The best real estate agent for you is one who is able to act as an excellent co-pilot on the journey to locating your perfect home.
The keyword in that sentence is “you,” since your needs and requirements should form the basis of your search checklist:
* Does the agent work in your desired area?
* Do they specialize in homes within your target price range?
* Have you checked with their references and sales records?
* Will you be working with the agent of your choice, or an assistant? How important is this to you?
* Perhaps the most critical factor: Do you get along? Reputation is one thing; rapport is another. If you aren’t able to establish a collegial relationship, your dream home may pass you by.
Another key consideration is whether you are buying or selling a home. Although it may seem efficient to sign up with someone who says they can represent both buyers and sellers; think about it – both parties have different needs and you want an agent who is working for you alone.
The reasoning behind working with a real estate agent in your desired area is that they will have in-depth knowledge of local home prices, schools, commute patterns and the like. A local is also most likely connected to the community and knows which neighborhoods are more or less desirable, not just in terms of demographics, but also in terms of your needs.
Finding agents who specialize in your target price range if you’re buying and the market level of your home, if you’re selling, is also important, because they know your market and how to make it work for you.
With much of the real estate market experiencing such dramatic changes in valuations, it is essential to have a knowledgeable agent that can help you make informed buying or selling decisions.
In addition, being aware of the mortgage rates available will impact the price any potential home buyer can afford to pay. Currently, in the US, most areas are still seeing slightly dropping valuations. But, there are hot spots in countries outside the US. The Toronto real estate market has been one of the hottest sectors around, but is showing signs of moderating; prices are rising, but at a slower rate than they have been, because mortgage lending rates are starting to climb. In addition, it is estimated that about 14 percent of the area’s homes are currently overvalued.
What all this means is that sellers very likely won’t get the price they might have in 2009, and buyers will perhaps feel some downward pressure when it comes to the kind of house they can get for their money. The help of a real estate agent – and expert in negotiations, research, and financing – becomes even more essential.