Navigating the waters of real estate can be extremely difficult at times, especially if you’re a first time home buyer, so having someone experienced by your side like Walter Ekins who knows all the ins and out of real estate, and can keep you from making common mistakes, is crucial to have.

So what exactly is a buyer’s agent?

A buyer’s agent is someone who will guide you through the whole process of purchasing a home, whether it’s your first or your fifth. Besides taking the reins as you explore your home options, a buyer’s agent also has many other benefits such as:

Getting you the best deal. Particularly with experienced buyer’s agents who know the area, they will know which homes are worth the price that the seller is asking, and which ones are complete rip-offs. Based on their knowledge of the market, the buyer’s agent will inspect the home that is being considered and come up with a counter offer to the sellers agent. This often saves the client hundreds, if not thousands of dollars that they would have otherwise spent on their dream house without a second thought. Particularly with Walter Ekins, you save even more compared to other real estate agents. While other agents will take the full commission, Walter simply subtracts his fee of 0.5% of the commission and $700 for the Administration Fee. Any surplus commission that he earns is given back to the buyer once the papers are signed and the sale is complete. If you take a million dollar home, for example, you save roughly $40,000 and get the exact same service than if you went with another company! Now that’s a great deal.

Finding you the best property. Rather than using your time browsing through hundreds of listings in your desired neighbourhood, a buyer’s agent will do that for you, freeing up your time to do other important tasks. It’s important to sit down and have a detailed conversation with your buyer’s agent about what you’re looking for in a house and your budget. A good buyer’s agent will then find properties that fit the bill and offer to show you homes that are best suited to your needs, prioritizing the needs vs. wants. For example, if you need three bedrooms and want an inground swimming pool in the backyard, the buyer’s agent will still present you homes that have the 3 bedrooms, but don’t have an outdoor swimming pool. This also widens your choices when it comes to choosing a home. It’s important to be flexible and not picky as you will be searching forever if you are looking for a home that has all your needs and wants.

Expediting the process. If you’ve never purchased a home before, you may not know about what all is involved. It’s not just touring homes and closing a deal. There’s also meeting with a mortgage broker, hiring a moving company, dealing with real estate attorneys, home inspectors, etc. A buyer’s agent can also help in this regard by having contacts in each area that they can get in touch with and have worked successfully with in the past.

But how do you know which buyer’s agent to choose? With so many out there, it’s important to not just go with the first one that you come across, although with Walter’s one % solution, the choice is very clear. Just take a look at the testimonials! However, here is a list of questions that are beneficial to ask anyways, no matter who you decide to go with. Based on the answer to these questions, you’ll be able to pick the best buyer’s agent that can most benefit you and your family.

How familiar are you with the area? This is especially important for anyone who is set on a specific area or city. A buyer’s agent who is very familiar with San Francisco, for example, would not be a good fit for someone who is trying to find a place in Beverly Hills. A good buyer’s agent will have all the information you need to make an informed decision and should know basic things around the neighbourhood such as nearby schools, grocery stores, and other amenities that would best suit the buyer’s lifestyle. Walter Ekins specializes in the tri-city area, as well as Greater Vancouver. If that’s the area you’re looking to settle down in, Walter can find you your perfect home.

What’s your track record? Ideally, you’ll want a buyer’s agent with at least a couple years experience under their belt, or at the very least someone who has had a lot of success with closing deals and finding their clients their dream home. With close to 30 years experience in property development, marketing, and sales under his belt–not to mention the dozens of properties he has either lent a hand in on the selling or buying ends of things–Walter’s track record speaks for itself.

What’s your availability? In a perfect world, you would find a buyer’s agent who was available 24/7 to answer questions and dedicate their life to finding your home. While there are dedicated buyer’s agents out there for sure, it’s good to keep realistic and match up with someone who meshes well with your schedule. A part-time buyer’s agent will not cut it for someone who is looking to find and own a home in less than a couple months.

A successful pairing will lead to a successful transaction, so if you’re looking for a home, don’t do it on your own. Trust a certified buyer’s agent to get the job done and you’ll be in your new home in no time at all.