When it comes to the largest purchase in one’s life, the key phrase is “you’d better shop around”. Don’t settle on the first home you see.
Decide where you want to live based on such things as transportation, distance to work, proximity to schools, day-care, recreation facilities, shopping, health care etc. When you hear ``10 minutes to downtown``, find out if that was determined at 2 a.m. in a race car!
Next, find a real estate agent who is really interested in giving you service...whose attitude and availability indicates that they are working for you. Do this by seeing who’s most active in your neighbourhood. An agent who actively makes sales calls, who keeps you informed of sales or listings in your area, or who leaves flyers at your door is one who is aggressively involved in pursuing business.
Set up appointments with a few agents from different companies and assess their presentation package to you. Are they prepared? Have they done some homework in advance? Do they have any special affiliations or packaged discount programs with other corporations where you can save on your mortgage, on moving costs or on household purchases for your new home? You’ll want to work with someone you relate to, with whom you have some chemistry, and who offers you excellent service and value. Make sure you ask if the Realtor is acting for a vendor or for you.