Friday, November 1, 2013

What to Look For When Hiring A Realtor

Many consumers do not know what to look for when they begin their search for a Realtor. Here are some of the key things to look for:

Large or Small Company? - Some consumers will automatically assume calling a Realtor from a large company is the best option. This is not necessarily the case.  Although it's important to have a Realtor who is with a reputable company representing you, the size of the company does not always play a role. Most Realtors are using the Toronto Real Estate Board's MLS system to market their listings.  All Realtors that are part of the Toronto Real Estate Board co-operate with each other on sales, so all Realtors have access to all the listings and all the property information whether they are with a large company or small company. Sometimes the smaller companies with less volume actually have more time to service clients and offer more personalized service as opposed to larger companies which have many clients to service and could get bogged down.

Time and Expertise - One of the most important factors when choosing a Realtor is to choose a Realtor that has the time to service your needs as well as the experience to make the process go smoothly. A full time Realtor is usually the best choice.  A full time Realtor is more active in the marketplace and is on top of the pulse of the market. A full time Realtor will also be available for you all the time and can provide valuable resources such as lawyers, home inspectors, and contractors which can assist you with your move. There are many part-time agents in the industry that sell real estate as a hobby so be very cautious in order to ensure your Realtor has the time and expertise to represent you effectively.

Personal Connection - You should interview your potential Realtor carefully and get to know the Realtor you are looking to choose. Make sure you can trust your Realtor and you feel comfortable talking to them. It is important to be open with your Realtor and be able to tell them exactly what your thoughts and needs are.  Buying or selling a home can be an emotional experience so you want to ensure you have the right connection with your Realtor.

Location, Location - If you are looking to purchase or sell a home in a particular neighborhood, a great option is to find a Realtor who is local and specializes in that area.  Although with technology these days Realtors are becoming well versed in handling a wider demographical area, it still helps to find someone who has a consistent presence in a particular neighbourhood and knows the area you are interested in.  They will generally have the right market insight and knowledge that you need.

The right tech tools - The Internet is a huge marketing tool these days, and if your agent does not have an up-to-date website, a smart phone, or a social media presence, chances are they could be missing out on potential networking opportunities, business, and vital information. Ask how your Realtor stays on top of the market and clients' needs.

After Closing/Follow Up - After you have bought or sold your home with your new Realtor and the deal has closed, issues and items that need to be addressed after the closing can occur.  A good Realtor will have a follow up program in place to ensure that you are happy with the service and there are no issues after the move has taken place.  A good Realtor will also keep in touch with you and continue a relationship with you after the deal on your new property has closed.  


Bank of Canada Releases Monetary Policy Report on October 23, 2013

  • The global economy is expected to expand modestly in 2013. However, its near-term dynamic has changed and the composition of growth is now slightly less favourable for Canada.
  • The U.S. economy is softer than expected. But as fiscal headwinds dissipate and household deleveraging ends, growth should accelerate through 2014 and 2015.
  • Overall, the global economy is projected to grow by 2.8 per cent in 2013 and accelerate to 3.4 per cent in 2014 and 3.6 per cent in 2015.
  • In Canada, uncertain global and domestic economic conditions are delaying the pick-up in exports and business investment. This leaves the level of economic activity lower than the Bank had been expecting.
  • While household spending remains solid, slower growth of household credit and higher mortgage interest rates point to a gradual unwinding of household imbalances.
  • The Bank expects that a better balance between domestic and foreign demand will be achieved over time and that growth will become more self-sustaining. But this will take longer than previously projected.
  • Real GDP growth is projected to increase from 1.6 per cent this year to 2.3 per cent next year and 2.6 per cent in 2015. The Bank expects that the economy will return gradually to full production capacity, around the end of 2015.
  • Inflation in Canada has remained low in recent months, reflecting the significant slack in the economy, heightened competition in the retail sector, and other sector-specific factors.
  • With larger and more persistent excess supply in the economy, both total CPI and core inflation are expected to return more gradually to 2 per cent, around the end of 2015.
  • The outlook for inflation is subject to several risks emanating from both the external important that we are not just aware of these risks, but that we also take them on board as we consider the appropriate course for monetary policy.
  • We have identified two important external risks. An upside risk to inflation in Canada that emanates from the external environment is the risk of more-robust economic growth than projected in the advanced economies. Greater global demand would in turn translate into higher exports for Canada and rising commodity prices, which would support higher incomes and spending.
  • A second important external risk is a more protracted and difficult euro-area recovery. Since Canada’s direct trade links to the euro area are limited, the effects would be felt mainly through confidence and financial channels, as well as through indirect trade links.
  • We have also identified three important domestic risks.
  • First, there is a possibility that, for a given projection for global growth, exports could be even weaker than assumed. This is a risk that could materialize if competitiveness challenges were greater than anticipated and would result in an even larger loss of market share.
  • Second, there is a risk on the upside that, as confidence returns, domestic momentum builds faster than expected. Once the recovery in foreign demand becomes more solidly entrenched, and with domestic demand continuing to grow at a moderate pace, business sentiment could improve rapidly.
  • The third important domestic risk remains a disorderly unwinding of household sector imbalances, which are still elevated. The continued slowing in household credit and the rise in mortgage interest rates point to a gradual unwinding of household imbalances, but recent data suggest some risk of renewed momentum in the housing market.
  • Although the Bank considers the risks around its projected inflation path to be balanced, the fact that inflation has been persistently below target means that downside risks to inflation assume increasing importance. However, the Bank must also take into consideration the risk of exacerbating already-elevated household imbalances.
  • Weighing these considerations, the Bank judges that the substantial monetary policy stimulus currently in place remains appropriate and today decided to maintain the target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent.