As a realtor, it’s important that my clients make sound financial decisions. There’s no sense in falling in love with and buying a house you can’t afford. It is for this reason that realtors from the GTA recently hosted the commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), Lucie Tedesco, to discuss Canadian homebuyers’ financial literacy.

Enhancing Canadians’ financial literacy is a priority shared by the federal government and realtors. The meeting allowed representatives from The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) and the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) to share research and experiences with homebuyers’ financial preparedness with representatives from FCAC.

Lucie Tedesco explained that the aim of their collaboration with realtors was to help Canadians make responsible financial decisions by providing information that helps consumers better understand the costs of buying a home.

A 2012 Nanos Research study, commissioned by CREA, found that more than 63 per cent of respondents indicated a “major need” for more information about the financial details of buying a home.  That figure rose to over 70 per cent when considering respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 only.

Realtors play a key role bridging the gap between the emotional and the practical financial considerations. By providing Canadians with the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible home buying decisions, financial literacy contributes to the long-term stability of the housing market.

As a result, FCAC and CREA joined efforts in 2012 to develop and launch the Homebuyers’ Road Map, providing first-time homebuyers with the tools needed to make a responsible financial decision about buying a home. The Homebuyers’ Road Map arms realtors with an educational resource to help Canadians make responsible decisions about one of the largest purchases most will ever make – buying or selling real estate.

The Homebuyers’ Road Map is available online at http://crea.ca/sites/default/files/Homebuyers_Road_Map_EN.pdf.