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Old Feb 16th 2009, 12:45 pm   #1
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Default Our realtor experience

Hi Ya Guys

just thought I would drop in and share our experience so far.

The reason being we have researched Realtors and there are a lot out there and also a lot of small print using them/buying through them. Our realtor was a godsend when we needed him. I haven't named him as this is not an advert for him its just to highlight the fact when you land here, you know no-one and you need to find someone you can rely on & trust from the moment you touch Canadian soil.

We landed on our PR visa 15th January. Slightly shell shocked but pleased to have made it. Got through immigration with ease, customs and through the one way doors out of Calgary airport. We were met the other side by our life line otherwise known as a realtor.

We were collected with ourselves, 2 kids and 8 cases plus loads of duty free chocolate from WH Smiths, Airside Gatwick. Although it was about -1˚ it felt freezing after being cooped up on a 8 hour flight. We were then driven from Calgary Airport to out rental in Okotoks.

We had been offered a 3 bed rental all in for a monthly fee less than the condos on offer so its best to shop around. We were lucky as our realtor had plenty of contacts and did the research for us. Its was a case of us saying we wanted to pay $x and he found it. He'd been and loaded our fridge and cupboards so we could have a very welcoming cup of tea on arrival and something to eat. Although it was only 6.30pm in Canada our bodies were starting to go into automatic shut down.

The kids checked out the house, loved what they saw, argued over bedrooms and then we ate. Up bright and breezy the next day to do all the boring bits and pieces.

Realtor picked us up at 10am and off to his house to complete paperwork such as Health cards & he had downloaded all the forms we needed filled in to register the girls in school. He made us loads of copies of documents he knew everyone would ask for and then off to the bank to get access to the money we had wired across. Once than bank was sorted, we went off for a customary Tim Hortons coffee and doughnut and to plan the rest of the day as we wanted to get as much paperwork done as possible.

We then got back in the car and we went and sorted out driving licences, - ladies be aware they ask you your weight. I nearly died but both husband and realtor was proper gentlemen and blocked their ears so I could divulge personal information.

Back in the car and next stop doctors, again he waited, we registered. Easy peasy. Back in car and off to Calgary to register us & kids for our SIN numbers. We were told to expect about an hours wait so we took our seats in the queue and again our realtor popped off, bought himself a newspaper and sat and waited. The lady in the SIN office was very nice and give us loads of advice and tips. Back in car and time for lunch.

So far so good. Loads done. Back we headed to Okotoks with a running commentary about what we were passing and what to do and see. We arrived in Okotoks and went and got a bite to eat. Then our realtor ran us to Walmart and sat in car while we went and got some shopping in. As we walked off we said we wont be long. An hour and a half later and we were back. Beginning to get tired and flagging. Went back to house all had coffee and planned for next day.

We were again up bright and breezy, something to do with time difference. And off to a meeting with Mortgage Lady. Again, very very helpful. Talked through the various options that were available to us and we were pleasantly surprised just how much we were able to borrow. That then opened up a world of opportunities on the home purchase front. On the way home from meeting we stopped off at realtors to have a look at properties within our price range. Total 28.

We sorted and sifted and came up with a total of 14 we wanted to view. Deep down thinking we would be fobbed off and talked into just looking at perhaps 4 or 5 as we know friends had been talked into by other realtors but no - next morning I had an email with an inventory of the next couple of days viewing. Each house had been allocated about 30-40 minutes viewing which I thought a bit excessive - comparing to how its done in the UK - but 30 minutes is good. We looked in cupboards, planned furniture, looked at every aspect you cant consider in UK as you have the home owners breathing down your neck but here it is much more relaxed. The homes are always vacant when you look round and believe me some of the houses you are pretty relieved there is no one there. We most definitely didn't feel rushed or that we were time wasting.

Any comment we made about a property was documented so that eventually our Realtor knew exactly what boxes we were looking to tick.

So we visited houses, had some lunch, visited more houses and went home to discuss prior to second days viewing.

After all the viewings we had shortlisted the ones we liked and we then made appointments to re visit and digest what we thought we liked/disliked.

Again nothing was too much trouble, any questions we had were either answered on the spot or I had an email response that evening.

One house, we fell in love with, and have now bought, was a new build spec home. We really really liked it but it was out of our price range and had already just been dropped by a huge amount so we didn't think they would drop it again. Our realtor decided to take a chance and go in with a really cheeky offer - seeing as not much selling on the new build front. They came back the next day and rejected the offer as we all knew they would but with the negotiating skills of a genius he managed to get us the house we desperately wanted and another $20K knocked off the asking price.

From putting in our first offer to moving in was 10 days. Painless, tearless and no sleepless nights. We moved in and had a small disaster. The builders had accidentally cut through the internet/tv/phone cables when backfilling the house, which no one realised until I fired up my email. As I worked for UK clients from home you can imagine my horror. 3 weeks with no internet - I was mortified. This would do so much damage to my business. Fear not.

Realtor Man steps in - above and beyond the call of duty. He managed (cut a long story short) to speak to the builders of the house next door, who spoke to the guy who has purchased the property and they have all agreed that I can use their cables until the builders can relay the cables to our home. So until the internet at our house is up and running Realtor Man gave me his door key so I can work from his office. The reason being I start work at 4am to be inline with UK timing. He is my saviour.

So I am sitting here is him lounge while him and the family are sleeping above. He has only known me and my family as clients but he has more than extended the hand of friendship by allowing me use of his home whilst we wait for the builders to sort out the mess they created.

Get to know your realtor as I say - they are gonna be the only real friend for a while once you have landed. Anyone coming over soon please feel free to pick our brains for advice or just a bit of moral support on your journey over.
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Old Feb 16th 2009, 1:14 pm   #2
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Default Re: Our realtor experience

We can say something with our realtor, she was great and has helped out so much that she has become a close friend
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Old Feb 16th 2009, 1:30 pm   #3
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Default Re: Our realtor experience

I had a good experience with my realtor too. Not only was she great with the house purchase but she has been a good contact after landing.

She knows that I am single and despite have rellies over here, she has invited me out a couple of times with her girlfriends to increase my circle of friends.

It does renew your faith in realtors and the human race, so let's hope more people post positive experiences.
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Old Feb 16th 2009, 2:22 pm   #4
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Default Re: Our realtor experience

Wow thats an amazing story. although we still live in london uk we have a house near kingston and had a very good experience - but nothing as good as yours. the people in canada never fail to amaze me as how helpful they are. you can imagine the disasters we have had and have had to rely on the good will of neigbours etc to fix things whilst we sit back here in the uk and do nothing (burst pipes, septic overflows, fridge breaking day before new renters etc etc)
thats why we would love to live there maybe one day...
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Old Feb 16th 2009, 2:36 pm   #5
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Default Re: Our realtor experience

What a fantastic fairy godfather you have!!!

Seriously, I hope our first experiences of Canada will compare when we land next month

Good luck in your new home - and hang on to your 'treasure'!

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Old Feb 16th 2009, 2:47 pm   #6
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Default Re: Our realtor experience

You got a really good one there.

Its always good to hear the positive side once in a while.
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Old Feb 16th 2009, 3:29 pm   #7
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Default Re: Our realtor experience

It never ceases to amaze me how many lovely helpful stories are posted on here. It is so refreshing, to kn ow that there are people out there who will go out of their way to assist you, whether they've known you 10 years or 10 minutes. You just (sadly) know it will never be like this in the UK.
I only hope my move goes as smoothly as the ones mentioned here!!
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Old Feb 16th 2009, 3:39 pm   #8
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Default Re: Our realtor experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by pip_is_fab View Post
It never ceases to amaze me how many lovely helpful stories are posted on here. It is so refreshing, to kn ow that there are people out there who will go out of their way to assist you, whether they've known you 10 years or 10 minutes. You just (sadly) know it will never be like this in the UK.
I only hope my move goes as smoothly as the ones mentioned here!!
When/if the time comes for my family to move, I shall be PMing you for your Realtors name He sounds amazing. I wish service like that was available in the UK.

Long may your happiness continue
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Old Feb 16th 2009, 4:25 pm   #9
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Default Re: Our realtor experience

i have to say this appears to be almost the norm. the number of positive experiences i have heard are far more than the negative. Our realtor has stayed in touch, his daughter babysits for us, and he helped us out with small unrelated house problems long after the sale.
its difficult not to be cynical, i was hard to win over, but it seems like you can actually trust some sales type people over here. it may be hard to believe for people moving over here, but give them a chance, as the O/P said, a relationship can develop.
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Old Feb 16th 2009, 4:44 pm   #10
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Default Re: Our realtor experience

Is great to hear stories like this. My realtor is not in my good books AT ALL at the moment so it is good to hear of super dooper nothing is too much trouble ones!
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Old Feb 16th 2009, 4:58 pm   #11
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Default Re: Our realtor experience

As someone who worked with realtors for many years, I have to say this is pretty much the norm. And there's a lot of work that goes into it behind the scenes as well. No, they are not all like that, but the majority are.
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Old Feb 16th 2009, 6:06 pm   #12
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Default Re: Our realtor experience

I was in Quebec, looking to buy in Moncton. I emailed a few realtors here just to say what we were looking for and the fact that we don't drive. A couple emailed back saying they'd be happy to show us around. Some follow up emails narrowed it down to one.

We made up a spreadsheet of properties we were interested in in the weeks leading up to our visit and emailed it now and then. He gave us his opinion based on our original wants.

When we arrived, he picked us up at our hotel, drove us everywhere we wanted, pointed out defects that we would otherwise have missed and made the whole buying process really easy.

When we came back to Moncton for the move itself, he again collected us from the hotel. We were too early for the lawyer so he took us to breakfast and paid.

Before going back to the house he took us to a furniture store we had planned to go to and stayed with us while we bought a load of furniture so he could drive us back to our new home after.

Three months later he got repeat business when we bought our rental property.
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Old Feb 16th 2009, 6:29 pm   #13
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Default Re: Our realtor experience

Our realtor came back from her holiday to show us around, how many would do that
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Old Feb 16th 2009, 8:08 pm   #14
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Default Re: Our realtor experience

Sounds like you got a real gem there

Good luck and congratulations on your move
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Old Feb 16th 2009, 8:26 pm   #15
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Default Re: Our realtor experience

I don't get it.
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