Home buyers who assume they can go it alone are often surprised at the level of effort it takes to locate a decent home and go through the buying process without an agent. Our first post covered several great reasons why a buyer should always hire a representing agent, and here are several more:

 

Put You in Touch with Their Network

Not only are buyer’s agents great at networking when it comes to home viewings and finding “secret” listings, but their talents at working with people extend to many services you could need. A great agent with knowledge of the local scene can often point you towards:

  • A good local mortgage lender
  • A quality homeowners insurance provider
  • A building inspector to ensure that the home you buy will be a good investment
  • A title company for property surveying or title insurance
  • A highly-recommended local school
  • Utility company contacts
  • Closing and escrow agents

Tracking down all of these parties on your own can be exhausting, and you have no guarantees that the ones you found have a solid reputation. Buyer’s agents’ abilities to introduce you to fellow friends in the home industry can make your whole buying process that much easier.

 

Assist You with Offers and Closing

Making a home offer is one of the most crucial steps in home buying. Giving the wrong sort of offer could derail the whole process.

A buyer’s agent will be able to help you look at the comparable Fleetwood real estate properties in the area in order to come up with a fair but competitive offer. Since offers are usually made on homes you have your heart set on, a helping hand that ensures you do not slip up and miss out can be invaluable.

Closing is another complicated element of home buying. Arranging all the parties and getting all of the documents in order is a logistical nightmare. Buyer’s agents can get all of your documentation in order and make sure every t is crossed and i dotted so that when you sign for your home, it will be yours for sure.

 

They Work for Free!

Technically, buyer’s agents do not work for free, but since the buyer does not owe them a dime, it can feel like that. Buyer’s agents are paid with a portion of the home sale. Their role is seen as helping the home get sold, just like the listing agent does. When the home sale is completed, the seller must pay the buyer’s agent around one to three percent (often 2.5 percent) of the sale as commission.

Anyone who wants a little help in the buying process can get it at virtually no cost since the home price is usually lower or equal to the seller’s listing price in the first place. To learn more about how valuable buyer’s agents are, visit our buying page.

 

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With the advent of so many new ways to find and view home listings online, many people may wonder if they need a buyer’s agent at all. The reality is that navigating listings is but one part of the process, and even doing that on your own may not be as productive as you think.

A buyer’s agent will help walk you through the trickier parts of the buying process to make them more manageable, and they will also aid in your search to find the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood. In short, a buyer’s agent is indispensable throughout every step of home buying. Here are some reasons why:

 

Arrange Viewings for You

Getting inside of a great-looking home you found on a listing is a delicate process. The seller’s agent and the seller will both have to be okay with the viewing, and the seller will have to be free in order to step out of the house at the time or let you in and answer your questions.

An interested individual will have a tougher time arranging a viewing than their buyer’s agent will. The process will be foreign to them, and they will not really know the ins and outs. In all likelihood a buyer’s agent will know the seller’s agent or at least know them by reputation. They can smooth over the whole affair and get you your viewing appointment without any awkwardness or miscommunication.

 

Giving You Inside Information on Properties

A buyer’s agent can be incredibly helpful for people looking to learn more about a neighborhood or the area they may move, especially if the buyer is new in town. An agent can help steer you toward neighborhoods and homes that have the characteristics you want, such as being near a public school your kids would enjoy attending.

They can also help steer you away from listings that may appear adequate on the surface but are actually a poor investment. Homes overbuilt for their neighborhood or homes with exorbitant asking prices can all be pitfalls for people new to an area or home buying in general.

 

Help You Find Hidden Listings

Not every listing will appear on the MLS. Some sellers want privacy, and others will be interested in selling but have not yet committed to publicly listing. A savvy buyer’s agent can often track these behind-the-scenes listings down and get you in touch with the seller. Starting the buying process for an unlisted home can actually be less stressful considering there will be few or no competing offers to worry about.

There are many more reasons that hiring a buyer’s agent is a veritable necessity when shopping for Fleetwood real estate. Look at part II to learn more, or visit or dedicated buying information page to get started.

 

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Many home buyers are not aware of the importance of a getting professional home inspection before a sale. Typically, you will make a contingency offer that allows you to tell the seller how much you would be willing to spend on the home if requirements like a successful inspection are met. When the seller accepts your contingency offer, you are essentially committed to buy the home unless you see major problems in the house that could affect your price or your willingness to buy.

 

Not placing a home inspection contingency could leave you stuck with a house with serious problems, such as:

Unstable Foundation

A home’s foundation is its most important structural element. Without a solid foundation, the entire structure of the home will shift and cause all sorts of problems. The most obvious signs of foundational issues are large stress cracks and interior angles that are not square, leading to doors that will not shut and other bizarre issues.

An unstable foundation can be the result of poor construction practices or excessive moisture infiltration. Repairing the foundation is usually extremely labor intensive, expensive and not necessarily going to clear up all problems in one go.

Proper Site Drainage

A well-graded property lot directs water away from the home’s foundation and into a storm drain system or natural drainage site like a creek. Improperly graded lots will see pools of water gathering in problem spots and water infiltration that can cause a damaged foundation among other severe effects.

 

Roofing Failure

A roof keeps a home dry, so it must be in good condition to protect the home from water damage. An inspector will look for signs of damaged shingles, moisture infiltration or other signs of a poorly-maintained roof. Roof repairs can range from minor patch jobs to full-blown decking and shingle replacement.

Mold and Water

The inspector will keep an eye out for signs of water damage or mold growth. Small areas are not difficult to address, but long-term water infiltration or widespread mold growth can be hazardous to your health and a big red flag that the home could be more trouble than you bargained for.

Home Systems and Appliances

The inspector will also look at the home’s wiring and plumbing systems for signs of age or issues. They will take a brief look at appliances like furnaces and fixtures like sinks for common problems.

Anything the inspector finds is better being noted before a completed sale. They usually will give you guidelines on the problem’s severity is and what it would take to fix. This knowledge gives you room to renegotiate your offer or change your mind.

 

Most Fleetwood real estate property owners are diligent enough to avoid these issues, but an inspection can make doubly sure. For help navigating the buying process to ensure that the home you buy will make you happy and give you no unpleasant surprises, visit our buying page.

 

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All year round, Vancouver is full of exciting activities and cultural events. Summers are even more special, though. For one time out of the year, the sun comes out nearly every day and the weather becomes consistently warm, clear and gorgeous. This window of paradise-like weather is often cause for celebration among the locals, who go all out to make the most of the beautiful conditions. Here are some of their favorite ways to unwind:

 

Canada Day

Canada Day is one of the biggest celebrations of the year throughout Canada, but Vancouverites bring a particular amount of gusto. A huge amount of free events occur, bringing the celebration to the masses. Granville Island’s celebrations are always worth a trip, and most of them are 100 percent free. Surrey even throws the biggest Canada Day celebration this side of Ontario with their outdoor concert series.

 

The Beach

You would have to be crazy to not go on at least one beach trip during the summer. Kits beach, Spanish Banks and English Bay Beach are all amazing opportunities to kick up some sand or just soak up some sun.

 

Summertime Festivals

June through August is often packed with festival events. The Vancouver International Jazz Festival is an important highlight on the local calendar. Huge names like the legendary Buddy Guy perform, as well as lesser-known acts getting their first exposure on the big stage.

Other notable celebrations include the Car-Free Festival, which promotes alternative transportation, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival and the SHOREfest concert and fireworks display. Bring the whole family to any or all of them for an unforgettable experience.

 

Summer Night Markets

Markets are typically an early morning affair, but plenty of Vancouver area merchants know how to light up the night with fun and culturally-rich night markets. Come enjoy fresh seafood, artisan wares and hot street food as you browse the colorful stalls. Richmond has two of the largest: the Richmond Night Market and the International Summer Night Market. Both offer more than 300 vendors, live entertainment and thousands of market-goers.

The Shipyards Night Market in North Vancouver is equally exciting, and the Vancouver Chinatown Night Market is legendary for its atmosphere.

 

Celebration of Light

Fireworks displays are always fun, but just imagine how much better it could be if there was incentive to up the ante. The Celebration of Light pits teams against each other to light up the English Bay in the most spectacular fashion possible. This event is quickly becoming one of the premier fireworks events across the world.

 

This is just a taste of what summers in Fleetwood and the Vancouver area can offer. Living on Fleetwood real estate gives you access to fun and memorable events like this no matter what season it is. Visit our buying page to find yourself a new home in one of the most culturally exciting cities on the planet.

 

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