What does a real estate agent do for a home buyer?
Here are five things you should expect as a buyer from your real estate agent.
1. Search Criteria
Establish search criteria and parameters. Searching online, whether it's realtor.ca or other websites, can be overwhelming and confusing. After a while, everything starts looking the same.
2. Blind Spots
The real estate agent’s job or position is to protect the home buyer. This is where the buyer might be looking at a home and they might miss or not notice something. It is the duty of the real estate agent in this case to present those blind spots to the home buyers.
I'll give you an example: I was out with a couple of home buyers recently and we were looking at the basement entrance to the house. I noticed there was no drain by the door entrance which I brought up to their attention. Since there is no floor drain when it rains or when the snow melts, there could be issues with water accumulating and eventually coming through into the basement; something they did not notice, but based on my experience and things that I've seen over time, I brought it up to the buyers for that specific property.
Another example is a home listed for sale which my home buyer clients liked. Doing my due diligence for every home my clients are interested in, I researched the history of the home through the city records and found out they’ve done renovations where they failed inspections by the city building inspector. These permits have been left open and not addressed. The new home buyer will be responsible to deal with these issues and correct the deficiencies brought up by the city building inspector. This may cost thousands of dollars and lots of headaches.
The sole purpose of the listing agent is to get the best price and terms for the seller. Having the home buyers negotiate directly with the seller's agent is not in their benefit. The seller's listing agent's job is not there to work for the buyer's best interest, which is getting that property for the lowest possible price & terms.
The other thing the buyer's agent will do is protect the home buyers from overpaying. Buying a home can be emotional and in Toronto's real estate market where bidding wars exist, not as many as in the last couple of years, the home buyers agent in this case, is to protect their clients and make sure that they're not overpaying what the market value is because they fell in love with that specific property.
There are a lot of moving parts in the home buying process and the duty of the real estate agent in this case is to communicate and coordinate with all the different parties involved in the home buying process, such as the mortgage broker, the lawyer, the listing agent, the home inspector, etc… to ensure that the home buyer has a smooth closing process and all things are taken care of before closing without last minute panic attacks on closing day.
What happens then? You get the keys, whether you're buying a home or investment property, the buyer agent should be there for you in the long term.
When issues come up with the home: if you need a trade or issues dealing with the tenants, the buyer agent is there to help you, support you, guide you and connect you with professionals or trades that you might need down the line.
Until next time, happy home buying…