Is the relevance of Realtors at stake? The current state of house hunting revealed.

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Buying your first home can be overwhelming, but realtors can help guide Canadians through the complex process. Realtors are licensed professionals who represent both buyers and sellers, and they help buyers find properties and research neighbourhoods and market trends. While they can be helpful, there are some alternatives that allow buyers and sellers to navigate the process themselves. Choosing a real estate agent in Canada requires finding someone licensed to practise in the specific jurisdiction where you want to buy or sell. Consider referrals from friends or family, social media accounts, direct mailers or searching online, and remember to interview the agent to ensure their skill set and style fits your needs. It’s also acceptable to shop around and tell prospective realtors that you’re interviewing two or three others before making a decision. Once you’ve chosen an agent, sign a buyer representation agreement early in the process, which will lay out what services your agent will offer and for how long you’re committed to working with them. Realtors get paid through brokerages, with a commission equal to five per cent of the final price plus tax in Ontario, and fees should be laid out in the representation agreement. Some platforms, like For Sale By Owner, allow sellers to list their homes without using a realtor, but they argue that realtors’ involvement drives up the final sale price. While technology and services can replicate traditional realtor roles, working with a realtor can give buyers peace of mind and ensure the proper sequence of operations.

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