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Ian Watt Personal Real Estate Corporation - Sotheby's International Realty Canada

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Choosing the right realtor

Choosing the right realtor
Special to the Sun

Most experts in real estate concur that choosing the right realtor is the vital first step toward success.
Most experts in real estate concur that choosing the right realtor is the vital first step toward success.

The stakes are high in the residential real estate game in this province. With Canada's top prices, record activity and continued growth in new construction, you need all the expert help you can get.

Most experts in real estate concur that - for both buyers and sellers -- choosing the right realtor is the vital first step toward success.

"Whether you are purchasing or selling a condo or a house, or just seeking information, you should always expect to receive only the best and most professional service in a timely manner," says Vincent Tang, the manager of Rennie Resales (604-681-8898; www.rennieresales.com). "Enlisting the services of a team of real estate specialists with a broad range of expertise is a good choice."

"With so many real estate agents to choose from, especially in the Lower Mainland, for many buyers and sellers it is essential to select one who will make a strong effort to build a relationship with you," says Thomas Park, a top sales associate with Century 21 In Town Realty (604-720-6999; www.thomas park.ca). "For many clients, personal communication with such an agent at every step of the process is highly valued."

While there may be differences in their emphasis, both Mr.Tang and Mr. Park agree that that your real estate representative must have the market knowledge, professional skills and all the tools needed to negotiate the contract and close the deal. After all, they are ultimately responsible for the purchase or sale of your highest-valued asset.

In British Columbia, a real estate agent can act for the buyer or for the seller -- or, to a limited degree, for both.

It is now a requirement for real estate agents in B.C. to disclose to customers whom they will be representing. This "agency disclosure" is usually done with the aid of a blue brochure entitled Working with a Real Estate Agent. The brochure includes a tear-off statement that the customer signs and the agent retains as proof that disclosure was made.

Signing the statement does not obligate the customer in any way. Having explained to the customer the various agency relationship options available to him or her, the agent and client then determine what services are to be rendered.

Your agent will devise a marketing strategy or shopping plan based on your specific needs.

Your agent assists in arranging home inspections, repairs, and coordinating the activities of lender, lawyers or notaries and other professionals engaged in the deal. If you have questions, your agent should be able to respond promptly, either directly or by referring you to another expert.

In bargaining over price, your agent will be your negotiator.

© The Vancouver Sun 2007