Choosing the Right REALTOR®

A REALTOR® plays a huge role in the sale or purchase of a home, as I’ve mentioned before, they are often your first and last point of contact. Selecting a REALTOR® that you trust and feel comfortable with is paramount. This professional will be very involved in the process so trust is crucial. Beyond that, it is essential to look at their education and credentials in the real estate industry. What have they achieved, what are they recognized for? As a rule, I always take the time to research someone who I am looking to hire as representation, do an interview with them, ask the questions that matter.

Buyer Agency:

There are 2 types of services that can be offered to you by a REALTOR®

A Customer is offered:

  • Honesty

  • Reasonable Care & Skill

  • Data & Statistics

Client is offered:

  • Undivided Loyalty

  • Confidentiality

  • Full Disclosure

  • Obedience

  • Reasonable Care & Skill

  • Full Accounting

A real estate company acting as a Buyer Agent must do what is best for the buyer. A written contract called a Buyer Brokerage Agreement establishes Buyer Agency. It also explains the services the company provides, establishes a fee arrangement for the agent’s services and specifies what obligations a buyer may have. Confidential information that the buyer shares with the agent must remain confidential. Commission in an MLS® transaction is paid for by the seller the vast majority of the time. This makes using a Buyer Agent, essentially, a free service.

After you’ve chosen a real estate professional to work with, one of the first things they should show you is RECA’s Consumer Relationships Guide (Guide). The Guide is a mandatory document, which real estate professionals must provide to, and discuss with, consumers they’re working with.

The Guide will help you understand your legal relationship with your real estate professional, and explains the three types of relationships you could have with your real estate professional:

1)      An entire real estate brokerage can act as your agent. This is a common law agency relationship and means you have a relationship with all of the brokerage’s real estate professionals.

2)     An individual real estate professional (or team of professionals) can act as your agent. This is a designated agency relationship.

3)     You can be the customer of a real estate professional. You do not have an agency relationship with anyone at the brokerage; they are not acting as your agent.

The Guide explains the three relationships in more details, including what responsibilities your professional will have to you in each. Your real estate professional will ask you to sign an acknowledgement that you have read the Guide, discussed it with them, and received satisfactory answers to your questions.

If you decide to enter into a client relationship with your real estate professional, they will ask you to sign a written service agreement. Written service agreements are required in Alberta when you’re a client of a residential real estate professional.

Written service agreements help real estate professionals clearly and confidently communicate with their clients about:

  • the relationship between the parties

  • the services to be provided by the brokerage

  • the obligations and responsibilities of the parties

  • consent for collection, use and distribution of personal information of the client

  • method of calculation of remuneration or how the industry professional will be compensated

Source: Real Estate Council of Alberta