THE PERFECT REALTOR
Finding The Perfect Realtor
When you work with a registered broker or salesperson you benefit from:
Education, Knowledge and Experience
All brokers and salespersons are required to complete educational courses prior to becoming registered and are also required to take continuing education courses. Many brokers and salespersons pursue ongoing professional development opportunities, obtain membership in professional associations and attend industry events on a regular basis. While consumers buy and sell real estate infrequently, most brokers and salespersons are engaged in these activities on a daily basis.
Consumer Deposit Insurance
All brokers and salespersons are required to be insured. The insurance program administered by RECO includes consumer deposit insurance - paid for by brokers and salespersons. In the event of fraud, misappropriation of funds or insolvency there is coverage available to consumers of up to $100,000 per claim to a maximum of $1,000,000 per occurrence. If the deposit is being held by your lawyer, you should contact the Law Society of Upper Canada todetermine what insurance protection may be available.
Complaints And Enforcement;
All real estate brokers and salespersons are required to comply with the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 and associated regulations, including the Code of Ethics. RECO addresses inquiries, concerns and complaints about the conduct of brokers and salespersons and takes appropriate action to protect the public interest.
Make sure your broker or salesperson is registered
In Ontario, in order to trade in real estate, brokers and salespersons must be registered under the Real Estate Business and Brokers Act, 2002. Before you begin working with a real estate broker or salesperson make sure you confirm that they are registered by using the online search feature.
F O R S E L L E R S :
Finding the Perfect Realtor
… Your Realtor
Does Your Realtor Really Work for You?
Agents Must Now Disclose
The tried-and-true way to find a Realtor is to ask friends and relatives for a refer- ral of someone they know or have used successfully and would use again if the need arose. The way to find the perfect agent is to interview the referred agents and then select the one that best fits your needs.
You will want to determine certain important facts:
• How well does the agent know the local real estate market?
• What is his or her track record compared to local statistics?
• Does this person have good negotiating skills?
• Does this person have a good reputation within the industry?
Finding the right agent is essential to making your home-selling experience a positive one. You’re about to embark on a journey that will require preparations, decisions, time and patience. Your relationship with the agent you select will help keep your stress level under control and ultimately be responsible for the financial outcome of your transaction.
Define your objectives before starting and communicate these clearly to your agent. Knowing what is most important to you will help him or her strategize to help you meet your goals:
• What are your main objectives?
• Is speed most important?
• Or is it the highest price?
• Do you want the Realtor to report daily activities?
• Or only significant activity?
• Do you prefer an aggressive approach?
• Do you want the realtor or support staff to be available 24/7?
Knowing your requirements before interviewing will assure you of making the best choice. Find out as much as you can about each agent from the party who made the referral. Speak with each in person or on the phone and ask the questions supplied in the “interview” section of this guide. Before making your final decision you should meet face to face with the agents you are seriously considering. Knowing what is important to you will help you find your perfect Realtor. Time invested upfront will prevent frustration later.
Does the Real Estate Agent
Work for the Buyer or the Seller?
While this does not pose as much of a problem for sellers since it is clear that the listing agent is working for them, disclosure is now required by state law.
Real estate agents are required to disclose who they are working for, the buyers or the sellers or both. In most cases, before being shown property or discussing financial ability to purchase or lease property, clients will be presented with a form, the Buyer Representation Agreement, indicating whom the Realtor will represent in the trans- action.
In the past, buyers assumed that the realtor showing properties to them was representing them. The Realtor would call them to inform them of new listings, would write up offers to purchase and give them information about financing and other related issues. Buyers would feel free to give them confidential or strategic information with- out knowing that the agent would pass this information on to the sellers, sometimes placing them at a disadvan- tage in the transaction.
In some cases, you may also be given another form, the Dual Agency Disclosure Statement. You may be asked to sign this form to indicate that you have been informed that the agent will be representing you as the buyer, as well as representing the seller. All other reasons aside, this is most important, from a strategic perspective: