Acting on your own or through a broker: How to make an informed choice
That’s it! You are now ready to carry out one of the most important transactions in your life. Among all the questions you will ask and all the decisions you will make, determining the method of proceeding you prefer is one of the first things to do.
Indeed, many options are available to you when selling, buying, leasing or financing a property. You may:
- carry out the transaction on your own;
- enlist the services of a real estate company; or
- do business with a real estate broker.
The OACIQ respects your freedom to choose the model that suits you. The important thing is to know when you are protected by the Real Estate Brokerage Act and when you are not.
Under its public protection mission, the OACIQ enforces this Act whose aim is to regulate the real estate brokerage profession and activities and provide protection mechanisms during a real estate transaction carried out by a broker.
If you elect to enlist the services of a broker, you will therefore be dealing with an intermediary who is duly authorized and supervised by the OACIQ.
How to choose a broker
Choosing a broker at random is not enough. It’s essential to choose the one who best suits your needs.
To help you make your choice, the OACIQ offers you a few tips:
Ask people you know
A good starting point is to ask your close ones (parents, friends, colleagues, neighbours) if they can recommend someone. Then, look at those brokers who know the neighbourhood or the area well; a good indicator of this is the number of signs that a broker has up in the area. Since some brokers specialize in certain markets (such as co-ownership or commercial real estate), make sure you specify what you are looking for in your discussions.
Ask all your questions
When selecting a broker to represent you, prepare a list of questions to ask of potential candidates:
- How do his services differ from those of other brokers?
- Does the broker work alone or as part of a team?
- If you are selling, what does he propose to do to promote your property?
- If you are buying, does he know the area or the neighbourhood where you wish to buy and the type of property you are interested in?
More importantly, you must have a relationship of trust with your broker and feel free to discuss any issues with him. You should also take the time to make sure he truly understands your needs and your requirements.
Make the usual verifications
Make sure that your broker is properly licensed to work as a broker by checking the OACIQ’s Register of licence holders.
You should also check the section called “Verifying a broker’s record” to see if the broker has been the subject of a disciplinary decision or a licence suspension in the past.