So, you want to buy (or sell) a house in Ottawa or beyond. What’s the first thing you do? If you’re like most people, you go find a real estate professional to help. While the whole process sounds pretty simple (hire a representative you like and trust!) there’s actually one extra decision you’ll need to make before you proceed — and that is whether you want to hire a Realtor, or a real estate agent. You might be thinking, “But those two things are the same!” If so, then you’re mistaken. There are actually some important things you should know about the differences between the two types of real estate professionals, including the important distinctions below.
1. Realtors Belong to the Canadian Real Estate Association
Both real estate agents and Realtors have had to undergo a certain amount of training in order to qualify to help you buy or sell real estate. However, in Canada, in order to be considered a Realtor, a real estate professional must be a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
2. Their Business Cards Are Different
You might not know off the bat whether the real estate professional you’re considering working with is a Realtor or simply a real estate agent. One of the best ways to find out is by looking at their business card. Realtors mark their business cards with the trademarked Realtor symbol, and Realtors will most likely present their cards like a badge of honour.
3. Realtors Adhere to a Moral Code That Has Been in Place Since 1913
In order to be considered a Canadian Realtor, real estate professionals must adhere to a code of conduct and ethics that has been in place since the turn of the 20th century. While the code is extensive, it includes things like having to disclose in writing who they are representing as an agent in the transaction and being required to disclose the fact that they are real estate professionals if they want to acquire an interest in property. If a Realtor breaks the code, he is no longer allowed to operate as a certified CREA Realtor.
4. Realtors Must Undergo Ongoing Training
Once a real estate professional becomes a Realtor, he must continue undergoing ethics training throughout his career. This means that Realtors are required to stay aware of real estate laws, trends and popular practices, and their level of education is being supervised.
If you’re looking to buy or sell an Ottawa property, both real estate agents and Realtors can help. However, the extra training and supervision of Realtors may ensure a smoother and less stressful experience.