You wouldn’t dream of designing a home without an architect or even making a complicated meal without a recipe, so why make the biggest purchase of your life without the help of a trained professional? A real estate agent is an indispensible ally when buying or selling a home. Realtors must be registered with the Real Estate Council of Ontario and complete a training program which will allow them to become a licensed real estate agent. With a real estate agent on your side, it’s just a matter of signing on the dotted line.

Real estate agents do much more than hammering For Sale signs onto front lawns. For buyers, your first meeting with an agent will likely be spent answering questions. They need to know exactly what you are looking for in a home in order to start your search. Your agent will then begin sending you current listings that match your criteria, usually via email. When you see a home you would like to tour, your agent will contact the seller’s real estate agent and arrange a viewing. You are welcome to tour as many homes as you like before buying. Don’t ever feel pressured into making a decision.

Once you have found THE house, your real estate agent will meet with you to discuss the terms of your offer, including price, conditions and a closing date. This is when the paperwork and negotiations come in. Your agent will act as an intermediary between you and the sellers until an agreement has been made. If the deal goes through, your agent will then submit all necessary forms to your lawyer and your mortgage lender.

Your real estate agent also plays a big role when selling a home. Their first responsibility is to advise you on a competitive price for your home. They will suggest ways that you can effectively stage your home in order to entice the most buyers and arrange for photographs to be taken of your home. It is then your agent’s job to market your property. They will advertise your home in multiple real estate publications and online websites (including their own) and will likely submit your home to the multiple listing service (MLS) where it will be seen by thousands of other real estate agents and potential buyers. Your realtor will arrange showings of your home and take the lead in negotiations when dealing with offers.