Austyn MacKinnon, a local realtor for 460 Realty Powell River, says she’s had a fulfilling career since transitioning from selling luxury cars in the city to quality real estate in the qathet region.
Being an out-of-town home buyer herself, MacKinnon has firsthand experience to share with out-of-town clients and their unique challenges in the real estate market.
Whether her clients are local or choosing their home sight unseen, she says her goal is to find them their perfect home, looking for the “gems” her clients may not have noticed.
“I like helping people find something they might not have realized would be a good fit,” explains MacKinnon. “I really listen to my clients and hone in on the things that are important to them, even if it seems like a small detail.”
Despite being a newcomer to the real estate industry, MacKinnon offers her expertise and willingness to go above and beyond for her clients.
“It’s been the happiest year of my life in terms of my evolving career and fitting in with the community,” she says.
Her expertise and unique perspective on buying from out-of-town have helped her hit the ground running as a realtor. As the real estate market continues to be in flux, buyers are finding themselves in a confusing position when looking for a new home. MacKinnon says her experience helps clients overcome hurdles that come with the commitment of such a large purchase.
Buying her own home was filled with difficulties due to not being there in-person to view houses, or any other local aspects. However, she saw how a present and knowledgeable realtor can help navigate the process of starting a new life chapter elsewhere. Now she strives to provide her clients with the same level of guidance she received.
One of the challenges long-distance buyers unknowingly face when looking for a home is they may not have the luxury of quitting their current job before being approved for a loan.
“When you’re coming from somewhere else, you have to buy first unless you’ve got cash, because you can’t quit your job,” says MacKinnon. “Otherwise, you’re not going to get approved.”
Also, having someone with access to local resources and the foresight to predict and mitigate moving challenges, such as a cleaning clause in the home sale or contacts for painters, plumbers and electricians, is essential.
“I’ve had garages cleaned and painted before clients moved in or irrigation figured out so while they’re busy packing up and getting here, their new home isn’t flooding,” she adds. “It’s really important to pay attention to the big picture, not just the purchase contract, and plan it out beforehand, as you often have to go by word of mouth in Powell River.
“It’s not like you can Google everything, like in the city, and find 10 qualified people who are available tomorrow. Our trades people are incredible and thus quite busy without the need to advertise widely. Now that I’ve gotten into the community, I know people, and I can share the wealth of knowledge from the whole 460 Realty team.”
MacKinnon notes that some clients have a hard time trusting the process, and she understands why. She says she strives to be an expert for her clients, and her experience buying her own home gives her a unique perspective on what her clients are going through.
MacKinnon says now is a great time to buy or sell, and the local 460 Realty office has already seen an uptick for the spring market.
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