Step 4: Finding a REALTOR® who is right for you

REALTORS®. Trained and constantly training.
In Canada, licensed REALTORS® are members of their local real estate Board, their provincial Association, and The Canadian Real Estate Association. This system of membership ensures that you are always treated with honesty and integrity.

The three REALTOR® relationships
The relationship between a real estate brokerage and a client is called “Agency”, and there are three kinds:

  • Seller (Vendor) Agency: represents the seller exclusively and it’s their job to get the best offer on the home. They are legally obliged to tell the seller anything known about a buyer, including if that buyer is willing to pay more
  • Buyer (Purchaser) Agency: represents the buyer exclusively. They seek out homes that meet the buyer’s needs and help assess the merits and defects of potential homes. They keep the buyer’s information confidential and never disclose information like the maximum amount their buyer is willing to pay.You may be asked by your REALTOR® to sign a buyer agency agreement.  In fact, in some provinces, REALTORS® are required to ask you – for your own protection.  This agreement ensures that the REALTOR® and the brokerage can look after your best interests, and helps clarify who is responsible for what. 
  • Dual Agency
    Sometimes, a brokerage may have an agency relationship with the buyer and the seller. Both the seller and the buyer must give their informed consent, and the REALTOR® must always provide full and timely disclosure of all pertinent information to both parties.

Sell and buy with the same REALTOR®?
Absolutely! Especially if you’re remaining in the same community. Your REALTOR® is already an expert on your needs, so it will save you a lot of time and energy.

Selecting a REALTOR®
There are lots of ways to find a REALTOR®. As you drive through prospective neighbourhoods, jot down the names and numbers of REALTORS® on the For Sale signs. Open Houses are a great way to meet face-to-face. Maybe friends or family members have a REALTOR® they love. Interview two or three and pick the one you think will be your best “business” partner.

How REALTORS® can help buyers like you

  • Review your list of wants and needs to help you determine your price range.
  • Answer questions about the markets you’re interested in and help you compare homes and neighbourhoods.
  • Use the local real estate Board’s MLS® System. Your REALTOR® can give you access to exclusive features of an MLS® System that the public is not privy to.
  • Preview properties to ensure you’re only shown homes that meet your needs and budget.
  • Make appointments and walk you through potential homes, answering all your questions.
  • Give up-to-the-minute information on financing and explain your mortgage options.
  • Negotiate with the seller, smooth out any potential conflicts and draw up a legally binding contract.

Stick with your REALTOR®
Your REALTOR® can become an expert on your specific needs and tastes. Scattering your time and energy amongst multiple REALTORS® will work against your goal of finding your best home. And because most REALTORS® have equal access to the same property listings, there’s no real advantage to having multiple REALTORS®.

Canada’s money laundering reporting requirements
No matter which REALTOR® you select, they will advise you of reporting requirements by FINTRAC, the federal agency responsible for administering Canada’s Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing legislation and regulations. Your REALTOR® is required by federal law to complete a client identification form, and must ask you as a client (buyer) for verified ID such as a driver’s license or passport. You can find out more on the FINTRAC web site http://www.fintrac-canafe.gc.ca

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