The pros of hav­ing a lo­cal pro

Toronto Star - - HOMEFINDER.CA - Joe Richer Joe Richer is regis­trar of the Real Es­tate Coun­cil of On­tario (RECO) and con­trib­u­tor for the Star. Fol­low him on Twit­ter: @RECOhelps

I’m mov­ing to Ot­tawa but I re­ally like my Guelph-based real es­tate sales­per­son. Can I use her to help me buy my home in Ot­tawa?

Yes, you can use a Guelph­based real es­tate sales­per­son to help you buy a home in Ot­tawa — reg­is­tra­tion with RECO al­lows a sales­per­son or bro­ker to trade in real es­tate any­where in the prov­ince. But has she helped other clients pur­chase sim­i­lar prop­er­ties in Ot­tawa, and does she know the city well enough to of­fer you com­pe­tent ser­vice and pro­tect your in­ter­ests as a buyer?

If your Guelph-based sales­per­son does reg­u­lar busi­ness in Ot­tawa and be­longs to the lo­cal real es­tate board, which pro­vides its mem­bers with full and early ac­cess to lo­cal list­ings through the Mul­ti­ple List­ing Ser­vice (MLS), she might be an ex­cel­lent can­di­date to help you find a new home. If that’s not the case, you may wish to con­sider work­ing with an Ot­tawaarea agent for a cou­ple of rea­sons:

Con­ve­nience: You’ll have a lot more flex­i­bil­ity for sched­ul­ing ap­point­ments to visit prop­er­ties when you work with some­body who lives and works in the area where you want to buy. Will you be well-served if your Guelph-based sales­per­son can’t travel to Ot­tawa to show you homes?

Con­tacts and lo­cal knowl­edge: you may wish to make your of­fer con­di­tional upon the home suc­cess­fully pass­ing a home in­spec­tion, or even have a for­mal ap­praisal per­formed to de­ter­mine its value. An Ot­tawa-based sales­per­son is more likely to know, and be able to rec­om­mend, Ot­tawaarea pro­fes­sion­als who can help you.

They can also an­swer your ques­tions about schools, shop­ping, traf­fic and the avail­abil­ity of pub­lic tran­sit, to name a few com­mon con­cerns. An ex­pe­ri­enced sales­per­son should be able to of­fer both a knowl­edge­able anal­y­sis of lo­cal mar­ket con­di­tions and rea­son­able up-to-the-minute dol­lar value es­ti­mates of dif­fer­ent prop­er­ties.

If you’re not sure how to get started, you could ask your Guelph-based sales rep to make a re­fer­ral; she’ll put you in touch with a ca­pa­ble Ot­tawa bro­ker­age and sales­per­son and she may re­ceive an agreed upon re­fer­ral fee from the Ot­tawa bro­ker­age, which you can ex­pect her to tell you about. This can save you the has­sle of con­duct­ing a longdis­tance search for the right sales­per­son.

Re­fer­ral ar­range­ments can be em­ployed when­ever you are look­ing at prop­er­ties out­side of your cur­rent area — in­clud­ing other prov­inces or coun­tries. To en­sure their clients are get­ting the best rep­re­sen­ta­tion, sales­peo­ple will of­ten re­fer their clients to other bro­ker­ages if the client wishes to pur­chase a prop­erty that’s out­side their geo­graphic area or ex­per­tise, such as cot­tages and va­ca­tion homes. It’s a big rea­son why we rec­om­mend us­ing a lo­cal reg­is­tered sales­per­son or bro­ker when you buy or sell prop­erty.

If you have a ques­tion for Joe about the home buy­ing or sell­ing process, please email [email protected]

Re­fer­ral ar­range­ments can be em­ployed when­ever you are look­ing at prop­er­ties out­side of your cur­rent area

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