If you’re thinking about buying a home or cottage in Prince Edward County, you’ll want to hire a local real estate agent, stat. Here’s how they can help:
- See What Homes are Available for Sale – Unlike many other real estate boards in Ontario, the Quinte Real Estate Board doesn’t allow members to amalgamate all of the area listings on their websites….which means that if you aren’t working with a local REALTOR, the only way you’ll be able to see what’s available for sale is by visiting the Canadian Real Estate Association’s website, www.realtor.ca. Unfortunately, realtor.ca is often delayed and not always up to date. To get instant notifications of what’s available for sale in Prince Edward County, you’ll need to work with a local agent (email us to be connected with the best agents in the County).
- Access the Secret Listings – It’s not uncommon in PEC, for agents to have ‘pocket listings’- secret homes for sale that aren’t publicly listed. Having a good relationship with a local agent might give you the inside edge on some great properties you otherwise wouldn’t even have known were available for sale.
- Get Historical Price Data – There are 39 real estate boards in Ontario, each with their own unique rules and membership requirements. So while Ontario REALTORS are licensed to practice anywhere in Ontario, they only have access to the listings and historical price information of the boards they belong to. If your real estate agent doesn’t belong to the Quinte Real Estate Board, they won’t be able to see sold price information for Prince Edward County…which makes it almost impossible for them to be able to guide you on the value of the home you’re thinking of buying.
- Learn About the County’s Communities – Prince Edward County is made up of various smaller communities, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. While you can learn a lot on the internet [Related: check out our Community Guides], nothing beats learning about a community from someone who lives or works in it every day. I remember when I first started looking at real estate listings in the County: I was drawn to a few communities because of the low prices. Of course, like I tell my clients in Toronto- there’s always a reason for prices that seem too good to be true. My local agent was able to educate me about why the prices were so much lower than elsewhere…and I knew those weren’t the communities for me.
- City REALTORS Don’t Know Rural Real Estate Stuff. Sure, we learned it in school – but if your agent hasn’t actually attended a septic inspection, can’t read a survey, or doesn’t understand the results of a water well test, they’re probably not the best real estate agent to be advising you.There are a lot of unique issues in the County that your city REALTOR just might not be able to interpret….like the clay and limestone terrain and sulphur veins that run along some streets. Why is that important? Ask a local realtor (lol).
- The Local Real Estate Customs Matter. While the laws across Ontario may be the same, there are local customs and expectations that matter when it comes time to make an offer. What’s a normal deposit in PEC? (hint, it’s a LOT lower than it is in Toronto). What conditions are considered ‘normal’ and are needed to protect you, but won’t damage the negotiation process? What’s a normal first offer? How does a typical negotiation go down? (Hint: bidding wars here usually have conditions in them). Everything is different in the County.
- Relationships With Other Agents. In most real estate transactions, there are two agents: the one who represents the Buyer, and the one who represents the Seller. Most Buyers and Sellers don’t know this, but having an agent who is well respected and known by the other agent can go a long way to having a smooth negotiation and closing.
- They Can See Properties for Sale Right Away. Good properties in Prince Edward County sell fast, and having an established relationship with a local agent means you don’t have to wait until the weekend (or whenever your out-of-town agent is available) to see a new listing. Also: the video walk-through tour can save you a trip to the County.
- Access their Network of Home Service Professionals. This is a big one, especially if you’re buying a second home or investment property. You’ll need to rely on a lot of local tradespeople, and having insider connections can make a world of difference in both your ability to book in-demand services and the price.
- Answer your PEC Questions. When you move to a new community, it’s nice to have someone who can answer your random local questions. Where’s the best nearby brunch? Who’s the best dog groomer in town? Best place to get a gel pedicure? Granted I may have taken this too far when I texted my agent a photo of an insect I wanted him to identify. In fairness, there were hundreds of them smashing up against my window. It was a June bug – and yes, he knew it.
Looking to buy in the County? Get in touch and we’ll connect you with the best local agents.