Buyers

Finding the right agent

You want to find the right home, in the right location, at the right price - and you want to do it quickly, with minimum hassle. The best way to do that is to work with a professional realtor who understands your wants and needs, your time frame and your financial boundaries.

Why work with an agent?

  • You'll save time. An agent can pinpoint homes that fit your needs and dismiss those that don't.
  • You benefit from an experienced negotiator. Your agent will manage your offers and counter-offers, ensuring that you get the best possible price for your home.
  • You'll get the right information. Your agent knows the neighbourhood and can give you accurate information on local real estate values, taxes, utility costs, services and amenities.
  • You can always count on great advice. Because your agent is familiar with the entire home purchasing process, he or she can advise you of your legal and financial options, and recommend appraisal, home inspection and contracting services.

Choose an agent who understands your needs

Here are a few questions to ask to help you determine if an agent is right for you:
 
  • Will you be representing my interests?
  • Do you have access to MLS information?
  • Will you provide market evidence to support the price?
  • Will you look after closing and possession details?
  • an you be contacted at any time?

Working with an agent

Let your real estate agent do the searching for you. The best buys aren't in the newspaper ads; most great opportunities are on "hot sheets" that are available every morning to salespeople with access to MLS information.
An agent's job is to:
 
  • Provide information on the property and the area
  • Negotiate a price and terms that are agreeable to both buyer and seller
  • Help arrange a source of financing
As a homebuyer, you must work with your agent to find the home that's right for you. Communication is key - tell your agent what you want, and be specific.
 
  • Offer a detailed description of your property needs and wants. If you will absolutely not consider a house without a hardwood floor, say so. And if air conditioning is a "nice to have" rather than a "must have," communicate that, too.
  • Be specific about where you want to live. If you refuse to live outside a certain area, it might take longer to find you a home, but your agent will know not to waste your time with anything not in your chosen neighbourhood.
  • Tell your agent what you can afford. He or she can help you get a pre-approved mortgage so you know for sure what your price range will be.
  • Communicate your likes and dislikes for each property you see. It will help your agent narrow down the possibilities.
  • Commit to one salesperson.
  • Respect and perform the terms of the purchase agreement.
  • Keep an open mind. Agents know about those charming little areas that you've never even heard of. You might find your dream home in a completely unexpected place.

Understanding market conditions

The real estate market is always changing, and it helps to understand how market conditions can affect your position as a buyer. Your agent can provide you with info on current conditions and explain their impact on you.

Buyers' market

The supply of homes on the market exceeds demand.

Characteristics
  • High inventory of homes
  • Few buyers compared to availability
  • Homes on the market longer
  • Prices tend to drop
Implications
  • More time to look for a home
  • More negotiating leverage

Sellers' market

The number of buyers wanting homes exceeds the supply of homes on the market.

Characteristics
  • Smaller inventory of homes
  • Many buyers
  • Homes sell quickly
  • Prices usually increase
Implications
  • May have to pay more
  • Must make decisions quickly
  • Conditional offers may be rejected

Balanced market

The number of homes on the market is equal to the number of buyers.

Characteristics
  • Sellers accept reasonable offers
  • Homes sell within an acceptable time period
  • Prices generally stable
Implications
  • More relaxed atmosphere
  • Reasonable number of homes to choose from

DISCLAIMER

The information contained herein has been compiled from sources deemed to be reliable and while not guaranteed is believed to be factual and accurate. It is not intended to recommend or discredit any company or person, and is furnished solely for information. Jasmine Bharucha, her associates, employees, contractors, and other persons and corporations contributing in any way to the preparation of this website do not endorse or recommend any product, service, person or company mentioned herein, and do not suggest or imply that such product, service, person or company mentioned herein is superior to any other product, service, person or company.