Why Work With a Realtor?

Sellers Guide: Why Work With A Realtor?

When you have decided to buy or sell a home, the services of a qualified real estate professional are of utmost importance.

  • An agent knows real estate values in your neighbourhood and will help set an agreeable and competitive price on your home.
  • An agent will establish a marketing strategy for your home ensuring that your property is exposed to scores of potential buyers.
  • An agent takes care of the many tasks involved in selling a house (from placing your listing to putting up the for sale sign). This ensures that the transaction is simple and low-stress for you.
  • An agent is an experienced negotiator and will work for to get you the best price possible price.
  • An agent is an expert in the home selling process and as such will advise you of your rights, options and obligations.

Code of Ethics
Realtors believe it is important that the people they work with understand their agency relationship. That’s why agency disclosure is included in a self-imposed Code of Ethics, which is administered by the Real Estate Council of Ontario. The Code requires Realtors to disclose in writing the nature of the services they are providing, and encourages Realtors to obtain written acknowledgement of that disclosure. The Code also requires Realtors to enter into a written agency agreement with any buyers or sellers they are representing.

Honesty & Integrity
Most real estate professionals in our province are members of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) – and only members of OREA can call themselves REALTOR. When you deal with a REALTOR, you can expect not only strict adherence to provincial laws, but also adherence to a Code of Ethics. And that code is very important to you – because it assures you will receive the highest level of service, honesty and integrity.

Highest Professional Standards
Before receiving a real estate licence, candidates must successfully complete an extensive course of study developed by OREA on behalf of the Ontario Government. And that is only the beginning: in the two years after receiving their licence, the new professionals are required to successfully complete three additional courses as part of their articling with an experienced broker.

Agency Relationships

In Real Estate, there are different forms of Agency Relationships:

Seller’s Agent
When a Real Estate Company represents the Seller of a property, they must act in the best interest of the seller. A written contract, called a Listing Agreement, establishes seller agency. It also establishes services the Real Estate Company will provide, establishes a fee for the Realtor’s services and specifies what obligations a seller may have. A seller’s agent must tell the seller anything known about a buyer. For instance, if a seller’s agent knows a buyer is willing to offer more for a property, that information must be shared with the seller. Confidences a seller shares with a seller’s agent must be kept confidential from potential buyers and others. Although confidential information about the seller cannot be discussed, a buyer working with a seller’s agent can expect fair and honest service from the seller’s agent and disclosure of pertinent information about the property.

Buyer’s Agent
When a Real Estate Company represents a Buyer, they must act in the best interest of the Buyer. A written contract, called a Buyer Agency Agreement, establishes buyer agency. It also explains services the company will provide, establishes a fee for the Realtor’s services and specifies what obligations a buyer many have. Typically, buyers will be obliged to work exclusively with that company for a specified period of time as outlined in the Buyer Agency Agreement. Confidences a buyer shares with the buyer’s agent must be kept confidential. Although confidential information about the buyer cannot be disclosed, a seller working with a buyer’s agent can expect to be treated fairly and honestly.

Dual Agent
Occasionally a Real Estate Company will represent both the ‘Buyer’ and the ‘Seller’. The buyer and seller must consent to this arrangement in their Listing and Buyer Agency Agreements. Under this “Dual Agency” agreement, the Real Estate Company must do what is best for both the buyer and the seller. Since the company’s loyalty is divided between the buyer and the seller who have conflicting interests, it is absolutely essential that a dual agency relationship be established in a written agency agreement. This agreement specifically describes the rights and duties of everyone involved and any limitations to those rights and duties. Who’s working for you? It is important that you understand who the Realtor is working for. For example, both the seller and the buyer may have their own agent, which means they each have a Realtor who is working for them. Or, some buyers choose to contact the seller’s agent directly. Under this arrangement the Realtor is working for the seller, and must do what is best for the seller, but may provide many valuable services to the buyer. A Realtor working with a buyer may even be a “sub-agent” of the seller. Under Sub-Agency, both the listing agent and the co-operating agent must do what is best for the seller even though the sub-agent may provide many valuable services to the buyer. If the seller and the buyer have the same agent, this is Dual Agency and the Realtor is working for both the seller and the buyer.