Today I’m at 19 River Street in the city of Toronto and this is the old Vinegar Factory lofts. This is a beautiful little loft that one of my clients purchased a few months ago. You know, nowadays with the public having access to MLS.ca and realtor.ca I found that a lot of people have started searching for properties by themselves. As in, not using the help of a real estate agent. I gotta tell you, if you’re doing this, bad idea. I think everyone should use a real estate agent to help them buy property and I’m going to give you five reasons why I think it’s a good idea.

Okay, let me tell you about a situation that happens to me almost daily. I have a great property. I list it. One of the first potential buyers to walk through snaps it up right away. Maybe four or five days later I’ll get a call from someone who’s searching on the public sites asking me about the listing. What do I tell them? I’ve got to say sorry, it’s sold. It was sold by someone using a buyer agent who saw it the very first moment it came on.
My first reason why you should use a buyer agent instead of trying to search yourself is that the public MLS is too slow. It’s probably four or five days behind the realtor version and if you’re serious about buying real estate, you’re not even in the game. Hey, you might be thinking to yourself, “That’s not true! I found a lot of great properties by myself on the MLS.ca.” But there’s a piece of information that you can’t get, something only a real estate agent can get, and that’s comparable sold listings, so you know whether their pricing is accurate, whether it’s competitive, whether it’s overpriced- hey- maybe it’s underpriced and it’s a steal and you need to jump on it right away. The only person that can give you that information is a real estate agent.

That’s my second reason why it’s important to use a buyer’s agent because they can tell you what everybody on the street paid for their house. They can even tell you what the prospective sellers paid for their house when they bought it and that’s all information that’s vital for you if you want to make a competitive offer.

Hey, listen. Sometimes the perfect property for you doesn’t even exist. Whether you’re searching by yourself or using an agent, sometimes the right listing just isn’t on the market. It hasn’t been listed yet. That brings me to my third reason why it’s important to use a buyer agent, because they have access to the buyer registry. What’s the buyer registry? The buyer registry is like a wish list where you can upload all your preferred criteria. Whatever it is that you’re looking for goes on the buyer registry and another agent has a listing that they’re about to put on the market, they can search that registry and see if their property matches the criteria that you’re looking for. Chances are they’ll call you before the listing’s even gone public and that’s going to give you the first shot at a great listing.

Let’s say you find a property on your own and you want to go check it out. What are you going to do? You’re going to call the number on the listing and guess who’s going to be showing you that place? The listing agent. The guy working for the sellers. You’ve met these guys before, Mr. ABC, Always Be Closing. “Oh, check out the gorgeous granite, beautiful skylights, soaring ceilings!” That guy doesn’t care about you and your needs, he cares about selling the property. Listen, you don’t want to deal with this guy. The sellers’ agent’s mandate is to get the sellers the highest price. A buyer’s agent’s mandate is to get the buyer the lowest price.

My fourth most important reason for using a buyer’s agent is that they’re going to take care of the work and they’re going to represent you. They’ll have the appointment booked, when you get to the listing, they’re going to have the information that you need- comparable listings, sold listings, they can tell you what the neighbors sold for, what the place is really worth, information about the building, all the stuff that you can’t find on your own. They’ll probably come to your house, pick you up, and drive you right there. You don’t have to pay for parking. They might even get you a cup of coffee or take you out for a beer when you’re done. That’s something the seller’s agent will not do for you.

So this brings to my fifth, my final, and possibly most important reason to use a buyer’s agent and that’s that it won’t cost you a cent. You know what, as a buyer it’s absolutely free to use a real estate agent to help you buy a property. Why is that? Because in the city of Toronto, 99.9% of the residential real estate transactions are paid for by the seller. The seller doesn’t only pay their agent to sell the place, they pay a buyer agent to  bring them a client. Hey, imagine if you were in another field of work, maybe you’re a professional athlete or a professional actor and you’re looking to play for a new team, maybe get a new acting gig. You’re going to want to use an agent too. Can you imagine if these other professions got to use agents for free like you can with a real estate agent?

Listen, do yourself a favor. If you’re looking to buy real estate, get yourself a buyer’s agent. It’s going to help you save money and it’s going to make your life a lot easier. You know, I love helping buyers. Why? I consider myself a hunter rather than a gatherer. I don’t like to sit on listings, I like to chase them down and get them for my clients. If that’s what you’re looking for, give me a call. I’ll give you a hand.

If you have any questions, or you’re looking for a great buyers agent, a Toronto condo, Toronto real estate investment, office space or other Toronto Real Estate service call me at 416-486-5588 or email condochris@gmail.com.