As a local Hamilton realtor, what I’m about to say may sound a little rich: there’s no substitute for a local realtor.
OK, let me explain.
My belief is that agents must always have their client’s best interest in mind when representing them in the market. You’ve heard me say it on this site many times before. It doesn’t matter if the client is buying, selling, or both.
This means understanding the area in which your client is listing/looking to ensure you can provide top quality service. For example, knowing a Board’s plans for a vacant school building or that there’s a development proposal for a new garbage incinerator in the community at city hall informs buying and selling decisions.
I take pride in being a Hamiltonian and I’m proud of the rejuvenation that is happening across the city. I’m pleased that I can do my part to help that process along. In fact, the city’s momentum often makes my job easier as it provides a free selling feature!
That’s why I’m amazed when I read listings that don’t highlight the great attributes of our many neighbourhoods. Let me use the following as an example:
“Experience luxury living in up and coming Hamilton Centre……close to shopping malls, parks and many amenities.”
That’s the beginning and end of a listing, the middle rattled off all of the impressive features of the property (no sarcasm intended, it’s a nice listing.) However, nowhere in that description did it say that it was steps to trendy textile and vintage shops on Ottawa St. Or the growing list of retail stores, like PetsMart, WalMart, Tip Top Tailors, at the Centre on Barton. Or the fantastic farmers’ market in the area which sells amazing apple cider from a Winona orchard. Or the top notch restaurants and cafes in the area, like the Cannon. Or that it was steps to at least five different transit routes, including the B-Line, and where those buses go. Or that there are great schools, like Memorial, Cunningham, St John’s and Holy Name, within a few blocks.
As much as possible, I make every effort to know what’s going on inside AND outside the house. It’s not good enough to say “great schools” when you should be able to list them and know something about their records. To say, “close to parks” when referring to Gage Park – one of Hamilton’s most historic and arguably best parks – is a huge disservice to that community institution. And also, no warm blooded local resident (or Realtor) would call their beloved Ottawa Street or Delta neighbourhood by it’s MLS name of “Hamilton Centre.”
This is not a shot at the listing agent (who, coincidentally, was from a neighbouring city). The point is that local knowledge is essential to this business and can mean the difference in many situations.
I understand that in this seller’s market, a nice property will sell regardless of the description on Realtor.ca. However, for a buyer, who will potentially be spending years of their life in this location, some extra knowledge can go a long way toward their purchase decision. Clients have options and local info can help them find the best fit.
This is something that I and many of my peers take very seriously. After all, it’s no accident our website’s tagline is “selling #HamOnt.”