With today’s technology it is very easy to search through online listings on your desktop, smart phone or tablet. At least it seems easy. But, are you obtaining the information that you need to make smart decisions on one of the most important purchases in your life?
Are you getting access to new listings as soon as they come on the market? Do the listings tell you all about the home? Are the photos accurate and does the home appear that way in real life? What is situated next door or near the home? Is the home properly priced for the market? How does the area impact potential resale value? Are the legally required disclosures made on the home? How well do you know the local market area and conditions?
If you are the type of person who likes doing things by themselves, how good is your understanding of real estate law? At some point you will become involved in the writing of a contact to purchase your new home. There are more than 40 estate laws that apply to real estate in British Columbia. How well versed are you with them so that the contact is written in a manner that protects your interests as a buyer?
If you are in the process of searching for a new Comox Valley home do you have a realtor who will help you throughout the entire real estate process? If not, why not?
Not many things in life that are free but home buyers can take advantage of the services of a competent real estate professional to help them through the entire home buying process without having to pay for those services. Home sellers pay the commission on the sale of their and generally half the commission paid goes to the real estate agency who brings the buyer to the home purchase. The real estate agent who represents the buyer gets paid a portion of that half of the commission for services provided. With such a great deal for home buyers, why would you want to go through this process alone?
During your search for a competent local agent consider at least the following things:
1. There is a difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®. In British Columbia, real estate agents are licensed to provide real estate services. While most agents are REALTORs®, not all are. REALTORs® are members of the Canadian Real Estate Association and they are held to a higher standard through a Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice. Ask the Realtor to show you their certificate showing that they have passed the REALTOR® Code course;
2. Speaking of accreditation and of being held to a higher standard, also ask if the REALTOR® is accredited by the Better Business Bureau. If not, why not? And;
3. Ask the REALTOR® how often they complete the Legal Update Course in their market area. If the answer is anything other than “annually” you should wonder why since real estate laws do change on a regular basis and this course is offered every year.
As a home buyer, ensure that the Law of Agency is explained to you at the first opportunity. REALTORs® are required to do this. Also make sure that you are offered Designated Agency as a client. This is the highest level of service that you can be provided under the law. If you are offered anything less make sure that you understand why and that you are comfortable with the explanation.
Do your research. Which real estate agency is the agent license through? Are they the top performing agency in your area? The power of the brand can make a difference. For example, did you know that RE/MAX has been the number 1 agency in the Comox Valley since 1987 and that RE/MAX is the luxury property leader?
What about the individual agent? This is perhaps the most important consideration since the agent is the one who will be providing you with professional real estate services. Choosing a REALTOR is a personal and important decision. Aim high for peace of mind. When you decide to look for a new Comox Valley home, contact Brett and get started finding your new dream home.