Many first time homebuyers make the mistake of going into the homebuying process without conducting thorough research on the various parties involved throughout the process, such as real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and lawyers who specialize in real estate deals.
It’s common for prospective homebuyers to work with the first agent that was referred to them, or simply choose the first agent they find after conducting one Google search. This mistake can be costly, especially if the agent turns out to have limited real estate knowledge and negotiation experience.
The Agent-Proof Me (APM) platform is designed to help prospective homebuyers avoid the consequences of not doing prior research before signing a Buyer’s Representation Agreement (BRA). It’s extremely crucial to know your agents before signing a BRA – a document where the buyer is legally obligated to only use their respective sales representative(s) listed for the duration of the contract.
Think about it – you wouldn’t hire someone without doing an interview – why would it make sense to do the exact opposite for such an expensive investment?
10% Cashback Offered through Agent-Proof Me
This platform is completely free for homebuyers, who would benefit from the agents who have been certified through APM.
APM conducted a thorough survey to understand what buyers look for in their agents – one of their main findings was that 58% of buyers want an agent who is honest and trustworthy – one of the top three qualities desired. In other words, the average buyer looks for an agent who is highly transparent, and straight up with their clients.
Using the findings from the survey, APM has created a vetting process that they use before certifying a real estate agent. Each real estate gets interviewed in order to ensure they meet the qualifications of a well rounded agent. In addition, three testimonials are reviewed, where the past clients are contacted in regards to their experience with the agent, giving a better understanding of the agent’s past experience.
APM does the leg work of researching and interviewing each potential agent for prospective homebuyers who are too busy or perhaps inexperienced to. They also check the Real Estate Council of Ontario website, to see if the agent has been charged and/or convicted of any wrongdoing.
Perfect Platform for Millennials and First Time Homebuyers
Even during my own homebuying process, I made quite a few mistakes that in hindsight, could have been avoided if I had an effective agent who was able to guide me from the day the BRA is signed, until the closing day (and in some cases, you’d need your agent’s help after the closing date).
Garry Gilden, a real estate broker/owner with over 25 years of past experience, is the founder and lead listener (interviewer) of APM. His aim is to help first and second time home buyers avoid the mistake of blindly signing a BRA, before they know what they’re getting into. In other words, he intends to help first and second home owners find exceptional real estate agents, and licensed mortgage brokers.
Within the Toronto area alone, there are over 49,000 registered real estate brokers and salespersons. It can be a relatively lengthy process to find the right match, especially for those who have a day time job.
“This is a good way for younger adults to find a realtor, instead of going with the first agent they see on the back of a bus or on a for sale sign across the road” Garry, Founder
Choosing an Agent: What to Avoid
There are a few red flags to look out for when going through the process of choosing an agent. From personal experience, one of the warning signs is if they keep insisting you sign the BRA before proceeding. Keep in mind – a BRA works in their favour, since you’d be legally complied to use the corresponding brokerage for any real estate transactions within the duration of the contract.
Garry mentioned that an agent who is not listening to your needs is another red flag – you want someone who is able to represent you, and have a good understanding of your real estate needs. After all, your home purchase will most likely be the largest financial investment in your lifetime – it’s important to ensure it’s done right from the beginning.
This platform is completely free for homebuyers, and provides a 10% cashback on the realtor’s commission, after a deal has been closed. A buyer of a $550,000 home would receive $1237.50 cashback (based on APM’s calculation, which uses the commision rate of 2.25%). This would help alleviate the home closing costs, and other moving related purchases. APM also created a thorough list of 8 tips for first time homebuyers, which can be found on their website.
All in all, APM’s main mandate is to ensure that home buyers are connected to vetted, well experienced, honest, and exceptional real estate agents. There’s even a satisfaction guarantee offered by APM, where buyers would receive $300 cashback if they’re not satisfied with the service received by their respective real estate agent.
Through the APM platform, buyers avoid the lengthy hassle of looking for an experienced, qualified agent, and benefit from the cashback benefits of purchasing a home through APM.
Get your next agent APM certified by clicking here.
You May Also Be Interested In: How I Bought My First Home at the Age of 22
Writer: Jelani Smith
Disclaimer: All investing can potentially be risky. Investing or borrowing can lead into financial losses. All content on Bay Street Blog are solely for educational purposes. All other information are obtained from credible and authoritative references. Bay Street Blog is not responsible for any financial losses from the information provided. When investing or borrowing, always consult with an industry professional.