Today buying & leasing clients have access to more resources than ever before to find a new home; but that doesn’t always mean they are the same or you will get the same services. Your Realtor® uses the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) that gives access to listings that are in your area and being offered by a registered Realtor® in most cases. This service provides high quality listings across the province and your agent can most definitely assist you through the process of viewing, researching & offering on any one of these listings.
This is however, not the case with many Kijiji or Craigslist ads as in many cases the listing is being presented by the landlord himself (or his agent) with the hopes that a tenant will appear without an agent which gives them an upper hand in negotiations. How fair is it that your landlord has a professional, but you are not able to bring one to the table? Well, you are, but you’d have to pay your Realtors® commission out of our own pocket, and many leasing clients do not have those sorts of funds available.
What many people aren’t aware of is the fact that in many cases listings on Kijiji & Craigslist are written to entice people to come and view it with the expectation that there will be multiple offers driving the price up higher than it was originally listed at. In most cases the landlord/listing agent will book multiple showings at the same time and have a number of interested parties on site to see who will offer the best price.
As you are unable to have an agent present (unless you agree to pay the commission and only with the Landlord/Agent permission), you are often in an emotionally driven environment that will result in a higher lease/buying price or much frustration on your end with no one you can rely on to assist you.
Also, increasingly people are getting caught in scams or fake ads that pose numerous security risks for you and those you love. It takes only seconds for someone to post a leasing/rental ad on these sites and as they can grab any photos of the property on the internet; it can make them look very legitimate. No matter where you are looking for a new home remember to always use common sense and if it sounds too good to be true; it probably is.
I always make sure when I meet clients for the first time relating to buying & leasing that they understand these issues and why just because it’s listed on other sites at a lower price that it might not be the best route to take as it might cause more issues and concerns.
Once you sign a year lease, it is almost impossible to get out of it without fulfilling the terms as agreed to, so why wouldn’t you want a representative working on your side when you negotiate your lease? I personally believe it’s in your best interests to work with a Realtor® to find a rental on MLS® prior to looking on Kijiji & Craigslist but that decision is up to you (and I’m a bit biased haha).
So before contacting a Realtor®, make sure you understand the differences of the websites & services mentioned and remember; you are not alone.
I am here to, and want to, help!
Blog By Jason McGregor, Sales Representative