Did You Know?
In Ontario, Real Estate Salespersons, Brokers and Brokerages are regulated under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act and must be registered with the Real Estate Council of Ontario.
A registered Real Estate professional is someone who:
- Has met the educational standards set byRECO
- Follows the laws and the Code of Ethics set out under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act
- Carries deposit insurance. This insurance protects consumers from losing their deposit money if the brokerage or salesperson commits fraud or has financial trouble. In these cases, consumers may be covered up to $100,000 per claim. This insurance is administered by
Before working with a Real Estate Agent, Broker or Brokerage:
- Do your research. Ask for references or recommendations
- Confirm that they are registered by using RECO’s registrant search
- Fully and carefully read and understand the contract you are signing with them
Choosing the right Real Estate professional is a critical step to ensuring your home buying, or home selling success. To guarantee that you are working with the best agent for your needs, here are just a few questions that every consumer should ask before working with any Real Estate Professional.
- How long have you been an agent?
- Do you work full-time or part-time as an agent?
- How many homes do you help buyers purchase each year?
- Do you work with both buyers and sellers?
- How long do you usually work with buyers, from the first home you see together to the closing table?
- Can I see your real estate license?
- Do you have any references?
- Have you helped buyers find homes in X areas?
- Have you helped buyers find homes at X price ranges?
- Will I be working with you individually, or with a team?
- Can you recommend a (mortgage broker, appraiser, inspector, real estate lawyer, general contractor, moving companies) if required?
- How does your commission work?
- Are there any contracts that I am required to sign to work with you?
- How do you help buyers compete in this market?
- Can you explain the home buying process from start to finish?
- When is your best availability during the day and week typically?
Getting a home inspection is a great idea whether you are purchasing or selling a home. A home inspection is an on-site, in-person examination of a home’s condition and structure. During a home inspection, major elements of the home including the foundation, the electrical and plumbing systems, attic ventilation and the roof are thoroughly checked. A home inspection can:
- Give the buyer information about a home’s condition so they can make better informed decisions
- Helps the seller determine the value of their home
Some sellers may have an inspection done before selling a home. Although seeing a current inspection report can be helpful, buyers should have their own home inspection done too.
Be sure to do some research to find a reliable, experienced, and knowledgeable home inspector. If you are the homebuyer, make sure to be present for the inspection therefore you can ask questions and see any issues firsthand.
When looking for a home inspector, find someone who:
- Provides written inspection reports
- Will give you references
- Has experience with the type of home you are considering
- Has an accreditation that shows training and experience
- Will provide a written contract
When hiring a home inspector make sure to:
- Get quotes from more than one inspector
- Check references
- Ask about their training and experience
- Ask to see a copy of the inspection report they use
- Ask if they choose to have insurance
Buying a home is a big decision, whether it is your first home, second home, or an investment property. Therefore, it is important to do your homework so you can make smart decisions which will inevitably help you to save time, and money.
Here are few things to remember when looking for a home:
- Do not be tempted or pressured into making any fast decisions! Take your time to view different properties with your trusted Real Estate professional so you can be sure that the property you are interested in is the best one for you!
Get it in writing
- If you are offered any rebates or incentives, be sure to always have the details in writing.
Understand what you are signing
- Before signing a buyer representation agreement, or any documentation, make sure you understand what you are signing. It is okay to take the time to ask questions or seek independent legal advice if you would like a second opinion.
- Do not hesitate to request changes to be made to any agreement or documentation before signing it.
- Be sure to always get a copy of any agreements or documentation that you sign.
Keep your budget in mind
- Buying a home is an exciting experience, but it is important to always make sure that you are staying within your budget and not over expending yourself.
- Remember to include legal fees, land transfer tax, mortgage insurance and utility hookups in your total cost estimate.
- Know the cost of a home inspection and home appraisal or survey.
- Budget for moving costs, especially if you are hiring a professional mover.
Protect yourself and be specific
- When making your offer, be sure to include factors that are important to you. These can include making a conditional offer on mortgage financing, a home inspection or the sale of your existing home. These conditions can provide you with important protection as a buyer.
- Make your offer as detailed as possible and be sure to outline what will be included in the sale.
Plan ahead and expect the unexpected
- Bidding wars happen, but it is important to have a strategy.
- Be sure to set ground rules in advance about what you want from a home, what you are willing to spend and what conditions must be met. Although it can be tempting to waive your conditions, once you set your rules, stick to them. You will be thankful that you did later!
Sometimes, the terms used in real estate can be confusing. Here is a list of the most typical terms that will be used, and their explanations.
Registrant: An individual or a brokerage that is registered under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act 2002
Salesperson, Broker: Individuals who are registered under REBBA 2002 who can provide services to a consumer on behalf of a brokerage
Broker of Record: A broker that is designated as the person in charge of a brokerage
Representation Agreement: An agreement that outlines how a brokerage will represent a buyer or seller
Brokerage: The real estate company
Confirmation of Representation: This is a form that is signed before you sign an Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS) or offer that confirms which brokerage is representing the buyer and seller.
Appraisal: An appraisal is required to gather the estimated value of a piece of real estate. A Mortgage lender will send out an appraiser to get a professional opinion about the value of the property to determine if the property is worth the amount of the loan that the buyer is seeking.
Closing: Closing is when the home sale is considered final. In the closing stage, all parties’ signatures will be required on all documents and all money will be conveyed. Once this is finalized, the buyer will have access to the property and will be considered the new homeowner.
While these are just a few terms it is important to be familiar with, to find an extensive list of terms, follow the link below!