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Posts tagged ‘agent’

First Time Buyer Friday #5 – Do I Need A REALTOR®?

In my continuing series, First-Time-Buyer Fridays, I answer a common question from a first-time buyer. If you have a question to submit, first-time-buyer or experienced investor, put one in the comments below, or fire me an e-mail at

The right agent can make all the difference.

The right agent can make all the difference.

Q. I can search the MLS® myself, go around to open houses myself, and call the number on the sign or ad of any home I want to look at, so why should I work with a REALTOR®?

A. While it’s true that you can do all of the above, it’s really worth your while to find a dedicated agent to work with. The role of an agent has changed drastically in the last few years. In the past, an agent would be the sole source of information on properties for sale, using a paper-based MLS catalogue. However, in today’s world, with property information available 24/7 on the Internet and in real estate publications, real estate agents are no longer the gatekeepers of all the information on real estate (although some would still like to believe that they are).

Before, all agents were assumed to be working for the seller; buyers were offered very little in the way of agency representation. Even the REALTOR® that would take you around in the back of his or her car and write offers on your behalf was technically working for the seller, with no direct legal responsibility to look after the buyer’s best interests. Today, there are agents that work only with buyers. An agent working with a buyer now works directly for that buyer and has the legal obligation to protect that buyer’s interests.

Working with an agent today is about convenience and care. If you see 4 or 5 houses you want to look at, rather than waiting around for 4 or 5 agents to call you back, you make one call to your  dedicated agent who will organize the listings in a logical showing sequence and book all the appointments for you. All you need to do is show up and check out the homes.In most areas, including Victoria and Sooke, a REALTOR® can also set up a personalized client account which will send you the most current listings, and will notify you of price changes for the type of property you are looking to buy. The private client accounts have much more information than you can find on the consumer-oriented real estate search portals like

An agent also looks at things objectively, pointing out practical things you might have missed while being distracted by the stainless steel appliances! Over time, an experienced agent gives a wealth of information about the city in which he or she works. He or she will know which condos are the best, which buildings have problems, where the best pubs and cafes are.

An agent looks after your best interests. He or she will ensure your rights, needs, and wants are reflected accurately in the purchase agreement, and that the contract is legally enforceable. A good agent will pull up recent comparable sales to ensure you’re paying a fair price. A REALTOR® will help you take care of the details of closing, and can refer you to other trusted professionals you’ll need along the way like a lawyer or notary for conveyancing, home inspector, tradespeople, and so 0n.

Also, by working with an agent, you’ll get to know him or her and develop a long-lasting working relationship that continues after the sale in the years to come. He or she will get to know you and anticipate your needs and wants, and won’t waste your time showing you properties that you won’t like.

Some people believe that by working directly with the listing agent they’ll be able to get a better deal, but generally, this is a misconception. While REALTORS® are legally able to work with both a buyer and  a seller, if both consent, that agent already has a close working relationship with the seller  and is unlikely to give you a better deal, because he or she is already looking after the seller’s best interests and has a legal duty to the seller to obtain the best deal possible.

Finally, working with a REALTOR® to find your first home costs you nothing. A buyer’s agent is paid by the seller of the property you buy. You’ll appreciate the guidance and support of an experienced REALTOR®, who has helped dozens or even hundreds of people just like you get into their very first home.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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A while back, I wrote a post entitled A Bold Statement, about local startup and their aspirations to be as widely known and used as in Canada within a year. Shortly thereafter, I received a response from the president of the company, Mark Stewart. Mark stands behind his product and his statements made in his advertising to REALTORS®, and firmly believes that the lofty target is achievable.

Mark offered me a trial membership to the service, which I took him up on – I’d love to see how well the service works. I told him I’d post occasionally about my experiences on the blog. Compatible Agent launched in BC on Monday, and plans a nationwide rollout over the next few months; a new province every 4-6 weeks. They’ve got a TV commercial airing daily on CHEK and Global.

The whole premise of the system is to match consumers with an agent that is compatible with their needs. For example, if younger clients tend to prefer to work with an agent their own age or similar, they will be able to search for this.

For now, just the agent search function is running – so they’ve  got a bit of work to do before the real estate portal they envision comes together. The site is easy to navigate and is fast and intuitive. Below is the welcome video on the site. My profile is here.

Tim Ayres

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

You can bookmark this post using the button below,
or subscribe to this blog for free updates using the big buttons on the sidebar!

Personal Safety – Complacency Can Kill

Good Morning Professionals,

With the news on the front page of the Victoria Times Colonist this morning about the murder of 24-year-old Lindsay Buziak while showing a house, I’m sure we’re all thinking about our own experiences with clients that just didn’t feel right. Remember, if in doubt, get out. That sale isn’t worth it. You might anger a legitimate client, but anyone worth dealing with would understand your need to take care of your personal safety. You might save yourself a headache from a difficult client or even worse, your life.

I never met Lindsay, but [edit for clarity: she had paged me to show one of my listings on Saturday].

Here are a few safety tips for REALTORS®:

  1. When you are introduced to new clients, meet them in your office first.
  2. Photocopy a client’s driver’s license, obtain the car make, and license number.
  3. Ask them to complete a client identification form and verify the client’s identity.
  4. Let your office know where you are, your schedule, and who you are meeting when going to a property.
  5. Limit the amount of personal information you share about yourself with a client.
  6. Be friendly with neighbours near the listed home and let them know when you will be showing the property.
  7. Program speed dial on your cell phone for 911 and use it when danger first appears.
  8. If you get a strange feeling about someone, pay attention to those gut feelings.
  9. Pre-plan escape routes from each level of a home, before you show it.
  10. Ask a friend to join you at a showing with a client that makes you somewhat uneasy.
  11. Arrive at the location in separate vehicles.
  12. Take a self-defense course.
  13. If you’re showing several properties, phone your office occasionally to check in (if you’re suspicious or fearful of someone, use these calls as a reason to return to the office immediately — BE CREATIVE).
  14. Never put yourself at risk to avoid social awkwardness. You have every right to be cautious. When in doubt—don’t.

The REALTOR® safety guide can be found here.

The real estate community in Victoria extends its deepest sympathies to Lindsay’s family.

Be careful out there.

EDIT: I’d love to hear your comments on safety. Any personal stories or suggestions? Use the comments form/link below.

Tim Ayres

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