Understand the Process

Buying or selling real estate is a complex matter and can be especially confusing for the first-time home buyer or home seller. Do yourself a favour and learn as much about the process as you can before you begin. There are plenty of resources on the Internet, and most real estate offices will have pamphlets to explain things in plain language. You may also be able to research the real estate process by attending community-sponsored classes, or you can take a look at books.



REALTORS® are members of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and must abide by the REALTOR® Code, which sets standards of quality in service & professionalism. Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS® As a buyer, it usually costs nothing to hire a real estate professional to help you find and purchase a home-your REALTOR® will likely get a portion of the commission the seller pays to his REALTOR®. When choosing a Sales Representative or Broker (agent), get referrals from friends, relatives, and coworkers, and then interview as many as possible. Listen to what they have to say, but make your own decision. Pick a REALTOR® that you feel comfortable working with, someone you feel you can trust, and who is familiar with the neighbourhoods you're interested in.

Select your REALTOR® to Maximize your Exposure

When selling your home, you should select a real estate agent who can expose your property to the biggest market to ensure the fastest sale at the best possible price. Ask your prospective agents about the different ways they plan to advertise your home. Good agents should use the MLS, national and local promotion on the Internet, yard and neighborhood signs, as well as other forms of advertising.

Price Your Home Realistically

Sales statistics show that properties that are initially priced too high eventually sell for less than properties that were correctly priced in the first place. Also, over-priced houses can take months or even years to sell, while properly priced houses usually sell in a matter of weeks or even days. When selecting your REALTOR®, make sure that each person you interview presents a CMA (or Comparative Market Analysis) that shows what he or she thinks your house is worth. The average or median price will likely be very close to your home's true market value.

Don't Buy Your New Home Until You Have Sold Your Current Home

This is generally sound advice unless you live in an extremely hot market and your REALTOR® is sure you'll be able to sell your home quickly. Timing is crucial, so start working with your agent to find a new home as soon as yours is listed. With a little bit of luck, the day you accept an offer on your home, you'll be able to make an offer on a new home and close both deals on the same day. At worst, you may have to live in a rental for a couple of months, but most people agree that moving twice is preferable to being stuck with two mortgage payments!

Let Your REALTOR® Know What You Expect

 It's up to you to tell your agent what you want and how you want to be involved in the home search process. Some buyers prefer their agents to handpick properties for their consideration; others want to receive the hotsheets on a daily basis so they can comb through the new listings themselves. You should listen to your REALTOR'S® advice, but always remember that you're the boss. And speaking of bosses, it's a good idea for ALL of the decision-makers who will be involved in your home purchase to visit the properties your REALTOR® shows you.


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The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are member’s of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.