The benefit of trust in a business relationship
What buyers want from a real estate professional
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or this is your third time buying a home, home buyers want more than just help with the paperwork. They want valuable advice and insight about the neighbourhood where they’re buying and the homes they see, and they want advice that is aligned to their values and outlook. Let’s look at each part of that statement.
Advice and insight about the neighbourhood
First, agents must be specialists in the neighbourhood where you’re looking. Imagine if you bought a place and didn’t know there was a night train at 3 am every Tuesday, or that there’s a “problem house” down the block. You want the inside scoop and the seller won’t advertise these things.
"So…what's the neighborhood really like?" is the usual question among home buyers shopping in a new neighbourhood. Every agent who specializes in that neighbourhood has good honest answers to that question, but what if you love outdoor sports and they’re more of a pool lounging barbeque person? Can you trust their advice on the best home in the area if you’re not aligned? If your agent has very different interests, a different lifestyle, and they aren’t adept at picking up on your communication style they may not give the best advice for you and what you need. Can someone with very different values really put themselves in your shoes? A home is more than just 4 walls; it’s the neighbourhood, the community that comes with it, and each home is unique. You need professional advice from someone who “gets you”.
Help developing a strategy
With your home buying budget, you will have an idea of what you can qualify to buy, but that may mean your monthly spending on housing will be a lot more than what you’re used to. Just because the bank will lend you a lot of money, doesn’t mean you should take it. At Mortgage Sandbox we see 4 common strategies, and each has its benefits and drawbacks. They are:
Big Bang: Beg borrow and steal to get the largest and nicest home possible, because it will be out of reach in a few years. Target the highest affordable price point.
Baby Steps: Get a comfortable starter home and with the smallest mortgage possible and then upgrade to a nicer home every 5 to 10 years. Target the smallest possible mortgage amount for a home that meets your requirements.
Lifestyle Protection: Get the nicest home possible while maintaining a comfortable lifestyle. Target a specific monthly financial commitment that allows you to maintain your preferred lifestyle.
Strategic Leverage: Get a comfortable home and with the smallest possible down payment possible. Target the largest possible mortgage amount for a home that meets your requirements.
These seem rather simple, but your real estate agent should be aligned to your approach to making these decisions. Are you deciding quickly based on your instincts? more analytical? do you consult your friends? or do you need someone to walk you through each option and the impact of each strategy on your lifestyle?
Whatever your approach, if your agent tries to push you toward deciding in a way that doesn’t feel natural to you, you’re not going to enjoy the experience and they’re going to lose your trust.
Everyone has different ways of making decisions and it’s important for your agent to have a complementary work style so that these big decisions go smoothly with no second thoughts or regrets.
Help finding a house
If you ask 100 people to tell you about their perfect home, they will each describe something different. You need help describing what’s important to you and you want the agent to be aligned with you on finding you the home YOU want, rather than the one they think you need. You don’t want to feel like a round peg being pushed into a square hole.
At Mortgage Sandbox, we believe that often these aren’t bad agents, they’re just agents who value different things than you. Subconsciously they’re taking you to the home that they would choose, they can’t help themselves. That’s why Mortgage Sandbox feels strongly about matching buyers with realtors who share their interests and values. Aligned interest and values will mean that you’re more likely to see eye-to-eye on what you should spend your money on. Is it a big backyard for kids, energy efficiency, or a big space for entertaining? If you can’t have all three then you need help from someone who’s wholeheartedly on your side. Not just someone who is helping you out of professional duty.
Custom Matched Professionals
We believe that Canadians want to work with, and give business to, people who share and understand their interests and values, and have a complementary working style. Home buying can take up to 5 months from beginning to end and, it is the largest and most complex financial transaction a Canadian will complete. You should embark on this journey with professionals that you get along with and trust.
We are developing Match Finder, an easy to use matching tool, kind of like eHarmony, that matches you with pre-screened trusted local professionals who can best anticipate your needs and can help you get settled into your new neighbourhood. Match Finder will match people with a mortgage broker and a real estate agent.
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