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It pays for millennials to shop around for a real estate agent

“There are a lot of agents out there and each has something unique to bring to the table,” says Edmonton realtor Leah Cyr.
“There are a lot of agents out there and each has something unique to bring to the table,” says Edmonton realtor Leah Cyr.

A new survey reveals many millennials may put more effort into picking a show on Netflix than selecting a suitable realtor.

The Angus Reid poll of more than 400 Canadian millennials found that while more than two-thirds agreed finding the right real estate agent is essential to finding a home, only four in 10 considered consulting with more than one agent.

“We also found the vast majority hire the first realtor they meet,” says Regan McGee, CEO of Nobul, a website linking buyers and sellers with realtors, which sponsored the survey.

On this point, the survey found 75 per cent hired the first realtor they contacted.

By comparison, McGee notes the study mentions millennials typically look at 10 to 20 titles before deciding on something to watch on Netflix.

Edmonton realtor Leah Cyr with Herrick Real Estate Group, Re/Max Elite agrees buyers and sellers should shop around more to find the right real estate agent.

“There are a lot of agents out there and each has something unique to bring to the table,” she says. “As a buyer or seller it’s important to find an agent that you’re able to connect with, and that will work for you, to help you make one of the biggest decisions in your life.”

The nationwide study did not break down its findings into regional statistics. But it found millennials also hold a number of misconceptions about real estate.

For instance, one-third indicated home prices in their area were affordable in the area in which they live.

That’s despite the reality that the average bungalow costs about $521,000 nationally and an average millennial has an after-tax income of about $44,000, McGee says. As such, this price range for real estate is likely unaffordable for many Canadian millennials, he adds.

Furthermore, 68 per cent of those surveyed plan to buy in the next two years. Given many are working with tight budgets, the next finding is particularly noteworthy, McGee adds.

Among millennials 38 per cent knew nothing or very little about realtor commissions, the study found.

“A lot of people don’t realize they can negotiate fees with agents.”

McGee further says many people believe a five per cent commission on the sale of the home is a set fee, but it’s not.

“That’s something that is a revelation for many people.”

What’s more, many people falsely think commissions are only paid by the seller.

“When you’re buying a home you’re still paying commission, you just don’t see it because it’s buried in the deal,” he says. “But on the average home you’re buying in Canada, you’re likely paying tens of thousands of dollars in commissions to the agent representing you as the buyer.”

And that’s one more reason to meet with more than one realtor when buying or selling, McGee says.

“You can definitely negotiate on fees, but most people don’t know that.”

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

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