FAQ

Why should I use a REALTOR®?

You’re trusting a REALTOR® with your most valuable possession, your home. REALTORS® take this responsibility very seriously. Here’s what we promise you.

We are highly trained.

REALTOR® training is so rigorous that a large portion of our candidates fail the pre-registration Courses. Those who do pass must master a long, diverse list of subjects ranging from housing construction to family law.

We are continuously trained.

We keep pace with the times. All Licensed REALTORS® must take continuing education courses to make sure their knowledge on subjects like legal issues and technology are up to date.

We do everything by the book.

As licensed REALTORS®, we must be registered under provincial laws that govern exactly how real estate can and cannot be traded. These regulations are your legal guarantee of professional behaviour.

We are ethical.

We must adhere to the extensive Code of Ethics of the Canadian Real Estate Association. Your interests must always be put first.

Your dealings with us are insured.

For your peace of mind, provincial regulators sponsor consumer protection programs that may require, for instance, that we maintain Errors and Omissions Insurance. Often deposits consumers make in real estate transactions are also insured under these programs.

Opportunity for recourse.

Should you have concerns about the professional behaviour of a REALTOR®, provincial regulators and your local real estate board or association take these matters very seriously and work quickly to resolve any issues.

We work with the powerful Multiple Listing Service®.

The MLS® is the single most powerful tool for buying and selling a home. We can provide you with exclusive features of the local MLS® system, such as immediate notification when new properties are listed. You don’t have to wait for it to be posted on a web site…

What is Property Transfer Tax?

PTT is a registration tax that you pay whenever you acquire an interest in a property. PTT is different from property tax. You pay PTT when you purchase or acquire an interest in a property, whereas property tax is paid on an annual basis for services you receive from your local government.

The amount of tax due depends on the fair market value of the property that is transferred. If the fair market value is $200,000 or less, the tax is 1% of the fair market value. If the fair market value is greater than $200,000, the tax is 1% of the fair market value up to $200,000, plus 2% on the portion of the fair market value that is greater than $200,000.

For a detailed view at Property Transfer Tax, click the link below.

http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/PTT_001.pdf

 

If I am selling a property what is the minimum and maximum length of time I must sign a service contract with a REALTOR® for?

The service contract you sign with a REALTOR® to list your home on the MLS® is called a MLS® Listing Contract. The length of time for this contract is a minimum of sixty days to a maximum of one year.

What are the step’s involved when buying a property?

  • Make sure you are ready to buy.
  • Find a REALTOR® who is right for you.
  • Pre-approval for a mortgage. (Finding out how much you can afford and then arrange for a mortgage). This strengthens your offer when presenting to a seller. We will help you find a mortgage specialist if you do not have one.
  • We will help you create a buyer’s action plan, which will organize your home buying search by deciding things such as what and where you want to buy.
  • Explore what homes are for sale. There are many ways to do this…:
  • We will send you daily listings
  • We will take on a tour of potential properties
  • You yourself can visit open houses, sales offices of new developments etc.
  • Make an offer
  • Go through the necessary subject removal/condition process.*
  • Closing process: Here you will visit your lawyer/notary to sign all documentation pertinent to the transfer of property to your name.
  • MOVE-IN!

*The subject removal process is when you will do things such as your home inspection, finalize your mortgage and any other subject’s agreed upon in your offer.

 

What questions should I be asking a REALTOR® when interviewing him or her?

The following are 10 great questions to be asking a REALTOR® when interviewing him or her:

How long have you been in the business?

A newly licensed REALTOR® can do a wonderful job and will have up-to-date training; those in the business longer bring more practical experience to the table.

What is your average list-to-sales-price ratio?

A listing REALTOR® should hold a track record for negotiating sales prices that are very close to list prices.

How will your marketing plan meet my needs?

Specifically, how will you sell my home? Where and how often do you advertise? Will you show me a sample flier? How do you market online?

Will you provide references?

Ask if any of the references are related to the REALTOR®. Ask if you can call their references with additional questions.

What separates you from your competition?

Key phrases to listen for: assertive, available by phone or e-mail, analytical, able to maintain a good sense of humour under trying circumstances.

May I review documents that I will be asked to sign?

A good REALTOR® makes forms available to you before you are required to sign them. Ask to see agency disclosure, listing agreement, seller disclosure.

How will you help me find other professionals?

Ask for a written list of referring vendors. Get an explanation if you see the term “affiliated”. It could mean the REALTOR® is getting compensation from vendors.

How much do you charge?

You don’t have to ask if the fee or commission is negotiable, since all real estate fees are negotiated.

What if I’m unhappy with the service?

If you sign a listing agreement with the REALTOR® and later find that you are unhappy with the arrangement, will the REALTOR® let you cancel the agreement?

What haven’t I asked you that I need to know?

Pay close attention to how the realtor answers this question, because there is always something you need to know – always.

 

What documents must I sign when working with a REALTOR®?

Selling:

  •  Working With A REALTOR®
  • Individual Identification Information Record
  • Multiple Listing Contract

Buying:

  •  Working With A REALTOR®
  • Exclusive Buyers Agency Contract
  • Individual Identification Information Record

 

Other than a REALTOR®, what other professionals do I need to contact?

  • Mortgage Specialist
  • Home Inspector
  • Lawyer/Notary

 *The above listed are three professionals that you will want to contact. However, there are other types of professionals that can be contacted depending upon the type of transaction you are involved in.

What are the steps involved when I am selling my home?

  • Decide when you want to sell
  • Find a REALTOR® who is right for you
  • Sign a Multiple Listing Agreement
  • With your REALTOR®, determine your home’s asking price
  • Prepare your home for sale
  • Prepare your finances
  • Receive an offer
  • Go through the necessary subject removal/condition process.*
  • Closing process: Here you will visit your lawyer/notary to sign all documentation pertinent to the transfer of property to the buyer.
  • MOVE-OUT

*The subject removal process is when you allow the buyer to do such things as a home inspection, finalize their mortgage and any other subject’s agreed upon in your offer.




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