Selling a home is no small matter. In addition to the financial stakes involved, there is an avalanche of technical and legal aspects that require knowledge and experience to ensure a smooth transaction.
Given the complexity of the task, many people choose to entrust the task to a real estate broker. But which one to choose? How do you determine who is most likely to earn your trust? Based on what criteria? Let’s find out.
Certified competence and transaction protection A law governs the practice of this profession in Québec. All real estate brokers must hold a license issued by the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ). The OACIQ’s mandate is to protect the public by assessing and recognizing the broker’s technical competence, and then regulating his or her practice.
The license attests to the broker’s skills in areas such as real estate law, real estate appraisal and the drafting of contracts and documents related to real estate transactions. To obtain his or her license, the broker must hold professional liability insurance coverage protecting the consumer in the event of fault, error, negligence or omission. They are also required to subscribe to the Fonds d’indemnisation du courtage immobilier, which is designed to protect customers in the event of fraud, dishonest transaction or embezzlement on the part of the broker or agency.
Before entrusting a brokerage mandate, it is therefore important to ensure that the broker does indeed hold a valid license issued by the OACIQ. This can be verified by consulting the register of licensees on the OACIQ website, by telephone (450 462-9800 or, toll-free, 1 800 440-7170) or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also ask the organization if the broker has already received a disciplinary notice.
Centris and Realtor.ca access Another interesting aspect: a broker who is a member of a real estate board can offer the widest possible showcase for a property on the market, thanks to his or her exclusive full access to the Centris.ca and Realtor.ca inter-agency systems. This gives the buyer or seller a wealth of information on any property listed by any authorized broker.
Quantity” versus “quality Once professional status has been validated, a number of other factors are likely to tip the balance in favor of one broker over another. For example, a broker’s sales statistics or strong signage presence in the district concerned can be seen as assets. So can a lower commission rate. However, these elements are not necessarily a guarantee of service quality.
For others, the protection program offered by the agency with which the broker is associated will be the determining factor in their choice. As for the importance of the agency’s reputation, commonly referred to as the “banner”, remember that brokers are self-employed and work on their own behalf.
Good service at the best possible cost Beyond these considerations, it’s of course the solid reference of someone close to you that provides the most accurate insight into the real quality of a broker’s service. Otherwise, you’ll have to do your homework. Here are some important points to discuss with the two or three brokers you will have approached as part of the selection process:
Get a detailed written description of how they do things (setting the sale price, marketing, visits and follow-up, etc.) and how they are paid (commission). On this last point, remember that there is no law, regulation or standard governing this remuneration, which generally corresponds to a percentage deducted from the transaction amount. You should also know that this commission is taxable! A broker who informs you spontaneously is acting transparently, and this can help create a climate of trust. It’s important to note that the commission rate you set should take into account the possibility of sharing the fee with a broker representing a buyer. Ask them about recent transactions they’ve completed in the same neighborhood or for the same type of property as yours. Another aspect to consider is their availability. A broker who manages a large number of brokerage contracts has great visibility. But can they assure you that they’ll have all the time they need to devote to the sale of your property (marketing, visits, etc.)? Don’t forget to discuss the terms of the brokerage contract. How long will the mandate last? One year, six months or three months? Ask the brokers you contact about their level of professional experience and their most recent training activities. Note that all holders of a real estate broker’s license must take training activities related to the exercise of the broker’s activity, enabling them to accumulate a minimum of 18 PDUs per two-year cycle. In the latter case, the OACIQ can confirm this. For any information related to real estate brokerage, please contact the OACIQ.
For the rest, keep in mind that establishing the rules of the game is only the first step. At this stage, the most important thing is still to be done: sell the house! And the best way to ensure that everything goes according to plan is to follow up with the broker. Maintain a close relationship by communicating with him or her on a regular basis to keep abreast of how the process is progressing. After all, no one could blame you for looking after your business.
Source : CAA Québec