If you’re looking to enter the real estate market in 2020, start by understanding your rights and responsibilities as a buyer.
Catherine Jackson, director of external relations at the Real Estate Council of Ontario, says this is the best way to begin what can be an exciting, but stressful and confusing process.
“Each year, we interact with thousands of buyers and sellers and have seen that buyers who go into the process well informed are more likely to have a positive experience.”
Here are Jackson’s top tips:
- Shop around before you shop around. It’s important to find a registered real estate salesperson who is right for you. Before you make a decision, consider asking friends, family or coworkers for recommendations.
After you’ve made a short list of salespeople, sit down with them and ask about their references, the services they provide, how much they charge and their experience with the area and type of property you are interested in. Be sure to check them out on the RECO website.
- Have “the talk”. Open communication with your salesperson is key so that they have a clear understanding of your needs and expectations. Make sure your agent knows what you want (and don’t want) in your new home and neighbourhood. Having an honest conversation up front will avoid frustration later.
- Understand what you’re signing. Don’t get left in the dark – whenever you are presented with a document, ask your salesperson to walk you through it, line by line. A real estate lawyer is essential, so consider hiring one early in the process.
Bought or sold recently and have opinions about real estate? Sign up to be a consumer representative for the organization’s consumer industry advisory group at reco.on.ca.