For the average consumer, buying a home can mean a lot of confusion, a lot of questions, and a lot of learning - particularly as a first-time home-buyer. This is why working with a knowledgeable real estate agent is so important as they can answer all of the unknowns for you, and help ease your concerns.
In a previous post we have discussed things that real estate agents should be doing for home sellers but today we are going to flip that around and look at the expectations a home buyer should have from a real estate agent that is working on their behalf.
As a homebuyer here are 6 of the top things you should expect from your real estate agent when looking to buy a home:
Honesty and Open communication
When choosing a real estate agent it is important to meet them in person so that you can build a rapport and be sure that you can trust them. You need an agent that is honest and will provide you with full disclosure when it comes to the potential properties you are interested in and the communications that they have with the seller. Use your best judgment when meeting a potential agent to determine if you will feel comfortable working with them as you search for a home. In addition to your judgment, you can also ask to speak with some home buyers that the agent has represented in the past. If the agent is getting positive reviews from people they have represented in the past, that is a great way to help ease your mind on the way they will represent you.
Not only is it important for your agent to have an open line of communication with you, your agent also needs to be in constant communication with the seller's agent as well as your attorney. For a sale to go smoothly, everyone that is a part of the process needs to be on the same page, and this largely falls on the buyers' agent to ensure this is happening.
Knowledge of the local market
In Toronto and the GTA there are so many different neighbourhoods that each have their unique offerings. If you have a specific area in mind that you would like to buy in or a handful of neighbourhoods that you are considering, you should work with an agent that is familiar with these areas. Markets can change from one region to another and they can also have different rules that your realtor will need to know to best serve your interests.
Additionally, you will want to make sure that your agent knows the differences between purchasing a house versus purchasing a condo as there can be different steps involved.
Knowing the specific market that you are looking to get into is arguably most important when it comes to making an offer on a property. You do not want to come in with an offer that is too low and miss out on a something that you have fallen in love with, but equally, as critical, you do not want to place an offer that is too high and end up spending thousands more than you had to secure that property. Having an agent represent you that knows the market can go a long way to help you make the best decisions.
Get you pre-approved
If you are not already pre-approved for a mortgage when you first meet with your realtor it is great if your agent has a network of lenders that they can connect you with to grant you pre-approval before you start shopping for a home. You need to be pre-approved before you can make any offers and you do not want to find a property that you are interested in and then lose it before you can make an offer because you are not yet pre-approved.
Finding a home that you want to buy and actually closing the purchase of that home can take a lot of time. You need an agent that is willing to commit as much time as you need to land the property that you want - and they need to work around your schedule. You will also need to make yourself available for conversations and i-person viewings to help make sure that you do not miss out on any opportunities.
Ability to negotiate
Negotiating is a big part of buying a home, and you will want to make sure that your agent is a strong negotiator when they are negotiating on your behalf. Whether it's negotiating the actual purchase price of your home or negotiating a home inspection or repair requests, there are several times that this skill will be put to the test and you need someone that you are confident is going to get you the best deal.
Plenty of information can be obtained through a home inspection and your realtor can leverage this information to help you negotiate a better price, have the current owner complete repairs prior to your purchase, or make other concessions in the sale.
For most people, buying a home is the largest purchasing decision that they will make in their life. Make sure that your buying agent is doing these things for you and you will be on your way to a great purchase. And if you need to be put in touch with an agent that will do all of this and more, get in touch with a Cityscape Agent today!