When working with a Realtor, it is important to understand who the Realtor works for. To whom is the realtor legally obligated? Realtor s are obliged to disclose in writing to all parties their agency position in a transaction.
Honesty and 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 realtors.
When you work with a Coldwell Banker Rhodes agent, 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.
Realtors are governed by the legal concept of “agency.” An agent is legally obligated to look after the best interests of the person he or she is working for. The agent must be loyal to that person.
A realtor may be your agent – if you have clearly established an agency relationship with that realtor. But often, you may assume such an obligation exists when it does not.
At Coldwell Banker Rhodes & Company, we believe it is important that the people they work with understand when an agency relationship exists and when it does not – and to understand what that means.
In real estate, there are 3 different possible forms of agency relationships: Vendor’s Agency, Purchaser’s Agency & Dual Agency.
When a real estate company is a “vendor’s agent,” it must do what is best for the vendor of a property.
A vendor’s agent must tell the vendor anything known about a purchaser. For instance, if a vendor’s agent knows a purchaser is willing to offer more for a property, that information must be shared with the vendor. Confidences a vendor shares with a vendor’s agent must be kept confidential.
A purchaser can expect fair service and disclosure of pertinent information about a property. Nothing will be misrepresented about a property. All questions will be answered honestly.
2. Purchaser’s Agent
A real estate company acting as a “purchaser’s agent” must do what is best for the purchaser. A written contract establishes purchaser agency. It also explains services the realtor will provide, spells out who will pay and specifies what obligations a purchaser may have. Typically, purchasers will be obliged to work exclusively with that realtor for a period of time.
A realtor working for a purchaser will keep information about the purchaser confidential from the vendor.
3. Dual Agent
Occasionally a real estate company and its sales representative will be the agent of both the purchaser and vendor. Under this “dual agency” arrangement, the realtor must do what is best for both the vendor and purchaser and strict procedures must be followed. A realtor can be a dual agent only if both the purchaser and vendor agree in writing. Ask your realtor for more specific details.
Usually, the realtor will be paid from the proceeds of the sale. The listing agreement states the realtor’s fee.
Purchasers & Vendors will ALWAYS be told – in writing – who a realtor is working for.
2. What can a Coldwell Banker Rhodes agent do for me?
As a seller, your relationship with a realtor is vital – so meet with several before making a final decision. A good place to start is right in your neighbourhood. Check FOR SALE signs to see which realtors are doing business in your area. Ask them about their track record, their knowledge of neighbourhood selling prices and other reasons why you should list with them. Ask them about the
Coldwell Banker Ultimate Service Program.
Most importantly, choose a realtor you feel comfortable with; one who will handle the sale of your home as if it were their own. And when you’ve made your choice, here’s what to expect. . .
The Selling Process
We will not take it for granted that you know all the in’s and out’s of the selling process. Instead, our agent will provide you with a full explanation of what to expect – and that’s important so that you’re not faced with any surprises along the way.
Getting to Know You
One of the first things a realtor will ask is, “Why are you selling your house?” Our agents will also explore any time constraints you might have, your financial situation and any future plans. It’s all part of getting to know you so the sale will be handled to your complete satisfaction.
Getting to Know Your Home
Arriving at an accurate estimate of value for your home is one of the agent’s prime tasks. It involves analyzing your home and comparing it to other, similar houses for sale or recently sold in the neighbourhood. It may also include a broader market survey, using sales statistics available only to qualified realtors. In the end, you will be sure the price you set reflects the true value of your home under current market conditions.
The Marketing Plan
Depending on your circumstances, and on the prevailing market, our agents will develop a marketing plan that may include:
An Open House: There are two kinds of Open Houses: one is solely for realtors, so they can assess your home against the needs of their clients; and the second is an advertised Open House for all potential buyers. In either case, your realtor takes care of all the details and acts on your behalf at your home while you spend the Open House hours elsewhere.
Advertising: Effective newspaper advertising, tailored to your home and local market, can be placed for you by your realtor. Lawn signs and direct mail flyers featuring your home are other forms of advertising frequently used by realtors.
Listing Choices: Our agent may recommend an exclusive listing – which gives sole authority to offer your property for sale for a specified time – or a multiple listing via the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) – which provides access to a much broader base of potential buyers. MLS can be a valuable sales tool when you are anxious to sell your house quickly because your property gets greater exposure. Through MLS, the details of your property are made available to a whole network of local real estate professionals who will seek to match your property with a potential buyer.
Only a realtor can offer you MLS services. Brokers who are not members of your local real estate board and the Ontario Real Estate Association cannot list on MLS.
Tips and Hints: Whether or not your home shows well to prospective buyers can determine how long it stays on the market and what it sells for. Our agents can give you tips – fresh paint, flowers, rearranging furniture – to improve the marketability of your home and create a good first impression.
Separating “Lookers” from “Buyers”
Our professional agents know how to separate “lookers” from “buyers.” We will “pre-qualify” potential buyers to save wear and tear on your home and lifestyle and to assure only serious offers are tendered.
Coldwell Banker Rhodes agents are experienced in arranging financing and closing deals. On your behalf, our agent will assist in negotiating a better offer, acting as a mediator to head off potential conflicts between you and the buyer, and draw up a legally binding contract.
When you choose an agent, you will sign a listing agreement. This is a legal contract that gives us the right to act as your exclusive agent in the sale of your house for a specified period.
The listing agreement spells out exactly what we will do on your behalf and our agent will take all the time necessary to explain it to you.
The agreement will also specify the amount of professional fees to be paid to us from the sale of your home. Usually fees are set as a percentage of the selling price of your home.
Selling your home is a major undertaking. We can ease this sometimes risky, difficult and frustrating business. Our real estate professionals have the skills, experience and knowledge to effectively market your home.