How a REALTOR® protects you
Whether you’re buying or selling, professional representation can help at every step of the process. Think of your REALTOR® as a guide through what will most likely be the largest transaction of your life.
Your Realtor is there to advise and assist you through the home buying or selling process. They can help navigate potential pitfalls and fill in knowledge gaps you may have when searching for your first home.
A Realtor is held to a higher standard than required by law – all Realtors in Canada are bound by the REALTOR® Code. This ethical guideline is another layer of protection on top of the Real Estate Services Act. Realtors in BC are also required to have Errors and Omission Insurance. The insurance protects buyers and sellers and indemnifies licensees against liability arising out of negligently failing to perform duties.
There are Realtors who may not live up to the guidelines outlined in the REALTOR® Code. The vast majority, however, do. REBGV Realtors recently voted to triple their maximum allowable fines to $30,000 for the most egregious cases of misconduct.
How a Realtor works for you
Realtors work with their clients within a legal relationship called agency. This is established by a contract between you, the client, and your Realtor.
It’s important to understand if someone is working for you or for the home seller. If you haven’t signed a contract to work with a Realtor, they don’t work for you. If you have, then they’re legally and professionally duty-bound to act and advise based on your best interest.
Once agency is established, think of your Realtor as your professional advisor. They can:
- Help you adopt a sound negotiation strategy based on industry knowledge and experience and can negotiate on your behalf.
- Help you market your home and become a link with other Realtors to locate homes that meet your needs.
- Recommend other professionals, such as a certified home inspector, lawyer or notary, insurance agents, home movers, or proven contractors.
- Help you find the right home at the right price – or help you get the most from your sale.
Other Realtor services
Realtors help you value homes in a changing market. They assess market history and current trends by reviewing the most recent home sale data on the Multiple Listing Service® and creating what’s known as a Comparative Market Analysis or CMA.
Realtors also help you with the multitude of documents that you need to navigate when buying or selling a home. Realtors deal with these daily and will advise you along the way.
The contract is the central legal document within a real estate transaction. Your Realtor can help you develop a negotiating strategy and handle the details on your behalf. Realtors use standard form contacts which have been prepared by lawyers and tested by Canadian courts.