Q. I have engaged a real estate agent to help me look for my first home. I feel a bit uneasy about this person as they weren’t referred to me and I am not sure to trust them. Aren’t they just looking for a property to sell and they don’t care about me?
A. My answer to that question is an absolutely not! There are tons of agents who provide their services with the absolute goal of providing their client with an all-encompassing service. My experience is that there are as many of the few “bad apples” in any profession. The cream will rise to the top and if you have a real estate agent you are comfortable with, you are probably in the right neighbourhood.
As the spring market is upon us and there is more to look at in terms of every price bracket, you should remember that your agent (if he or she is a good one) will have a fairly defined scope of what you are looking for. If they are showing you 40 houses — unless the market is really hot — then you have not articulated to them or they have not asked exactly what you want. Most agents are quite discerning and can narrow down what would be appropriate for you in a few minutes.
In general, real estate agents know the market much better than we do. Some people like to trade stocks on their own but personally, I trust my real estate agent to look for me even though I practice in the area of real estate law and have a fairly decent knowledge of present conditions and market fluctuations.
Remember, when you are purchasing, it is the vendor who pays the commission, not the seller.
However, you might say, “Well, we can cut a private deal and each save half the commission.” In this market with so little inventory to look for and interest rates that are so low, it is tough to find both that gem you want and at the right price.
Real estate agents earn their commission and should not be discounted or avoided.
– Jeffrey D. Cowan is with Cowan & Taylor, Barristers & Solicitors. The info in this article should not be relied upon as legal advice.