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Why it’s important to use a local realtor when shopping for—or selling—a home

Local agents have intimate knowledge of neighbourhoods and communities, says REALTOR® Christine Lovatt

If you’re getting ready to buy a new home, or maybe to sell your existing one, one of the first steps is to find the right REALTOR® to help you. What you might not realize is how important it is to use the services of a local agent.

There are many reasons why using a local agent is the smartest way to go. To break these down, we spoke with REALTOR® Christine Lovatt.

The biggest reason to rely on the services of a local REALTOR® is that they know the market better than anyone. They are familiar with the homes in the area that have already sold; they’re more likely to have toured them and been through them in person and are able to make accurate comparisons. This means they are much better equipped to assess the value of a home and to help a buyer understand what amount they should offer.

It’s one thing to know the particulars of an individual home, but a local REALTOR® can tell you everything you need to know about the entire neighbourhood it belongs to. They know which areas of town may be more suitable for young families, singles or seniors. When it comes to schools, they may have children who are in the system or who have gone through neighbourhood schools.

They’re also a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the lifestyle of a particular area. They’re familiar with local restaurants and the best shopping available. They know neighbourhoods and communities intimately, including religious institutions, recreational facilities, healthcare amenities and public transit options.

A local agent is also more likely to actively service your listing. They’ll be able to accommodate anyone who wants to see your property now, deal with any snow that gets in the way of showings, fix a fallen sign and even handle a dog that needs to be taken out.

If there are any potential drawbacks to an area or property—current or future—a local agent will know and will share that information with you.

As a buyer, the risks of using an out-of-town agent include paying too much for your home and being moved into a bad neighbourhood—two outcomes no buyer should have to deal with. As a seller, you may list your home at too low a price and leave money on the table because your agent doesn’t have the knowledge to negotiate properly for you. A legal battle may even follow if your REALTOR® doesn’t know about a planned future development that could affect your home’s property value.

The other important thing to keep in mind is just how different each city and town can be. Barrie is unique in that it has so many different areas that are either close to Highways 400 and 27 or Yonge Street, which can affect travel time.

“We have the lake area, which some people may love. Others may not like all the people and vehicles that come with summer activities,” says Lovatt. “We’re also close to ski resorts and have quick access to country drives and cottages.”

“Many don’t realize that after-service care is also an essential part our job. A local agent can help you find the best local roofer, contractor, vet, doggie day care, plumber—and a host of other connections you may need to help you settle into your new home.”

To book a free consultation, visit List With Lovatt, call 705-717-8726 or book direct.