Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent and Attorney
Buying a home is one of the most exhilarating and daunting undertakings a person will ever make. At the same time, it represents one of the most expensive financial transactions most people will encounter in their lifetimes.
Whether you have purchased a home before or you are a first-time home buyer, working with a professional team that includes a real estate agent (licensee) and Lawyer can help you sidestep many of the pitfalls of buying real estate in Vancouver. Choose a practical professional who takes the time to get to know you and your objectives and who is a straight talker.
Working with a Vancouver Real Estate Agent
Buying a home involves multiple steps. All real estate transactions are different; a seemingly simple agreement to buy a home can fall apart at the last minute. In many cases, a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent could have saved the deal. An agent helps guide you along the course of purchasing your home and with minimal hassles.
The real estate agent can locate properties that meet your specifications. The agent or broker has information on Vancouver neighbourhoods, especially areas of high property value appreciation. Many licensees have inside knowledge of certain desirable properties before they hit the general market. A well informed and experienced licensee has access to information that helps make informed decisions.
Tasks handled by your agent ranges from scheduling showings of listings to finding other professional or trade people to help close the transaction.
In Vancouver, the property’s listing agent must attend showings, which makes last-minute showings a rarity. The Real Estate Services Act covers the requirements for licensees.
Obligations of the Agent
Some real estate agents/brokers work either for the seller or for the buyer. Other agents work both sides of a real estate transaction. Real estate buyers in Vancouver have a choice of working with a buyer’s agent or seller’s agent. A buyer’s agent represents your interest in the real estate sales transaction. The buyer’s agent ensures that you receive services and the latest information on new listings that have the features you desire. The seller‘s agent works for the interest of the seller.
For example, let’s say that you make a written offer to purchase a home for $225,000. You might tell the broker, “I really want this property and will be willing to go as high as $250,000, but don’t tell the seller I will go higher.”
A seller’s agent has the responsibility to inform the seller of this significant and important fact. However, an honest seller agent/broker should warn you of his or her obligation to convey important information to the seller.
A buyer’s agent/broker has a responsibility of confidentiality to the buyer, even though the seller’s pays the commission. If you deal with a seller’s agent, keep confidential information that you prefer the seller not to know.
The agent/broker agent should take the time to explain the dynamics of the real estate buying process in the Vancouver market. This includes a discussion of the variety of procedures and legal documents involved in Vancouver residential real estate sale transactions. This includes Purchase and Sale Agreement, Disclosure Statements, land surveys, and agency forms. The agent make sure that you understand the process, obtains your input and criteria for your home, and executes your plan.
Interviewing Real Estate Agents
In Vancouver, you are purchasing some of the priciest real estate on the planet. Do not make your decision based on a cursory short interview or because the individual whom you met at an open house seems like a nice person.
Follow the lead of many sellers. Some Vancouver home sellers spend hours interviewing three or four agents before making their final choice.
Use the items below as a starting point for your interviews. Grade the candidates based on their responses, and make your final selection.
- Determine if the agent has an active license that is in good standing. Obtain this information from the Real Estate Council of British Columbia.
- How many years’ experience does the candidate have as an agent or broker?
- Does the agent work in real estate full-time?
- What real estate designations has the candidate earned?
- Does the agent belong to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database used by a network of REALTORS® to list properties for sale in the Vancouver region?
Ask each candidate about the agent’s relationship with you as the buyer. You want to find an agent with skill but also a persona that makes you feel comfortable. The person should have the experience you desire and the skills to negotiate the best price on your behalf. Do not reveal any information during the interview that you would not want revealed to sellers.
Choosing a Lawyer/Notary
Purchasing real estate in Vancouver has significant financial, personal, and emotional consequences for the buyer. Any number of legal issues can arise in association with buying a property. Vancouver real estate sales also involve a tremendous amount of paperwork.
Therefore, finding a knowledgeable real estate Lawyer to represent your interest makes good sense and is worth the investment. Hire a Lawyer before executing any legal documents. Once you sign off on any paperwork, you have a legal obligation to adhere to the provisions and conditions outlined in the document.
It is important to have a real estate Lawyer you trust who can provide you with the best legal advice and safeguard your rights and interests as a buyer.
Seek out referrals from family, friends, and business associates. Once you settle on some candidates, conduct interviews to find out about their experience representing buyers in the Vancouver real estate market. Discuss the services they will provide and the fees they will require.