Looking for your first home?
If you are a currently house hunting, especially if you are a first-time home buyer, you may wonder how much value a real estate professional can really bring to the table. With so many online listing sites, couldn’t you find homes just as easily on your own?
A good realtor can mean finding your dream home quickly
In my opinion, it’s way more efficient and productive to work with an experienced realtor in finding a home, rather than spending hours trolling the web, and dragging yourself to every open house in the GTA. Personally, I get quite excited about checking out homes that are staged for sale, and getting ideas on new trends in home design and layouts. But, if you are using this as your main mode of finding a home, the excitement is likely to pale after a few months of fruitless looking. More importantly, if you aren’t working with a realtor, you are missing out on a vast repository of knowledge and connections that you could be using make your home buying process easier and simpler.
Five realtor benefits that are like gold
How many of us are comfortable handling real estate negotiations, and knowing how to get the best possible real estate deal? Using an experienced realtor means you have a skilled negotiator on your side. Even if you view dozens of properties, you are not likely to have the negotiating edge when you come right down to making an offer to purchase one.
In addition to the substantial education required to obtain a real estate license, realtors are also obligated to continuously educate themselves in real estate related topics. As well, they have access to market data, real estate industry materials, and fellow real estate colleagues, to further increase their knowledge of the local markets.
3. Professional network
Do you have a good local real estate lawyer in your contact database? How about a home inspector, an architect, or general contractor? A good realtor will help you by connecting you to the necessary resources for making your home purchase.
Unless you have bought a few homes yourself, it can be really hard to “see the forest for the trees”. A real estate professional will help you prioritize the items on your wish list, figure out what is truly important, and balance that against your price range. As well, if you are purchasing with a partner, it’s really helpful to be able to bounce ideas off a neutral third party, and find balance between what each of you desires in your new home.
The home buying process can get tedious at times, and even stressful. Hopefully you have a realtor who is well suited to your personality style. The best realtor for you will make the experience fun and enjoyable.
Take your time
There are currently over 42,000 real estate agents in Toronto alone. So don’t rush your decision; interview prospective real estate agents and bring a list of questions to ask to make sure you have the right one for you. One other point: be wary of “dual agency“, where the agent represents both the buyer and seller. A couple of realtors I work with have shared that one of the largest causes of complaints to RECO is people who are unhappy with the results when their agent “double-ended” the transaction. Most of the time, it makes the most sense for you to hire your realtor to represent you; to negotiate for, not against you.
At the end of the day, you will probably still spend hours obsessing about properties you discover online, or that you walk through in an open house. With a good realtor on your side, you will be able to move on from that to actually buying the home that will work perfectly for you, in real life.
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