Like choosing to work with any service professional, you should explore your options before settling on a Realtor. As a homebuyer, one important thing to consider is whether or not a Realtor is willing to not only work with you, but rather work for you as a Buyer's Agent. At Century 21 we introduced modern buyer agency to the Yellowknife market in 2012 and we consider ourselves specialists in providing buyer services. Another important consideration is finding a Realtor you can relate to. You will be working together on what may be the most important purchase decision of your life, so it’s important to find someone you like and who can anticipate your wants and needs.
Should I call the Listing Agent if I want to view a property?
You can, but you don't have to. The Listing Agent works for the seller and can probably market the home better than anyone, but cannot represent you. You can choose to work with the listing agent without receiving the benefits of representation, but we strongly advise against it. If you reveal anything to the Listing Agent that might have a bearing on your negotiating position, she is obligated to share such information with her actual client, the seller.
If this prospect doesn't appeal to you, you have the option of calling any other Realtor in Yellowknife to view and purchase the home. As members of the Yellowknife Real Estate Board, we are all part of the multi-listing service ("MLS"), meaning we show and sell each other's listings. And Listing Agents communicate with all other Realtors to make sure we have the exact same information they do about each of their listings.
Is my Realtor acting solely in my best interests?
Not always. If you are buying a home with the help of a Realtor who is not working as a Buyer Representative, that Realtor is obligated to act in the best interests of the seller, not you. He or she cannot negotiate in your best interests and must disclose any information that is relevant to the sale to the seller.
What is Buyer Representation?
Buyer Representation (sometimes referred to as Buyer Agency or Designated Agency) is a relationship between a buyer and a Realtor whereby the Realtor is obligated to work solely in the best interests of the buyer and to protect the buyer’s negotiating position at all times. This includes duties of loyalty and confidentiality. A Realtor working as a Buyer Representative is obligated to follow all lawful instructions of his or her buyer client.
To learn more about the different forms of agency, read this post.
Does Working with a Buyer Representatives Cost More?
No. Buyer Representatives are paid a percentage of the commission that has already been negotiated with the homeowner through the listing agreement. This commission will be paid on the sale regardless of whether or not a Buyer Representative is involved. In other words, having your own representation costs you nothing .
Can my Buyer Representative help me buy homes listed with other Realtors and other Brokerages?
Yes. As members of the Yellowknife Real Estate Board, any Realtor in Yellowknife can help you buy any MLS-listed property in town. You do not have to buy through the Listing Agent or Brokerage.
How can I tell if I’m working with a Buyer Representative?
No matter what kind of Realtor you are working with, your Realtor is obligated to disclose to you, in writing, the services he or she will be providing you. This includes whether the Realtor is representing you or the seller. This disclosure must be made prior to the provision of services by the Realtor, and is one of the rules of the Canadian Real Estate Association (“CREA”), to which all members of the Yellowknife Real Estate Board are bound. Article 2 of the CREA Standards of Business Practice outlines the rules for “Agency Disclosure.” Failure to follow disclosure rules can result in disciplinary penaties including expulsion from the Yellowknife Real Estate Board.
Should I talk to a mortgage professional before looking at homes?
Sitting down with a mortgage professional is one of the first things you should do when beginning the house hunting process. You don’t want to waste your time looking at homes outside of your price range. Make sure the mortgage professional you’re working with conducts a full pre-approval including a credit check. If there are any issues with your credit it is best to know about them well in advance so you can take corrective action. If you don’t have an existing relationship with a mortgage professional, call a member of our team for recommendations.
What does MLS mean?
The MLS, or Multi-Listing Service, is a co-operative marketing agreement between the Realtors in a given city or area. Through it, Realtors from different brokerages agree to sell each other’s listings in exchange for a percentage of the sales commission. In Yellowknife the MLS is operated by the Yellowknife Real Estate Board. When you list your home through the MLS all sixteen Yellowknife Realtors are invited find a buyer. So basically, you get sixteen Realtors for the price of one. And, because the Yellowknife Real Estate Board is a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association, your MLS listing will also appear on Realtor.ca, Canada’s number one real estate website.
What is an “Exclusive” listing?
An Exclusive listing is a listing that can only be sold by the listing agent or brokerage. It cannot be marketed by all Yellowknife Realtors and it and cannot be advertised on Realtor.ca. At Century 21 Prospect Realty we strongly advise our clients against Exclusive listings. Marketing your home as thoroughly as possible is in your best interests. The MLS and Realtor.ca are, in our opinion, the most powerful marketing tools available to homeowners. For a full explanation of the pros and cons of Exclusive and MLS listings, see this blog post.
What happens when my listing service contract expires?
When your listing service contract expires your listing agent must remove it from all websites and remove the For Sale sign from your yard within ten days of expiry. This is a requirement of the Real Estate Agents Licensing Act of the Northwest Territories. So, if you’re not planning to take your home off the market, it’s very important that you either renew your listing contract prior to expiry or sign a new contract with another Realtor.
How can I find out when my listing service contract expires?
The Real Estate Agents Licensing Act of the Northwest Territories requires that your Realtor provide you with a copy of your listing agreement as soon as is practicable following the signing of the agreement. Your listing expiry date appears in clause three of the contract. If you have not received a copy of your contract, contact your Realtor.
Trademarks are owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA (REALTOR®) and/or the quality of services they provide (MLS®).