FORT ST. JOHN, BC--(Marketwire - Aug 14, 2012) - Brenda Chmelyk, a former top real estate agent and creator of a first-of-its-kind website www.MyVirtualAgent.com, says in today's high-priced Canadian housing market, buyers should look for savings.
"Canadians pay an average $12,900 commission to real estate agents," says Chmelyk, whose site lists homes and walks users through their closings.
"If buyers and sellers cut out the middleman, both can come out ahead," she says.
She offers these tips for buyers interested in taking matters into their own hands:
- Do your homework on the community. Find out the crime rate, bus routes, average pricing inclines and declines, and check the zoning on any undeveloped land around your neighborhood. This is all easy-to-do research via the internet and email. Enter the information into a calculator at www.freevls.ca for an objective opinion on whether the purchase makes sense.
- Get a pre-approval letter from your lender. Nothing will motivate a seller to drop his price like you doing the legwork before you've ever made an offer.
- Create a team that plays well. As a buyer, it's important to have allies throughout the transaction. Get to know your bank representative. Shopping for the right deal is important, but a 0.1 percent savings isn't as important as trust and having someone who's extremely capable working hard for you. Second is a home inspector. Don't just randomly select one. Get references, research the company the inspector is affiliated with and ask friends for recommendations. Finally, your conveyance lawyer is an integral part of the team. This is the person who ensures all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed. Your meeting will be quick and fairly painless -- despite some minor hand cramping by the time you sign all the documents.
"Buying a home may be the biggest investment you ever make," Chmelyk says. "Don't skimp on your homework!"
About Brenda Chmelyk
During both economic booms and slowdowns, Brenda Chmelyk was a top-producing British Columbia Realtor specializing in residential markets. She expanded to helping people not only with their real estate needs, but financial and personal goals as well, through motivational coaching, training and speaking. She created MyVirtualAgent and Free Virtual Listing Service, a first-of-its-kind website, to offer all the benefits of a traditional agency with all the savings of a for-sale-by-owner.