Buying a home can be overwhelming, it is important to have someone to guide you through the process and help with the transaction. A realtor can help you in your search by using their knowledge of the market as well as handling the purchase negotiation. Here are a few tips to consider when you are choosing one:
1) Stay local
Like humans, every neighbourhood is unique. Little details such as the location of schools, transit hubs, and waste management plants (think Marshall and Lily in How I Met Your Mother) can raise or lower the value of a home. A realtor focused on your neighbourhood will be knowledgeable about these factors, as well as be up-to-date with market trends.
For similar reasons, choose a local realtor that specializes in the type of property you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for a condo, choose one that is well versed in condo transaction because they are more likely to make you aware of any red flags or listings that fit your needs. Remember, however, that one does not have to live in a certain neighbourhood to have extensive knowledge about it.
2) Check credentials
The better trained your realtor is, the more prepared they are to guide you through the home-buying process and close a deal. To work as an agent or broker, all realtors in Canada must be licensed by the province in which they are working. In British Columbia, the Real Estate Council of British Columbia (RECBC) licences individuals in trading services, rental property management, and strata management.
A realtor in BC can also hold over a dozen qualifications across Canada, including the RI designation from the Real Estate Institute of British Columbia (www.reibc.org) or the Fellow of Real Estate Institute credential from the Real Estate Institute of Canada (www.reic.ca). Although most realtors will proudly offer their credentials upon being asked, you can check it yourself by searching by name at www.reic.ca.
3) Look for dedication
Real estate doesn’t slow down for anyone; so if there’s one thing you want to see in your realtor, it’s dedication. A good real estate agent should be actively following the market, ready to present you new options as soon as they are listed. An agent who does this part time is likely unable to offer this level of service, leaving you waiting on your purchase.
On that note, be wary of hiring a friend or relative as your realtor, especially when foregoing more qualified candidates. While they may have your best interest at heart, real estate is a tough market which may result in problems or challenges that can damage your relationship.
With over 22 000 licensed realtors in British Columbia alone, the choice may still be difficult even following these tips. However, Mazeon can help by providing customized solutions and insights about the Vancouver real estate market. Find out more at mazeon.ca