Agents cost money, but they’re always worth it. Buying a home is a massive financial transaction and the process is rife with complexities. This section breaks down the key services that agents provide when you’re looking for a new condo.
During the condo search
The majority of condo hunters begin with MLS listings. By offering a comprehensive list of homes available in the area(s) you’re looking to buy, these listings make a natural starting point.
But while this list can start a buyer out on the right foot, it's far from the only tool available. If your entire approach is to scan through these listings, you’re making the process more difficult and time-consuming than it needs to be.
Rather than scouring the listings and checking back every day to see what’s new and what’s off the market, you can simply define your criteria to an agent and let them do the leg-work. A good agent will learn your needs and expectations during the early stages of the search, and track down potential matches. They'll then alert you when a condo meets your criteria, while screening out those that don't.
Education and advocacy
Beyond helping to find what you’re looking for, a real estate agent should get to know you as a client. This process involves both learning your priorities and helping you establish realistic expectations based on your finances and borrowing power.
The agent should also function as your home buying tutor. If you have questions about the process, taxes, legal fees or any other aspect of condo-hunting, your agent is the person to ask.
Once you’ve found the right place
Your real estate agent should leave no stone unturned. They’ll complete an extensive search and relay all of the available condos that match your criteria. Once you've looked over your options, you'll have the opportunity to view condos in person.
During your visit to a property, your real estate agent will provide you with all the relevant facts and details, laying out the advantages and disadvantages of the building and its location. They will show you the home's desirable features, elements that may require maintenance, and answer any questions that spring to mind. If there’s something they can't answer off hand, they'll make it their business to find out and get back to you.
Preparing to make an offer
A real estate agent is your greatest advocate throughout the home buying process. They understand key concepts, such as home values, market fluctuations and sales conditions, and use this knowledge to strengthen your bargaining position.
The agent will advise whether the condo unit you want is a reasonable price, relative to the market, and assist with determining your offer. The agent will also provide you with an accurate estimate of how much the home will cost inclusive of mortgage interest, maintenance and upgrades, legal fees, condo fees, inspections and taxes.
After signing a purchase agreement
The best real estate agents don’t say goodbye once the purchase agreement is signed. They do everything they can to resolve any problems with the property to the buyer’s satisfaction. Whether this means examining legal recourse in the event of a dispute, or simply finding the most efficient and cost-effective solutions to issues that arise, the agent should continue to work on your behalf.