Yes, I'm a Realtor. However, as I've written about often here, that means I wear many hats.
One of the more undervalued and under promoted skills I offer and use every day is that of consultant (or as I've read recently, a disambiguator). The Oxford dictionary definition of a consultant is "a person who provides expert advice professionally".
Do I get paid for this? Not directly. Do I have to provide this service to be a Realtor? I think I do although many other Realtors may not. In fact, many may not be able to because of their limited knowledge and experience. I love this part of the job. It's Problem Solving 101 and I'm good at it.
Young man calls me and wants to meet to discuss buying a house with the help of his out of town parents. Next time his parents are in the city, we all meet at my office. They've never done anything like this before so there is lots to discuss.
I introduce them to a mortgage broker I know and trust so they can learn what their options are regarding principal of mortgage, the cash that mom and dad will be providing (are there restrictions because it's a gift?), monthly payments, carrying costs of the house and so on.
I introduce them to a real estate lawyer to discuss how to structure the ownership. Dad originally thought all three would be on title but when he learns that this property could become the principal residence of his son who in turn could use the capital gain as a tax free benefit, he admits it's wise to rethink this. This leads us to the idea of buying it as Tenants-in-Common i.e. each of them are on title but for a predetermined percentage. For example, mom and dad could each own 5% and their son could benefit from the capital gain on his 90%.
I'm then told the parents might retire to the city in a few years and take over the house form their son when he's ready to move up into a large and hopefully matrimonial home. This leads to a lengthy discussion about where they might actually like to live in relation to where their son would likely want to live. This part of the equation is very uncertain so this leads us to the idea of the house as a post retirement investment with rental potential. "Mmmm..." they say. "We hadn't thought of that".
We ended our meeting with the dad telling me has a lot to think about and discuss with his financial advisor. Next time we meet, we'll be much closer to proceeding with a purchase.