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Questions for Your Realtor, when You’re an Investor

7 April 2013

When you’re a home buyer, looking for that perfect home to call your own, you’ll have lots of questions for your Realtor. And most of them will probably come pretty naturally to you. But what about when you’re an investor, looking for that perfect home to let someone else call their own? You may think the questions are basically the same – making sure the plumbing, electrical, etc. are all in proper working order, asking about appliances, etc. And that’s true. But what about when you’re an investor? When that’s the case, there are other questions, tailored to your investment, that you won’t want to miss. But what are they? 

Do you have a team? How experienced are they?

Yes, make sure the Realtor you choose has a team working with them. You may like the idea of being able to call one and only person when you have a question regarding your future investment property. But just because your Realtor has a team backing them up doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to deal with them and them alone. Even when that’s the case though, they’re still going to need accountants, possibly lawyers, other Realtors and brokers, and administrative assistants.

A good investment Realtor will probably be very busy, especially in markets that are fertile investment grounds. You’ll want them to need that help; and you’ll want that help to be just as knowledgeable in their field as the Realtor is that you’re working with.

Do  you specialize?

Working with a Realtor who just came from showing first-time buyers possible properties, and is then off on their way to meet with business owners looking for a commercial space? In between, they’re meeting you – the investor – to talk about your needs? You want your Realtor to be busy as a sign of good business, but you don’t want them to be overloaded. And you definitely don’t want them overloaded serving every sector of the housing market. Just like these questions are tailored to investors, so too are investment properties. You want a Realtor who deals with them only.

What’s your specialty market?

When you ask this question, “Toronto,” is not a sufficient answer. Toronto is a huge market, with over 100 sub-markets within it. Does your Realtor deal with property in Scarborough? Or Cabbage Town? Or Yorktown? Or Burlington? Midtown, or Downtown? All of these are just a few of the communities within the Toronto market, and if you’re going to invest in any of them, you want a Realtor that works specifically in that area.

This is one area in which working with a team of brokers and Realtors (question #1) comes into play. You might find a brokerage that specializes in the Toronto area, but you want to make sure that they have an agent within that brokerage that specializes in the area you’re looking to invest in.

What areas do you invest in yourself?

This might be the most important question. And Mat Piche from Re/Max Real Estate Centre explains best why that is.

He says, “Realtors that invest know two key things: that investing is a business, and they know how to run it.”

You’ll always have lots of questions for your Realtor, no matter what type of property you’re buying or for what reason. But when you’re looking at investment properties, you need to know about much more than just the foundation and how old the furnace is. And asking these four questions will make sure that you get all those investment-specific concerns covered.

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