Difference Between a Real Estate Agent & REALTOR®?

“REALTOR®” and “real estate agent” are not interchangeable, although some real estate agents might like them to be. The term REALTOR® is a registered certification mark that identifies the quality of services rendered by licensed real estate agents who are members of The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). All real estate agents are not REALTORS®, but all REALTOR® members are real estate agents. REALTOR® members are committed to a strict code of ethics known as the REALTOR® Code, and are the only ones who have the right to list your property on the MLS® Systems of their local real estate boards. To correctly be referred to as a REALTOR®, a real estate agent must be a member of CREA.

What makes me different from your traditional Real Estate Agent & REALTOR®?

 

10 questions to ask when hiring a REALTOR®

Home owners should interview a few potential REALTORS® before deciding on one to sell their home. Here are some smart questions to ask: 

  1. How long have you been in the business? A freshly-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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Can you help me find other professionals? Your REALTOR® may be able to provide a list of service providers who can help with things such as home inspection, staging, renovations, legal and financial advice. Get an explanation if you see the term “affiliated”. It could mean the REALTOR® is getting compensation from vendors.
  8. How much do you charge? Real estate fees or commission are negotiable and may vary from broker to broker. Always make sure you negotiate your best deal with your REALTOR®.
  9. 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?
  10. 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.

Q: Why should I hire 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:

  1. Your REALTOR® is a trained professional

    REALTORS® take extensive pre-licensing courses in order to obtain credentials for practicing in real estate.

  2. Your REALTOR® is continuously trained

    REALTORS® keep pace with the times by taking continuing education courses to upgrade their knowledge on a broad range of real estate related issues in order to be able to continue to provide consumers with current advice.

  3. Your REALTOR® does everything by the book

    A REALTOR® 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 behavior.

  4. Your REALTOR® is an ethical businessperson

    REALTORS® must adhere to the extensive Code of Ethics of the Canadian Real Estate Association. Several provinces have additional codes of ethics governing real estate professionals. Your interests must always be put first.

  5. Opportunity for recourse

    Should you have concerns about the professional behavior 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.

  6. Your REALTOR® has access to a local Board’s MLS® System

    A Board’s MLS® system is the single most powerful tool for buying and selling a home. Your REALTOR® can provide you with exclusive features of the Board’s 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 makes me different from your traditional Real Estate Agent & REALTOR®?

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