With the real estate market in Toronto being red-hot and ever-changing, buying a home can be a stressful proposition. To make sure you get the best deal on a property that suits your needs, you really shouldn’t go at it alone. Hiring a real estate agent is a must. However, this process itself is one that must be handled with care, as you want someone who you can trust and that has your best interests at heart. Here are a few handy tips to help you get off on the right foot.
Interview Several Potential Agents
A recent column on The Star suggests interviewing potential agents is the way to go. Remember, they work for you, so treat it like you’re hiring them for a job, as really, you kind of are. Make sure you have a good rapport with them. Ask them about their experience, the services they provide and communicate your needs with them. Importantly, make sure they’re open to questions and allowing you into the process as, at the end of the day, the investment is yours! Also, do your research. Look the potential agent up online and try to get referrals from previous clients.
Make Sure they Know the Market
Toronto Storeys suggests only considering agents with a wide range of expertise on the area you want to invest in. Consider the type of transactions they usually handle. Your situation may be outside their comfort zone. If you’re looking for a single-family home with information on school districts, make sure they have the knowledge. Also, do your research on the areas you want to invest in and make sure the prices they quote to you make sense.
They Should be Available
If you hire a real estate agent, they should work around your schedule. You shouldn’t have to bend over backwards to accommodate them. They should accommodate you. Keep in mind the number of hours they work per week can sometimes be a factor if they have limited availability. They should also take your calls and answer your questions when needed.
Avoid Double-Ended Deals
An article on CBC warns that clients should always find out whether their agent is representing both sides of a deal, meaning the buyer and the seller. They warn this could lead to a conflict of interest, and a government review of the process has been called for after a CBC Marketplace report documented several instances of the practice happening in Toronto.
Keep an Ongoing Review of Their Work
Homeownership.ca suggests keeping track of the entire process, to make sure that the relationship continues to bear fruit. If the agent is initially enthusiastic but eventually stops communicating, that does not bode well for the ultimate result. Keep track of the give and take so that, in the future, should you need to buy or sell another property, you already have a working relationship with an agent you can trust!