Frequently Asked Questions

Contents:

1. What is the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®?
2. What do real estate agents do?
3. What is the difference between a listing agent and a selling agent?
4. I want to buy a home you are listing, can you represent me?
5. So I’ve hired an agent, am I paying them just to fill out paperwork?
6. Do you get paid by the hour?
7. Do all real estate agents charge the same amount? What is the standard rate?
8. Wow! You’re charging that much to list my house?!
9. Is buying real estate the same across Canada?
10. What’s the market like right now?

 


1. What is the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®

A REALTOR® is a real estate agent who has membership with a real estate board and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), agreeing to follow their additional rules and code of ethics. All REALTORS® are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. For example, I am a member of the CREA and the BC Northern Real Estate Board.


2. What do real estate agents do?

We represent clients in a real estate transaction, providing professional expertise for one of, if not the biggest, financial transactions of a person’s life. Each agent provides different services, so it’s good to ask about their individual business when you are looking to hire someone. I work for both buyer’s and sellers of property in the Prince George area.


3. What is the difference between a listing agent and a selling agent? What is a hosting agent?

Listing a house means you are working for the sellers of a property. You are the listing agent. A selling agent works for the buyers. They also be called the buyer’s agent. It’s a fun world we live in, isn’t it? A hosting agent is often only at an Open House and refers to the fact they are supervising/running the Open House but may not represent the seller.


4. If I want to buy a home you are listing, can you represent me?

No – in June 2018 the legislation changed around representation and a single agent cannot represent both the buyer and seller in the same transaction. There are some exceptions based on location, but Prince George does not fit that criteria. I would only represent one party in that transaction.


5. So I’ve hired an agent, am I paying them just to fill out paperwork?

It may seem like it because there is a lot of paperwork to do, but depending on the agent you hire, you may receive further service. Consider these additional services that would save you time and stress: understanding legal jargon, marketing your home/advertising, coordinating showings and communicating with other parties, recommending other professional services that may be required, doing property research, providing guidance on the process, understanding contracts and giving advice, etc.


6. Do you get paid by the hour?

No, I am 100% commission based and get paid when the transaction completes, not upfront or during the process.


7. Do all real estate agents charge the same amount? What is the standard rate?

No, each agent charges different amounts based on their personal business. There is no standard rate. I work in both a percentage basis as well as flat fee.


8. Wow! You’re charging that much to list my house?!

So not really a question, but it’s a very common communication gap that quite a few people have brought up with me. The first thing most people do not realize is that in a typical real estate transaction I (as a listing agent working for the sellers) collect the payment for four parties in that sale: myself, my brokerage, the buyer agent, and the buyer agent’s brokerage. So, once your house sells and you pay my brokerage the agreed upon commissions, that total lump sum of money gets split in those four directions. From my share, my expenses for that listing would have to be covered including advertising and document orders. Consider I also have business expenses such as office supplies, professional fees, technology fees, taxes, and vehicle expenses, which are all necessary for running my business, that need to be paid off before I can pay myself.


9. Is buying real estate the same across Canada?

Provincial legislation vary across the country so make sure you’re dealing with someone who is licensed in that province. In B.C. we are governed by the Real Estate Services Act.


10. What’s the market like right now?

That depends on which ‘market’ you are inquiring and when. Rural, attached, detached, rental, development…? Let’s chat.

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