What Are The Benefits Of Working with a REALTOR®
So you’ve come far in your career and live in one of the best cities in the world, Vancouver. Paying rent no longer makes sense, and you’ve made the decision to buy a home for the first time. Your first bit of research should be focused on finding a great agent to work with, do you have an idea of the type of REALTOR® you want to work with? Go through the following considerations before you make this important decision.
More often than not a REALTOR® doesn’t work a typical 40 hour work week. We have to schedule our hours around the times that you are available to view properties, as well as times when the property is available to be viewed. Our days are filled with administrative responsibilities and planning our schedule. Real estate is one of the most competitive industries around, so as a rule of thumb the more chance you have to work the more success you will achieve. Because of this and many other aspects of the industry the difference between part time and full time real estate agents can be a very grey area. Instead of focusing on price or amount of hours worked, focus on whether or not the agent comes across as professional, ethical and competent. How long does it take them to answer your e-mails? Do they answer the phone when you call or does it go to an answering service? Does he or she answer all your questions in a way that makes you comfortable with that agent? Does everyone in the process get along? There is nothing worse than a personality class when it gets in the way of professional relationship.
Make sure you figure out whether the agent is too busy to work with you. If an agent has 10 listings and no support staff this can be an overwhelming burden on that REALTORS® available time. Busy is never a bad thing, but too busy can leave the service you are expecting to be unattainable. Is the agent always passing you off to his/her unlicensed assistant? This could be a sign that the agent is not able to provide you the service that you deserve. Make sure to have a great look at the website of the REALTOR®, is it user friendly and provide as much information as possible? Does the agent use other methods like Facebook and Twitter to advertise their listings? Online exposure is tremendously important these days, and using an agent with a robust online presence can provide many benefits to you and put more money in your bank account.
An agent provides you with a legal buffer when you are buying a home, think of it as an insurance policy that you don’t actually have to pay for. What do I mean by this? All of the commissions involved with a real estate transaction are incurred by the seller, the buyer doesn’t have to pay anything. But the buyer does benefit from working with a real estate agent in many ways. When you put pen to paper and are agreeing to a mortgage worth hundreds of thousands of dollars you want to make sure you’ve done your due diligence. A great buyers agent will make sure that you have all the relevant information and advice you need to make the best decision possible.
When it gets down to the nitty gritty and you decide to enter a buyer’s agreement with an agent, I’d advise you not to sign this agreement until you’ve seen one or two properties with the REALTOR®. This will help you guage the level of experience the agent is bringing to the table, and how comfortable you are working with this person. If the agent gets upset about this, it’s important to question their motives. Are they going to provide you the service and flexibility you deserve? These are very important things to consider.
Worst case scenario you have to switch to working with another REALTOR®. It happens, sometimes people just don’t work well together. Personally I’d rather work with a client who is a good fit with my professionalism and personality, it’s just easier that way. Does your agent arrive on time to appointments or even possibly not show up? This will never happen when you work with me, you can always be assured knowing you are my highest priority and I will do my utmost to make sure your experience is as successful as is humanly possible.
Good agents ask lots of questions, this provides me with the necessary information to make sure I’m not wasting your time. If I don’t know what you are pre-qualified to borrow I’m not able to show you properties within your price range. I’m very familiar with all areas of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, and can advise you on a good neighbourhood that meets your criteria. A good REALTOR® will listen carefully to your requirements and show you homes that meet your criteria. Going outside of your parameters might be an option on occasion to show you comparable properties in different communities, but you will always receive an explanation as to why I’m doing this.
Hopefully this will help you understand the benefits of working with a REALTOR® when you are buying, and give you a comprehensive understanding of what you should expect. Never be afraid to fire your agent, it’s always better to work with someone who brings qualities to the table that you value. Make sure to dot your i’s and cross your t’s, get everything in writing. Take a deep breath and do some your research, if you have a bad experience learn from it and what to look for in a competent REALTOR®. If you have any questions about the benefits of using a real estate agent to help you with buying a home or condo, please feel free to contact me any time on (604) 773-2948.