Gavin Thomas, of Realty Executives Kootenay, says Cranbrook and Kimberley are experiencing an active market.

Don’t be passive in an active market

Realtor says the right agent is crucial to a good purchase

Gavin Thomas of Realty Executives Kootenay in Cranbrook and Kimberley doesn’t use the word “hot” to describe the current housing market. He prefers to say it’s an active market.

But it’s a seller’s market for sure, he says, and that means buyers need to go in with a clear head. A good realtor will inform you of what you need to know and what you need to do, even before you go window-shopping.

“Get your ducks in a row,” he said, “because if you start looking at houses without doing the legwork, and find something you like, by the time you get organized it’s going to be long gone.”

Gavin says some buyers are embarrassed to call a realtor and admit they are clueless about the process. But that’s when you need help the most.

Find a realtor who’s on the ball

“Don’t be shy to call and just say ‘I have no idea what to do.’ That’s what we’re here for,” he said. But it’s important to find a realtor who looks out for your interests.

If you drive past a house you like, remember that the realtor whose name is on the sign was hired to get the best deal for the seller. Find your own agent first, Gavin says, and then start looking at houses.

“You’ve got to find a realtor that’s on the ball,” he said. “You can’t have a passive realtor because when a house comes up that’s reasonably priced, and it’s a decent home, it’s going to get scooped.”

But sellers also have work to do, Gavin said. Even in a seller’s market, you can’t expect to get full value without putting some effort into the sale. That means clean and de-clutter, and remember that the buyer is more likely to be impressed by the building and the grounds than by your personal style. In other words, you may want to repaint that pink-and-green wall with something more neutral.

“And realize that if someone buys your house, you need a plan to get on with your life. You need to know where you’re going and what you’re going to do,” Gavin said. “A good realtor can help make that process easier for you as well.”

Your home is your world

It’s clear that Gavin enjoys advocating for his clients and negotiating a good deal. And he pays close attention to the money side of the transaction, because it can have a profound impact—positive or negative—on someone’s life.

But a home purchase is more critical because, after all, “it’s your home. That’s where you go every day after work, that’s where your family is raised. That’s your world,” he said.

“It’s a big investment, financially and in every other way. I love helping people get it right.”

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