Building your powerhouse real estate team

Building your powerhouse real estate team

When you're buying a home – whether it's your first time or your tenth – having the right professionals in your corner is vital to a successful purchase. You need a great realtor, a strong mortgage broker and an experienced real estate lawyer to help you navigate the experience with the least amount of stress. You want to work with experienced professionals who have a lot of transactions under their belts, really understand the market and are well-versed in the area where you're looking to buy.

Team player #1: Realtor

Buying a condo in Liberty Village, a townhouse in Burlington, and a multi-million dollar home in Forest Hill all require different knowledge of area and property type. Working with an agent who's a local expert – one that really specializes in the market where you're looking to buy – is so important. Knowing the nuances of an area can mean jumping on a great listing quickly or understanding the value you're getting with a unit in a specific building for a house on a particular street.

The GTA is a collection of very specific micro-markets. A local Markham expert will know the values and trends of that particular micro-market, and someone who specializes in condos in the downtown core or luxury homes in Rosedale is also going to have some pretty specialized knowledge that will help you make a successful purchase and get the best value.

If you're moving from a small town into the city or downsizing from a house in the ‘burbs to a condo in the core, you may even want to use two agents so each one really has their “feet on the ground” in each location. Different areas also have their own unique real estate “culture” – an agent who’s used to the go-go-go hustle of an urban market may not be the right fit in a slower-paced rural setting, and vice-versa.

Read more: How do I find the right real estate agent for me?

Female broker with African-American couple

Team player #2: Mortgage broker

Going to your own bank to get a loan means your mortgage specialist can only offer you that bank’s products, so your selection will be limited. A mortgage broker, on the other hand, has access to ALL the banks – plus other types of lenders – so they can comparison shop to get you the best rate and product for your specific needs. If you're self-employed, for example, and the big banks are saying no, a broker is more likely to find a creative financing option that enables you to get into homeownership.

Unlike banks, brokers build their business on referrals and word of mouth: they are motivated to find you the best deal – one you’ll tell your friends and family about.

I always recommend talking to a mortgage broker. Bank A won't tell you about a better deal at Bank B or Bank C. But a mortgage broker will. I recently had a client who had been with the same bank for 30 years. She had all her savings with them, her RRSP, everything. But on my advice, she used a mortgage broker to do the deal and came out ahead.

Read more: Should I work with a mortgage broker?

Team player #3: Real estate lawyer

There are legal complexities to any real estate transaction that require a lawyer that really understands real estate and can go through all the due diligence, help you with closing and keep you out of trouble. And while a lawyer is an expense that you have to cover as a buyer, it's actually not a huge cost. Real estate lawyers don't bill by the hour the way corporate or criminal lawyers do: they charge by the transaction. So expect to pay around $1,700 to $2,000, depending on the purchase price of the property.

Read more: Why do I need a lawyer?

How do I get started building my real estate team?

Finding an experienced agent is your first step. He or she will be able to refer you to other professionals including mortgage brokers and lawyers, but also movers, interior designers, contractors and other experts to make your experience an amazing one.

About Sean Miller

Sean is one of the top realtors at He has the drive and expertise to guide you through one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever make. Whether you're a first-time buyer, a seasoned seller, are new to the Toronto market or are looking for a great investment, he makes the experience as stress-free as possible, quickly assessing your needs and offering a full range of options that fit with your lifestyle and budget. Navigating the GTA market is his specialty, and stellar customer service and deep market expertise are his calling cards. He is always ready to go the distance to help clients make the right choice, at the right time and the right price. Contact Sean today.

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