WORKING WITH REALTORS®
When it comes to selling one of your most valuable assets, you want to work with someone you can trust.
By using the services of a trained professional, you’ll have an expert who can help guide you through every step of selling your property. After all, the key to making smart decisions is being informed.
When you work with a professional Fraser Valley REALTOR®, they are expected to:
- promote your best interests with expert real estate advice and skills
- simplify the process of selling or buying with specialized real estate knowledge
- offer consumer protections with trust coverage and insurance
- stay informed of market trends, neighbourhoods, and property histories
- communicate honestly and as frequently as you require on all matters of concern to you and your real estate transaction
- offer personalized marketing services including MLS® access
Without a REALTOR®, you may be vulnerable to costly mistakes.
Naturally you’ll want to maximize your investment, and having a professional REALTOR® on your side increases the likelihood of success.
BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP
Realtors have a shared commitment to provide expertise and high-quality service to their clients, yet there is a lot of diversity among the Realtor community. Realtors are self-employed, independent business people who come from every walk of life. This means you are likely to find a Realtor to work with you who suits your unique needs.
A Realtor can help sellers with many things including:
- Assessing the condition of your property and helping determine the best price
- Advising on improvements and staging ideas to enhance its marketability
- Promoting your property effectively to attract qualified buyers
- Fielding all enquiries, coordinating showings and reporting to you on both
- Receiving offers and handling negotiations to maximize your investment
And Realtors can help buyers with:
- Narrowing the search down to suggest the most suitable properties
- Advising on relevant information including neighbourhoods, zoning and property histories
- Assessing the potential resale value of properties and ensuring fair market value on what you pay
- Arranging showings and providing knowledgeable feedback on prospective properties
- Writing all offers and handling the purchase negotiations to ensure your financial interests are protected
DISCLOSURE OF REPRESENTATION IN TRADING SERVICES (DORTS)
Before you decide whether to work with a licensed real estate professional, you should read the Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services form which explains the special legal duties that real estate professionals owe their clients. It will help you choose whether you want to have an agent represent you in your real estate transaction or be unrepresented. All licensed Realtors in BC are required to provide you with this disclosure form and to ask for your your signature on it. This is a measure of consumer protection that will confirm you have been properly informed about the differences and responsibilities associated with representation and non-representation in real estate.
THE AGENCY RELATIONSHIP – Exclusive Representation
The most common way to work together is in an Agency Relationship whereby the REALTOR® has a legal and ethical duty to provide you with accurate, honest answers to your questions and may provide any or all of these services:
- explain real estate terms and practices
- provide and explain the forms being used
- assist you in screening and viewing properties
- inform you of lenders and their policies
- identify and estimate costs involved in a transaction
- assist you in establishing your range of affordability
- prepare offers or counter-offers at your direction
- present all offers promptly
Your REALTOR® is bound by ethics and the law to be honest and thorough in representing you.
They must fully inform you of the services they are providing and disclose any factors that could negatively impact you. As well, they have a professional obligation to inform you in writing if they are expecting to receive any special compensation from a financial institution or a professional they are recommending.
NO AGENCY RELATIONSHIP – When you are working with a licensee who is not your agent
Sometimes this kind of working relationship is called a customer relationship because an agent may be providing you with information, but they are not obligated to give you all the information they have nor maintain confidentiality with information you share with them. This would be the case if, for example, you are being shown a property by the seller’s agent.
Unless you have an agent-client relationship, a Realtor is NOT permitted to:
- recommend or suggest a price;
- inform you of their client’s top/bottom line; or
- disclose any confidential information about their client unless otherwise authorized.
You should not provide a REALTOR® who is not your agent with any information that you would not provide directly to their client.
DUAL AGENCY – when an agent represents both parties in a transaction; the buyer and the seller or two buyers competing for the same property
As of June 2018, Dual Agency transactions are largely banned in BC because they pose a risk for a conflict of interest by an agent representing two competing interests at the same time.
Under the Superintendent’s agency and disclosure rules, for the most part, real estate professionals (licensees) in BC are banned from engaging in dual agency, including:
- representing both the buyer and the seller in a single transaction;
- representing two separate buyers who each hope to purchase the same property; or
- representing both the potential tenant and the landlord of the same property.
The only circumstances that dual agency is permitted in BC is when all of the following requirements are met:
- The property is in a remote location.
- That location is under-served by real estate professionals.
- It would be impracticable for the parties to have different real estate professionals in this transaction. (“Impracticable” means “not capable of being done.” It does not mean “inconvenient.”)
In addition, an agent (licensee) (Realtor) would have to provide the client with the Real Estate Council-approved mandatory form called, Disclosure of Risks Associated with Dual Agency. As a client, you must be shown the form to read, and sign. The form must not be modified or altered by anyone; neither you nor the agent.