Why a REALTOR® is the right person for the job

When you decide to buy or sell your home, finding the right person to help you do that job is essential. Whether buying or selling, you’re involved in an intricate process requiring many specialists. One of these specialists might be a REALTOR®, who’s responsible for making the transaction as easy as possible for you.

But what are the benefits of using a REALTOR®? And what exactly is it that sets a REALTOR® apart?

Why use a REALTOR®?

To start with, not just anyone can call themselves a REALTOR®. To do so, real estate professionals must either be direct members of their association or be members of both their local real estate board and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), depending on the province.

Organized real estate in Canada

Organized real estate in Canada operates at three different levels. The real estate board generally operates at a local level. Provincial and territorial associations represent their province or territory and another represents the industry nationally and internationally.

Here in Manitoba, the organization serving its members locally is called the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board (WRREB). The organization representing the province is called the Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA). And nationally, the organization that represents all of these is called the Canadian Real Estate Association.

What is CREA?

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry Associations. Its membership includes more than 150,000 real estate brokers, agents and salespeople, working through 74 real estate Boards and Associations across Canada, and works on behalf of the public and its REALTOR® members.

To be a REALTOR®, the agent must be a member of CREA. And to be a member of CREA, an agent is expected to be:

• Committed to the REALTOR® Code: The code is the accepted standard of conduct for all real estate practitioners who are REALTORS®.

• Knowledgeable about developments in real estate: A REALTOR® can get you the information needed to make an informed decision: comparable prices, neighborhood trends, housing market conditions and more.

• Actively updating education: Through courses, workshops and other professional development, a REALTOR® maintains a high level of current knowledge about real estate.

• Access: REALTORS® have access to Board MLS® Systems, which facilitate the cooperate sale of properties to benefit consumers.

CREA also represents the interests of its members to the federal government and its agencies on existing or proposed legislation that will affect those members, and/or impact homeownership.

CREA also enhances member professionalism and ethics by providing national standards, including establishment of symbols of quality associated with using CREA brands and trademarks. It protects and promotes the two primary national CREA trademarks, MLS® and REALTOR®. It also ensures that REALTORS® = abide by the ethical standards laid out in the REALTOR® Code.

What is the REALTOR Code?

A REALTOR®’s ethical obligations are based on moral integrity, competent service to clients and customers, and dedication to the interests and welfare of the public.

The REALTOR® Code, by setting high standards of professional conduct for REALTORS®, helps to protect Canadians’ rights and interests. It’s your guarantee of professional conduct and quality service. It also creates a level of trust between REALTORS® and their clients.

The REALTOR® Code also establishes a standard of conduct that in many respects exceeds basic legal requirements (although where the code and the law conflict, the obligations of the law always take precedence). This standard ensures the protection of the rights and interests of consumers of real estate services.

Key items of the Code include:

• REALTORS® must disclose in writing whom they are representing as an agent in the transaction, and explain to parties in a transaction the details of the agency relationship; and

• REALTORS® can’t acquire an interest in property (either directly or indirectly) without disclosing the fact that they’re real estate professionals.

How do you benefit?

Whether buying or selling a home, you can trust that your REALTOR® will ensure the transaction is completed competently and professionally. You don’t have to worry about the details — your REALTOR® can take care of them for you. You can get advice from someone with an intimate knowledge of the local housing market. And you can count on the help of a professional who has committed to serve with integrity and competence.

When you’re ready to buy or sell, a professional REALTOR® is the right person for the job.

— CREA.ca