As a real estate agent with 18 years experience helping my clients to buy and sell, I’ve dealt with pretty much all there is out there with regard to our Ontario real estate industry and how it can affect you. This is whether you are a Buyer or a Seller and Yes, people that just call me and have questions about what they need to do, to get themselves into real estate. I used to think that people start out by renting and then getting a mobile home, then a semi-detached house and continue moving on up the ladder to a single family home. Truth be told, I continue to work with people of all ages, that all want something different, from buying into a condo townhouse all the way to a nice single family home. So here’s my question, which I’m asked a lot. “What do we need to do, to start finding our first home.”
From the outset, I know my answer would and should be, to find an agent that has your best interests at heart but truth be told, there are many good answers to this question. So let’s start out with a few answers to this age old question and see where that takes us and what kind of reaction I get from you all.
OK, as I said, pick an agent that you might have been recommended, that you saw a nice picture of, that you read a good article about or something a simple as one that you met at an Open House, that took time to chat with you. An agent that you feel you can and could continue to “connect” with. An agent that gives you the time to listen to you and who asks you the right questions and finds out at what stage of real estate you are at. Don’t worry if you tell them that you are planning for next spring or six months away. We as agents always like to have someone to work with down the road. I think that is a win-win situation. This way you will also easily find out if they are attentive to your needs when you have questions. It’s all about both sides checking in with the other, to make sure both are still wanting and willing to work with the other.
A real estate agents worst nightmare is one, where they have given of themselves for weeks and month to their prospective client and all of a sudden, that client goes to an Open House and knows that “this is the house for them”. If that real estate agent is worth his salt, they will or should ask you who you are working with. Be up front and tell that agent who you are working with. If your agent has given you their loyalty, then it should be reciprocal back from you to them.
Don’t get all glossy eyed when the Open House agent offers you a dishwasher, if you do an Agreement that afternoon. Get on you cell and call you agent. Chances are pretty good that the house will still be available those few hours later. Above all, if an agent has these types of tactics up their sleeves, then beware for everything else that might come down the pipe-line. One of my personal quotes, that I like to tell my clients is, “Everyone wants to be treated fairly.” Obviously this works for all aspects of ones lives and should be no strangers to real estate. If your real estate agents gives you lots of their time and effort, then give them your loyalty in return.
Drop me a line. Make some comments. Stir up the real estate pot a bit. Ask me the hard questions. After a career in the military and now 18 years in real estate, I have no illusions that people can “stump the chump” if they want, but I can always find the answer if I really don’t already know it.
My name is Doug Blackstock,… how can I help you?
Doug Blackstock, CD
Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty
Kingston, Ontario, Canada