Education is key to preventing homebuyers' remorse

by Olivia D'Orazio06 Nov 2014
Homeowners are often filled with regrets after buying and selling a home, found a new RECO survey, underscoring agents’ need to better educate their clients.
“Buying or selling a home can seem confusing and stressful to many—but there are steps everyone can take to make the process easier and more satisfying,” says RECO Registrar Joseph Richer. “These results are a telling reminder that a good understanding of the real estate process can lead to fewer long-term regrets.”
The Real Estate Council of Ontario released the results of a survey finding 41 per cent of Ontarians wish they had done something differently when buying or selling a home. Among those regrets were their grasp of the process and their full understanding of the contracts.
Agents, along with real estate lawyers, often bear the brunt of the work in explaining these convoluted contracts to clients. But the results of the RECO survey suggest thereis more that agents can do to ensure that buyers and sellers fully understand what they’re signing off on.
“If you’re not educating your clients, you’re not doing your job,” says agent Dustin Graham. “It’s that simple. Our job comes down to saving as much money as possible, but that doesn’t do any good if they don’t understand what’s going on.”
Graham says he spends the majority of his initial client meetings educating them on what to expect. He says this is an especially important step for first-time buyers, 32 per cent of whom did not feel prepared or knowledgeable about the process, RECO said.
“If you set them up properly, you’re less likely to disappoint them through miscommunications,” Graham says. “You’re creating an environment of understanding. They’re not going to have any misconceptions about how the process goes down because you’ve already taught them what they can expect for each step along the way.”
RECO launched its Fact or Fiction campaign, urging the buying and selling public to work with a registered real estate agent. The move is a challenge to all industry players – veterans and rookies alike – to step up to the plate and best serve their clients through education.
“These [survey] results are a telling reminder that a good understanding of the real estate process can lead to fewer long-term regrets,” says Richer. “This is why we are launching Fact or Fiction – a public education campaign to educate Ontarians about the real estate industry and what resources are available to help them when making such an important financial decision.”

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