Owning a home had been a dream of mine for a while. When I finally decided it was time to buy, I thought it would be a good idea to work with a Realtor I already knew. I contacted James*, who I was friends with in high school. I figured working with someone I know would ensure trust and comfort. I hadn’t looked for a home before, and didn’t know what to expect. I did expect that James* would guide me through the process, as any realtor should. To my surprise the only guidance I got was a few listings, showings and one big threat…

After some time viewing homes that didn’t catch my eye, James called me on a Friday and told me he found the perfect home for me, in Mississauga. I was supposed to be out of town that long weekend but made this showing a priority because I really wanted to buy something sooner than later. I was tired of seeing disappointing homes and just wanted to finally find the home I would call my own.

Once we got to the house, I was glad I had made the time! It was perfect – a little small, and needed some work – but was on a huge lot and I was excited at the idea of renovating it to my taste. I was fairly certain I wanted to make an offer, and I told James I needed a bit of time to think about it. As I started getting ready to head out of town, James called me and told me, in a tone that was shocking “This house won’t be on the market for long”, and then added “If you don’t buy it, I will”. My jaw dropped – did my realtor really just threaten to buy the home if I didn’t? I wasn’t sure what his motive was – did he really want the home, or was this just a sleazy real estate tactic? Either way, I responded “Go ahead and buy it”, and guess what, he did buy it, then renovated just as I had told him I would. Talk about NOT putting the customer first! Some say, he flipped the house, but I really don’t care.

This experience was so disappointing and so ugly that I buried the idea of buying a home. I figured it wasn’t easy, and if someone I knew couldn’t help me, then who possibly could?

Fast forward 5 years, I was engaged to be married and my fiancé and I decided we wanted to buy our first home together. Given my experience with James, I was certainly not going to contact him again, and was hesitant to start looking for an agent. I remembered another high school friend whom I remained in contact with was also a Realtor.  I remembered Reece to be an honest and hardworking friend and as a result, he had established a successful real estate business. It looked like he had repeat business and referred clientele, both of which were huge signs of his ability and his commitment to his clients.

Based on his glowing recommendations and referrals, I decided to contact Reece. Without hesitation, he quickly got an understanding of our needs and started to show us homes. He also kept us emotionally grounded so that we didn’t buy on impulse, something which can be quite common. I had never realized that buying a home could be so emotional! After a couple of showings, he found us a beautiful home in Whitby right before the market started to take off. Just in time!

I will never forget my first two home buying experiences. Both were similar in that I worked with agents who I had known from high school, but both were also worlds apart in terms of service and care. Thank you Reece for putting our needs before yours and finding our perfect home.

Dave Miller* (names have been changed for confidentiality)