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Kelowna News

WALKER: 5 things I wish everyone knew about the real estate industry

Mark Walker is a real estate agent and the broker/owner of Kelowna’s Walker Real Estate.
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April 21, 2018 - 12:45 PM



As you’ll know, the real estate industry has been in the news a lot lately. As someone with over twenty years of experience in the real estate sector, it got me thinking about the things that I wish everyone knew about my profession and British Columbia’s largest industry.

I’ve boiled my thoughts down to five key points. Here goes...

Not all Realtors are created equal

Who you work with matters. There are a lot of great real estate agents out there. Be sure to pick someone who is going to crush it for you. For example, I was just able to sell a client’s condo for an extra $45K in comparison to a very similar listing by another agent in the same building. My advice is to interview at least three real estate agents before you decide who to work with.

Don’t call the listing agent if you’re interested in buying their listing

When consumers see a listing that interests them, their first instinct is often to call the listing agent. Bad idea. The listing agent’s fiduciary obligations (more on this below) are to the seller, not the buyer. When you’re buying, you need to engage a buyer’s agent who will work in your best interests and negotiate with the listing agent (and the sellers).

Fiduciary duties

If you only remember one point from this list, I hope it is this. Fiduciary duties are something that the best agents take very seriously. It essentially boils down to this: if you hire a Realtor and establish a fiduciary relationship, that agent is ethically required to serve your best interests above all else (including their own interests). In other words, you should be able to trust that your agent is working to your best interests throughout your entire transaction.

Don’t change anything until the keys are in your hand

This is a big one. Sometimes folks think because they’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage and they have an accepted offer, they can go out and take advantage of other credit opportunities. Wrong. On the day of closing, your lender will probably check your credit score and verify your employment status one final time. If you’ve just leased a shiny new truck, it might just have scuppered your home purchase. My advice is to avoid changing anything until the keys are in your hand. Lenders do not like change and uncertainty.

It’s kind of fun!

Real estate is my passion - it burns as bright today as it did when I first started investing in the sector over two decades ago. It was actually my investing experience that encouraged me to get my licence. Even after almost twenty years of working in real estate, I’m nearly always talking/reading/learning about real estate. It is a fascinating industry and can be very rewarding. For example, it can be a great investment tool and can help people achieve their dreams. I love real estate!

If you have any questions about the Kelowna real estate market, please contact me at the Walker Real Estate office: 250-764-4344. I would love to answer any questions that you might have.

— Mark Walker is a real estate agent and the broker/owner of Kelowna’s Walker Real Estate. His company runs the website - Kelowna’s most comprehensive real estate search tool - and KelownaCondos - your source for all you need to know about condos in Kelowna.

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