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The Money Management Newsletter: Home Ownership
As the weather warms up, will house hunting be your hot topic?

As with spring flowers “For Sale” signs are popping up on lawns across town. Finding the right home, getting a fair price, calculating mortgages rate, figuring out closing costs...all of these factors and many more make the buying process both a confusing experience as well as one of most exciting times of your life.

As advertising and lawn signs highlight, it's the Real Estate agent who will bring buyers and sellers together for the sale of property. Realtors are licensed real estate professionals who are members of their local real estate board. With the assistance of the Real Estate Board and News Canada we’ve provided you with this overview

Who Does a Realtor Work For?

A Realtor usually works for the seller and, therefore represents his or her best interests. However, as a buyer, you can still expect competent service, knowing the Realtor is bound by ethics and law to be honest and thorough in representing a property for sale.

A Realtor will provide you with a wide range of services and will not take it for granted that you know all the in's and out's of buying a home. So, one of the first things he or she will do is thoroughly explain what to expect, so you don't encounter any surprises along the way.

Narrowing Down Your Home Choices

A Realtor will help you zero in on specific locations for your new home. He or she will also help you decide what type of home you would like to buy since there are many options such as new homes, resale homes, townhouses, and condominiums. In addition, a Realtor will help you differentiate between your needs, wants and what you can actually afford.

This profile of your home is compared with what's available on the market. A Realtor will then accompany you as you view houses and help you asses whether or not the property and price is right.

When you actually discover your "dream home", a Realtor will help you select the most appropriate mortgage option and obtain financing at the most attractive prevailing rates and terms.

Negotiating Skills

Negotiating is one of a Realtor's areas of expertise. So, you can rely on him or her to arrange a fair price for your home. A Realtor will assist in negotiating an offer, act as a mediator to smooth over any potential conflicts between you and the seller and draw up a legally binding contract.

Selecting a Realtor

So, how do you go about finding a Realtor to help make your home buying dreams a reality? Actually, there are several easy ways to make your selection. One of the best ways is to ask your friends, relatives and neighbors if they can recommend a Realtor who they have used in the past.

Another way to become familiar with Realtors is to check local newspaper advertisements. Many of them operate in specific areas where they know the properties and locations very well because they research all the listings and inspect many of the open houses. Therefore, they have an excellent idea of the market value of comparable properties in those areas.

Another fun idea and effective way to meet Realtors is to visit open houses in an area where you would like to buy your home. You can also check the real estate signs in that area for names of Realtors. If there isn't a name on the sign, call the phone number listed on it and ask to speak to the brokerage firm's 'expert' in the area.

One way that some homebuyers look for a Realtor is to contact a real estate board. However, boards do not provide referral services for Realtors. The only information they can provide about a specific Realtor is whether or not he or she is a board member.

Once you've narrowed down your choices to a couple of Realtors, make sure that you interview them to find out which one has the best combination of experience and knowledge in the type of home and area that you are interested in. Of course, personality, reliability, and reputation should be strong factors in your decision. Also ask them for references from previous buyers and sellers who have worked with them.

Once you have selected a Realtor, remaining loyal to him or her should not be a problem if the individual has earned your trust. Keep in mind that he or she will be spending a lot of time and effort to help find the right home and will not be paid until the transaction is completed

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© , Fiscal Agents Money Management Newsletter
25 Lakeshore Road, Oakville, On L6J 5B4.
(905) 844-7700


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