You may be asking yourself, “why should I hire a realtor or real estate agent?” Or you may be wondering, what is a realtor going to do for me when I can find all the information I need on apartments and condos on the Internet?

As a buyer, there is no charge for using the services of a real estate agent. The cost of commission is always borne by the seller.

Fees for the seller are usually around 7% on the first $100,000 of the purchase price, with a fee of 2.5% charged on the remaining balance. Depending on what jurisdiction you are in, tax may be payable on top of the commission fee once the property is sold.

Realtors and agents have insider knowledge

It’s true that the internet has made it much easier find properties and search for a new home. Details that were previously only available to realtors and real estate agents are now available to everyone. One of the most valuable pieces of information for buyers is the sales history of the unit, and the sale prices of similar units in the same building or nearby.

Despite all of the information available online, a good real estate agent can get you into new listings first, so you can get a jump on the competition. Agents are also often “in the know” about upcoming listings that haven’t even hit the market yet.

Plus, they have extensive knowledge of the market conditions, pricing, buildings and neighbourhoods – which properties are a good buy and which to avoid.

Solid negotiation skills

One of the most important skills that realtors and real estate agents bring to the table is negotiation skills. Unlike a buyer, they are not emotionally attached to the property, and can negotiate in your best interests.

Guidance through closing process

Your agent will be able to guide you through the closing process, including information on property taxes owing, property transfer tax and building move-in fees. They will also be able to recommend notaries or lawyers to assist with closing paperwork, which can be confusing at times.