As the Victoria real estate market continues to shift and recalibrate, so do people’s approaches to accessing the market. It isn’t earth-shattering news that there are list agents and buyer agents, one to help you sell your place and one to help you buy your place. Now, more often than not, people have one single capable, knowledgeable real estate agent helping them buy and sell.

But what happens if you’re looking to get into the market for the first time or to buy a pre-construction condo and don’t have that existing relationship?

In this case, it’s all about finding that buyer agent you feel comfortable with, who you can ask any question under the sun. Even the little ones.

This is especially important for first-time buyers as it is their first foray into the fires. We want to create relationships that build confidence in the market and the only way to do that is with information. Knowledge is power, right?

Like with any real estate transaction, you want somebody in your corner you can trust, somebody representing only your best interests, and somebody who can impart knowledge of the process, the developer, the unit, the neighbourhood, and anything else.

This is especially true in terms of new construction sales. And you are more than welcome to bring your buyer’s agent with you. This way, you get all of the advice from the sales centre, plus the advice from your buyer’s agent. Except they don’t have a stake in the development.

In the past, CBC printed an article about people running into problems with getting financing in place to close on their pre-construction condos. This was a Vancouver-centric article, where condo prices had fallen from 10-15 per cent since these people purchased the condo a few years ago.

This is the inherent risk of new construction, especially if you don’t have a rate-hold pre-approval in place. Lenders will only lend money on what the condo is worth at the time of closing, so if you purchased for a higher price and its current market value has since tumbled, then it’s on your shoulders to come up with the difference. Couple that with the mortgage stress tests and people are sometimes looking at coming up with north of $150,000 in cash to close.

For the average condo buyer, this could be an insurmountable amount of money. To the point that people are turning to lawyers to find loopholes to negate the contracts.

Problem is, they only get more iron-clad the closer to completion you are.

Now, in this particular instance, a buyer’s agent in new construction isn’t going to save you from a declining market; however, they can offer you the advice and information to have made a solid, logical decision at the time of signing.

Do you know how to read a disclosure statement or its amendments and know what to look for? Do you know how strata corporations are created for new strata buildings? Do you know your rights as a buyer of new construction?

So much goes in to buying into a new project. It’s not just a matter of picking floorpans and colour schemes. Have you given thought to what new developments might be going up around you, reducing that expensive, exquisite view out your balcony?

We don’t want to scare you away from new construction because, with the appropriate research and insight, it can be a great investment for you and your future. We do want, however, to arm you with the pertinent info and advice to help you make the best decision.

Keep in mind: in any real estate transaction, you should always have your powerhouse team of experts assembled, from realtors to mortgage brokers to lawyers. We realtors play just one role, but it’s an important one.

Haven’t thought much about how a buyer’s agent might help you? Give us a call. We can grab a coffee and give you the quick rundown of how it can make things easier for you.

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