Real estate agent

Take advantage of the knowledge and experience of your real estate agent

How to become a savvy real estate buyer?

Buying a property is a colossal financial undertaking and for most of us the most important of our lives. The many steps involved in securing a home – from submitting offers and negotiating terms, to signing all the paperwork, to getting a mortgage and closing the deal. transaction – can all seem quite daunting.

This is why the more informed you are as a consumer, the more it will benefit you. A good place to start is the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) website,

Here, you can find many useful resources, including realtor information, frequently asked questions, and guides. Among the resources is RECO’s Real Estate Professionals Finder tool where you can confirm that agents and brokerages are registered to transact real estate in Ontario, and also check for any past disciplinary action.

I also encourage you to check out RECO’s consumer quiz on some of the rules that govern real estate in Ontario. It’s a fun and engaging way to learn about the buying and selling process and test your knowledge.

Remember that while RECO and other sources of information will be helpful, they cannot replace the advice of an agent and their brokerage. A real estate representative can provide you with valuable advice that will help you make informed decisions and ultimately buy a home that you are happy with.

When you enter into a Buyer Representation Agreement (BRA) with a brokerage, that brokerage and all of its agents are legally and ethically obligated to protect your best interests every step of the way. Be sure to discuss the ARO terms with your agent so you understand what you and your agent need to do.

One of the ways an agent can help you be a more informed consumer is by providing comparative market analysis of similar home sales if you are interested in a specific type of property or neighborhood. A comparative market analysis can help you know the value of homes in the area.

Since agents handle real estate transactions day in and day out, they will be an invaluable source of additional information and neighborhood insights that may not otherwise be readily available to you. This may include local school assessments, zoning and floodplain clearances, and whether certain areas are slated for property developments in the foreseeable future.

While providing you with this information is important, an agent’s ability to help you understand what this information means and how it can affect your buying decisions is even more vital. Your agent can provide strategic advice on the offer process and highlight what you need to know. Having this information at your fingertips and your agent by your side will help you present yourself in your best light during a transaction.

Last but not least, since real estate agreements are legally binding contracts, it is always wise to seek advice from an insured lawyer to practice real estate law. Your attorney can review the documents, investigate the title, flag any potential concerns, and close the deal.

If you have a question for Joe about the process of buying or selling a home, please email

Joe Richer is Registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). This column is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice on real estate transactions. Follow RECO on Twitter: @RECOhelps


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