Thinking of Buying a Home in Toronto?
Here’s A Simple Way To Save Time And Money When Starting Your Home Search
Working with Thomas was a great experience for me as a first time house buyer. He is deeply knowledgeable about houses and the state of the market, and shares his experience in an easy-going and informative style.
One day a buyer came to us and said “I’ve been looking at homes with an agent for over two months now and he’s been showing us all the wrong houses. I don’t think he even knows exactly what I’m looking for.”
Another Toronto home purchaser told us “I’ve been driving in from Kingston every Saturday for four weeks to look at homes. The agent has never shown me the house that I called on the ad about and every home we look at doesn’t come close to being what we want. I’ve wasted four weekends for nothing”.
The problem is that most agents talk to a buyer briefly on the phone, take a few notes, and then put them in their car a few days or nights later and start showing them houses or condos. The result is that, because the agent hasn’t taken the time up front to learn exactly what the buyer is looking for, a lot of time is wasted. The buyer gets discouraged and often either quits looking or gets a bad feeling from that agent.
We had a buyer consultation which helped us to narrow down the choices as it was very hard to decide just by looking at the pictures and MLS listings. It was good because we discussed every single house based on our wishlist just before our viewing.
Ruben and Norma S
My name is Thomas Cook, a buyer specialist from RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd Brokerage, and I know that our Team members are some of the very few agents in the Toronto Real Estate Board who actually take the time to see buyers personally, to learn about their wants, needs and concerns up front before starting to tour a series of homes.
Most agents want to get you out and show you homes as fast as possible and then on to the next one. A serious buyer wants their agent to take some time right at the beginning of the process and learn about what it is they really are looking for in a home. They don’t want it to be a trial-and-error exercise taking many months of wasted time.
The best solution is to meet with your Realtor before you start to begin your search… have an all-important Buyer Consultation right at the start! By taking about 60-90 minutes of your time up front, you’ll be able to help your agent focus on what your housing needs and wants are.
Your buyer agent will listen carefully to what you have to say, maybe ask some probing questions to help you refine what you’d like and then take you out to look at homes which only fit your personal Wish List
The buyer consultation meeting was valuable to us in that it was helpful in determining our limitations, financial and otherwise. Mainly the consultations got our minds going in terms of learning and aligning what we really wanted versus what we really needed..
Adrian and Christi H
At the Buyer Consultation you should also ask your buyer agent about what their business philosophy is. Ideally you should work with someone who values building client-for-life relationships. This is important because then you know that they’ll be working hard to do a great job for you in order to win your referrals in the future.
Part of any good Buyer Consultation should be to learn how the various parts of the buying process all come together. You should be able to ask questions about the mortgage qualification process and get information about how much mortgage you qualify for and what some of your financing options are.
Next you’ll get some insights into ‘what comes next’… from the home searching on the computer right through to the offer presentation stage. You’ll find out what standard conditions are used in an offer and when you would have a home inspection done.
You’ll learn when you will be signing waivers for any offer conditions and where the lawyer fits into the process and takes over the file.
A good agent will tell you about their After Sale Service Program… how they propose to take you from the point where your offer has been accepted to the day you get your keys. You shouldn’t feel like you’re alone out there!
You’ll feel like you’re more in control of the home buying process (and enjoying it more) because you’re better educated.
I attended a home buyer’s workshop which was useful in explaining the whole bying process. I liked the idea of using the team to find a place so that things would be easier. The buyer consultation was very helpful because it explained the whole process and made it less scary. It made me look closely at what I wanted to buy and think of what I could afford etc.
The Buyer Consultation is really about you educating your buyer agent about what is important to you. The agent should listen carefully to what your dreams about your new home are… no matter how wild they might seem initially. You want to be very open here… a good buyer agent is a bit like a doctor – if they can understand what your ‘symptoms’ are, they are better able to ‘prescribe’ the right cure!
But it typically doesn’t all come up roses. With your Wish List in hand, and home cost financial calculation spreadsheets ready, you’ll now be able to assess reality versus fantasy. Perhaps you can afford more than you think… perhaps the neighbourhood you would like is not affordable for you and you must ‘downscale’ a bit to fit your comfort-zone budget!
Buying a home is always about making a series of compromises and this is where you may have to decide what features from your Wish List you are willing to give up in order to achieve your dream home.
Even those lucky few with a “sky is the limit” budget may still have a problem finding that absolutely perfect house that will give them absolutely everything they would love to have.
One of the crucial things for any buyer to understand clearly is the concept of Buyer Agency and know who is representing whom. Your Realtor will cover this in detail so you’re comfortable with the concept… a good agent will offer you a Guarantee of Service so you can cancel your Buyer Agent contract if you feel the service you’re getting is not up to par.
If you’re ready to make the next important step towards home ownership, you’re now set to arrange your own personal, no-obligation Buyer Consultation.
You can either call me, Thomas Cook, at our RE/MAX Real Estate Office at 416-465-7850 or fill in the blanks in the Buyer Consultation Request Form below and click the “Please Arrange My Personal Buyer Consultation” button!
I’m looking forward to getting together with you.