What is a buyer’s agent?

Just like a seller is typically represented by a REALTOR®, so is a buyer. Your agent (a licensed REALTOR®) will make certain your best interests are represented throughout the transaction.
The home buying process is something you should never navigate alone. Your buyer’s agent (aka, REALTOR®) should be able to help you every step of the way–from narrowing down the best neighbourhood for your needs, to scouting out the perfect properties and getting you into the best ones before they even hit the market, wherever possible.
The buyer’s agent is a fierce advocate to negotiate the best deal possible and knowing the local neighbourhoods inside and out. Once you’ve found your dream home, you will be guided you through the mortgage approval process and ensure you are comfortable within the entire process. The Buyer’s agent ensures that all third parties meet deadlines as per the contractual obligations to ensure that you close on time.

Should I be pre-approved for a mortgage?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is highly recommended in a competitive real estate market, as you will be in a much stronger position to negotiate. You’ll want to ensure you get a true pre-approval letter from a reputable lender, not just a generic pre-qualification letter. Rates matter but service and commitment to closing the loan matter more.

Who pays the commission?

The great news about buying a home in Ontario is that you don’t generally pay your buyer agent’s commission – the seller does. It’s good to keep in mind the seller has likely factored a commission into their list price. The seller pays their agent and the seller’s agent offers a buyer’s agent a portion of that commission. When you work with a savvy and experienced REALTOR® you get access to their insider knowledge, strong negotiating skills and an advocate for your best interest and a good agent will likely negotiate a better overall deal for clients.

How do I choose a neighbourhood?

It is fun to explore the many neighbourhoods in the local area. To narrow down the choices, it is best to make a list of what clients prefer their day-to-day life to look like. That list might include things such as easy access to public transportation, proximity to excellent schools, proximity to the lake, type of homes in the neighbourhoods, access to shopping, restaurant, and bars, and so on. It’s a good idea to have a large list then whittle it down to the priorities. It’s all about options, choices, and priorities.

Should I work with a REALTOR®?

Yes, there are several benefits to working with a real estate agent. They will be able to give you an accurate value assessment for the property you prefer, and you will likely get a better deal through the negotiation process. It is the responsibility of your agent to advocate for your best interests throughout the transaction. You may also get access to properties not yet actively listed–which is especially important in a hot real estate market such as Collingwood, the Blue Mountains and Meaford. Additionally, when working with an agent, you don’t just get access to expertise with the deal, you get access to the entire network of advisors, lenders, contractors, and more.