that buyers and sellers can be best served under less than optimal situations. The task force review is being performed in co-operation with organized real estate’s licensing body, the Manitoba Securities Commission.

Organized real estate is committed to excellence through providing state-of-the art services such as the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®). Buyers and sellers can continue to rely on REALTORS® to provide them with the professional services they have come to expect.