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Do I Need a Realtor® to Buy or Sell a Home?

Posted by premierottawa on September 21, 2023


If you’re in the market to buy or sell a home, you may be wondering if you need a real estate agent or Realtor® to complete the transaction. While there is no legal requirement to use an agent in Ontario, there’s a lot that can go wrong with a real estate sale. Is it really wise to take unnecessary risks when making one of the biggest financial transactions of your life? We’ve answered your top questions and broken it down so you can understand what a real estate agent does and why you need a Realtor® to buy or sell your home.


What’s the Difference Between a Real Estate Agent and a Realtor®?

Many people use the terms Real Estate Agent and Realtor® interchangeably. But there are actually some key differences between the two. Both are professionals who are licensed to represent buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. And both are obligated to act in the best interests of their clients while ensuring the transaction runs as smoothly as possible for all parties involved.

What is a Real Estate Agent?

In order to become a real estate agent in Ontario, you must take courses and pass exams to obtain a license from the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). RECO regulates the real estate industry on behalf of the Ontario government. Once licensed, a salesperson must also register with a brokerage. A real estate agent can then choose to focus on residential, commercial, or industrial properties.


What is a Realtor®?

A Realtor® is a licensed real estate professional who is also a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). In order to maintain their status, Realtors® must pay an annual membership fee and complete training on an ongoing basis. As a Realtor®, you can help people buy, sell or rent residential, commercial, industrial or agricultural real estate.


What Does a Realtor® Do?

An Ottawa Realtor® or real estate agent has extensive knowledge of both the city and surrounding areas as well as the local real estate market. They act as your guide and help you navigate the many steps involved in buying or selling a property. They’re familiar with all the necessary legal and financial documents and jargon that go along with a real estate transaction. They save you time, ensure you have all the info, help you get a fair deal, and look out for your best interest. And they make sure you find the right home for your needs and budget.


Your Realtor® Has ALL the Info

One of the most valuable resources working with a local Ottawa real estate agent provides is knowledge! They know the city and which neighbourhoods will meet your criteria. They’ve also seen many, many homes with every type of problem imaginable and can quickly identify red flags when touring a home. And a Realtor® also has valuable background information on what a home has sold for in the past, if significant work has been done, and what comparable properties are going for.


Working with an Agent Saves You Time

You might think you can spend a few minutes searching online and come up with a list of houses to consider. But there’s actually a lot more to finding a home than that. Scheduling visits to multiple properties can be time-consuming and difficult to organize, since your agent has to work around your schedule as well as those of the seller’s agent at each property. Then there’s all the paperwork and back and forth of negotiating a deal.


If you’re selling your home, your agent will help connect you with a home stager, set up the property listing and photos, and organize showings. Handling all these tasks yourself can take up a significant amount of time.


A Realtor® Has Access to More Listings

Real Estate Agents have many tools at their disposal to assist them in their search for available homes. They also have access to up-and-coming and exclusive listings that only agents are privy to. A Realtor® can also suggest homes and neighbourhoods that you might not have considered without their knowledge and expertise.


A Real Estate Agent Will Ensure You Get A Fair Deal

Whether you’re buying or selling, working with a local real estate agent will ensure you get the best possible deal. If you’re selling a home, your realtor will examine comparable sales and help you set a fair list price. If you’re buying a property, an agent who is on top of the local market will make sure you don’t overpay for your new home. They can also help you navigate a multiple offer deal and let you know when to stop in a negotiation, so you don’t overpay.


If you’re still wondering if you need a Real Estate Agent to buy or sell your Ottawa home, connect with us to learn more. Our team of local Realtors® is ready to answer your questions and help you find your dream home today!

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