What’s in your Realtor’s Toolbox?
By: Julian Pilarski
It’s nice when the process of buying or selling property goes smoothly. In fact, it’s a luxury. Even at the best of times the waters can get a little choppy. When the unexpected occurs, you want someone with the experience and support to calmly arm you with the knowledge and reassurance you need to weather the storm.
But wait, what does this really mean? In today’s competitive market place, multiple offers, waiving conditions and offers hundreds of thousands above list price are common. How do you know your Realtor is equipped with the knowledge and expertise that they need to arm you with the information you require to make the right decision?
For this, I would challenge you to ask yourself: is your Realtor truly doing all they can to help navigate you through these waters?
As a Professional Realtor, I have developed a keen eye for the various deficiencies, pitfalls and even blatant defects of some properties. Yes, more often than not, buyers and sellers have their homes inspected by qualified inspectors sometime during the sale or purchase process. But shouldn’t the individual brokering one of the most expensive transactions of your life be able to bring to your attention some fundamental information about your acquisition?
Without reservation, I believe the answer should be an unwavering YES. From the inception of my career, I have adopted the motto “Delivering results with integrity” to accurately depict how I have chosen to operate my business. Nearly a decade later, I embrace and employ these principles by elevating my professional services, knowledge and expertise on a regular basis by being one step ahead of the rest. Here’s how.
Here are some of the tools that I use on my routine inspections with clients:
Receptacle/ GFIC Tester:
The Receptacle/GFIC Tester is a fantastic method to help give an overall scope of a home’s electrical systems. The device is a simple tool that essentially accomplishes 3 tasks: confirms a plug’s grounding, verifies the proper wiring of a circuit wiring (correct, reverse, incorrect.) and tests the proper function of a GFIC (ground fault interrupter circuit). Plugging this device into any receptacle will help identify any electrical related issues commonly found in any home, condo or townhome. A simple check will help establish the need to investigate further, and offer insight into the overall health of the electrical systems found within a property.
My favorite use: Illustrating to a client that just because a brand “new” electrical receptacle/outlet has been installed does not always indicate that the electrical system has been updated or is even safe.
The “Magic Electrical Wand” as I often refer to it; the Voltage Detector is a simple device that detects any voltage without direct contact to an exposed wire. This device, therefore, allows you to safely detect if a wire is live, whether or not there is an active power source going to a fixture or simply testing a circuit.
My favorite use: Exposing the truth about active “knob-and-tube” wiring. Most of the original homes in the City of Toronto had been wired with this now out-of-date wiring. It is an expensive and laborious task to retrofit an existing home with new standardized wiring. As a result, often claims are made that this primitive wiring has been “updated” or is no longer in use. With a quick wave of the wand, I can detect an active line in seconds – Safe, Easy and Effective.
Digital Moisture Meter:
Damp basement? Rotting bathroom tiles? Funky smell? There are hundreds of practical applications for a Digital Moisture Meter. A simple probe can help indicate areas of elevated moisture in homes. Whether it is suspect area in a basement, a questionable area around the tub or a patch on the ceiling – the moisture meter will aid in identifying a potential problem where moisture could pose a concern.
My favorite use: showing my clients that the “newly finished” basement might be nothing more than a cover up for a damp basement to the unsuspecting buyer.
Digital Infrared Thermometer:
If it sounds impressive, it’s because it is. This tool is one of my favorites; beam this infrared sensor at any object and in seconds a digital temperature will appear. This tool is critical in helping establish levels of insulation (or lack thereof), a leaking window or doorway, the proper functioning of Heating and Cooling systems, and in some cases discovering gaping holes in foundations.
My favorite use: Helping illustrate to clients the importance of insulation materials and in some instances to raise questions about that “newly insulated” home.
These are just some of the tools that I find myself using on routine inspection with clients. These tools along with the application of common sense, knowledge and experience can help assure that my clients are well equipped with what they need to make an educated decision. This elevated level of professional service is what you should expect from your agent, so when you find yourself considering a professional to help navigate those uncharted waters of home buying and selling, ask your realtor: “What’s in your tool box?”