Here’s a piece of friendly advice: always work with a real estate agent that specializes in the neighbourhood you’re interested in.
I would say this applies to anyone from first-time buyers to seasoned buyers. An experience I had recently with a client has, once again, proven this to be true. Here’s what happened:
I recently showed a condo in central Toronto, and the agent had the listing appear just before Labour Day weekend. Oddly enough, there were no interior photos and the pricing was quite low.
Understandably, my client was concerned that there was something wrong with the unit. After some discussion, we bought the condo the next day for about $100 per square feet less than recent sales.
As it turned out, the listing agent didn’t know the building well or the fact that everyone in the neighbourhood was up north for the last long weekend of the summer. My client benefited from this, and by acting quickly and decisively, got a very good deal on the condo.
How can you be sure that your agent knows the neighbourhood?
1.QUIZ your potential agent
Good agents always know what’s going on in their neighbourhood, so make sure you ask them about the other homes for sale nearby. They should be able to give you some details on that house down the street that just sold.
2.Have a look at their CURRENT LISTINGS
It takes two minutes to find an agent’s online listings. You’ll either find them on the agent’s website, the brokerage’s website, or a MLS, like realtor.ca.
It’s important that the agent’s listings reflect what you want. Make sure there’s a sizable number of properties in your area of interest and the price range is appropriate.
3.How Long has the agent been in BUSINESS IN THE AREA?
Always ask agents how long they’ve been in business in the neighbourhood. After all, you don’t want to be the guinea pig for a greenhorn. Another way to learn more about the agent is to ask for past client references. Employers do this when they hire staff, so why shouldn’t you?