Home >  Real Estate Q and A > What does a REALTOR® do?

What does your Edmonton Real Estate Agent Really Do?

In the life of a real estate agent, there is much more than showing homes, meeting with potential buyers and sellers and receiving a commission. There is plenty that happens behind the scenes. Being a REALTOR® is extremely time-consuming.


If you have ever tried to buy or sell a house on your own, you may have an idea of how hard real estate agents work. Imagine if you were selling more than one house at a time. A good Edmonton real estate agent will make the process of buying or selling a home flow smoothly, leaving the impression that their job is fairly simple. The fact is, this is not at all what really happens. If you have spent social time with a REALTOR®, you may understand how difficult their job actually is.


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There are definitely REALTORS® out there who cut corners, do not take care of their clients well, and they should not define or be in our industry. The real estate industry is also loaded with competent professionals with whom I am proud to work with.


Below is a list of common activities REALTORS® perform on a daily basis:


Schedule Property Showings


Scheduling showings require contacting the listing agent who will inform their seller they have a showing in order for the seller to vacate the premises prior to the availability of the buyer and the buyers real estate agent. It also gives the showing agent an opportunity to find out any relevant information related to the property. All showings must be time blocked which most agents have down to an art form, so we are not early or running behind with our buyers.


Schedule and Prep For Listing Appointments


Once a listing appoint has been scheduled, REALTORS® work behind the scene gathering all pertinent information about the property including the property history, information about the community, current real estate statistics, establish the absorption rate, acquire the title of the property which will show applicable encumbrances such as easements, liens, or covenants, and confirm the registered owners, and comprise a comparative market analysis. The agent will pre-fill paperwork, double-checking everything is correct in order to save time while on the listing appointment. The agent will gather all necessary real estates tools such as yard signs, the CMA and key boxes.


Property Inspections


A REALTOR® usually attends the property inspections with or in place of the agents' buyer, unless agreed upon by the seller. A property inspection normally takes a few hours. In the event there are any concerns with the inspection, it can take several hours to days to come to an agreement which both the buyer and the seller are comfortable with prior to removing and contingencies are conditions.


Delivery of Deposits


Once an offer has been agreed upon, time is crucial in the deliverance of the deposit. A late deposit can result in the agreement becoming voided and the buyer losing their dream home.


Negotiations


REALTORS® are held by a high code of conduct and ethics and no matter how much you may disagree with the opposing REALTORS®, negotiations must be dealt with in a professional manner while working in the best interest of the client. There is much more to offer and counter-offer negotiations than just the price of a property. Negotiations also include terms, possession, conditions and sometimes contingencies. Parties involved in the negotiations can also include lawyers, mom and dad, someone with power of attorney on behalf of a client or the "handyman special" uncle.


Paperwork


REALTORS® have trail and trails of paperwork. Each change on an agreement, amendment or addendum must be documented and kept for at least six years. Agents must ensure everyone involved in the transaction has a copy of each document change including the buyer, the seller, both real estate agents, the financial institution, both real estate offices, both lawyers representing the buyer and seller.


Follow-Ups & Inquiries


A good real estate agent will follow up email, texts and missed calls within a timely manner. REALTORS® can easily receive dozens of emails every day and it is so important not to get sidetracked with the unnecessary emails which can gobble up an agents valuable time.


Scheduled Closings


Closings require toe follow-ups with lawyers to ensure they have all the necessary documents including any recent amendments, walk-through with builders and buyers prior to the closing date and making arrangements for keys once the title has been transferred. And of course,e re-arranging the real estate agents schedule to accommodate the meeting time with the buyer.


Other Related Services


Meet up with other real estate affiliates which help listed properties sell such as a professional photographer, mandatory measuring company employees, home stagers, putting up signage, open houses, or helping a client get their property ready to be shown. Other meetings may including attending financial institutions with a client if needed, property inspections, verify completion of repairs, and other closing related meetings.


Property Showings


After scheduling showings, a real estate agent needs to accommodate the time set aside to show their buyer the homes without them feeling rushed. This may be one or two properties or may consist of a complete day or a few days such as a house hunting trip - HHT.


Attend Listing Appointments


A professional REALTORS® attends all listing appointments as though it is a job interview because that is exactly what it is. The seller is interviewing the real estate agent and the agent is interviewing the seller. Prior to the listing appointment, an agent should be prepared for any questions or concerns a seller may have as well as have all necessary tools needed, should a seller be in a position to list the property. Each listing appointments should take an hour or two - sometimes more depending on how much information is presented to the seller or how many concerns they may have.


Keeping Clients Updated


This can include and newly listed homes which may be a hot commodity and must be shown immediately to sitting down at the computer for a few hours to perform a new market analysis and research back office syndication sites to forward to clients.


More phone calls


On any given day, a good real estate agent will be on the phone to other agents looking for property specific feedback on their listings, updating clients, addressing any on-going concerns, dealing with offers, mortgage brokers, real property report companies, condominium management companies, dispute low property appraisals and other real estate activities.


Maintain Required Continuing Education


Yes. Edmonton real estate agents are still required to maintain and continue education which is mandated by the real estate council of Alberta. The cost of maintaining a real estate licence and updating an agents education criteria is the responsibility of each REALTOR® and not the real estate brokerage.


Marketing and Property Syndication


If you are lucky enough to find a real estate agent in Edmonton who is an e-pro and is familiar with search engine optimization, they will spend several hours syndicating your home through various search engines and websites to ensure your property reaches the first page of google.


Attend Real Estate Conferences


There are dozens of real estate conferences annually and attending these help your REALTOR® stay up to date on the latest technology, real estate systems, and tools to help them with time management and gaining an advantage over their peers.


Maintain Active Social Media Profiles


Although social media and blogging play a key factor in the life of a real estate agent, if the only thing you see on an agents site is personal posts - you might wonder if they are actively doing any real estate. Many agents will hire this out to maintain an internet presence.


Networking with Edmonton Home Builders


There are several different home builders in Edmonton and this is a great way for real estate agents to keep up-to-date with home demand trends, especially in our current real estate market. Recently many of Edmonton home builders have implemented garden suites which offer new home buyers a great way to pay off their mortgage quicker.


Stay in Touch with Past Clients


If your REALTOR® stays in touch with you on a regular basis, you have a great real estate agent. With so many things to do, it is hard to find time to stay in touch with all of our clients!


Several people take education and start a career in real estate under the assumption that it is easy money. In reality, real estate agents are in a brutal time consuming, competitive business. The net commissions are not enough to keep people in the business, in fact, most people get out of real estate because they cannot afford to be in it. REALTORS® who survive to do so because they have a passion for the real estate business, and enjoy helping people make their real estate dreams a reality. It’s a great business to be in, but it’s NOT EASY!

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Home > Real Estate Q and A > Reasons to fire your Realtor (part 1)

How to fire Edmonton Realtors® (part 1)

There are a few reasons to fire your Realtor. If you feel you made a mistake by signing a selling agreement with the wrong Realtor, the best thing to do is to correct it and move on. If your Lawyer or Doctor was not working in your best interest, would you fire them too?


Your listing agreement is usually for a period of three to six months (sometimes longer) and you are entitled to cancel at any time. This can be done with a standard Alberta real estate form. A Realtor (depending on the agency designation) also has the option of terminating your agreement at any time without your consent, but this rarely happens.



If you have hired the wrong real estate company or agent to represent you, fire them. Do it professionally and do it in writing. There are a few things to consider prior to firing your Edmonton Realtor. All of these contingencies will be set out in your original listing agreement.


Who owns the listing?


A: The listing is owned by the brokerage, not the Realtor. If you have a problem with the agent, call the broker. If you have a problem with the broker, call consumer affairs and the Edmonton Real Estate Association.


Is there a fee to cancel your listing agreement?


A: There may be a cancellation fee in the standard agreement. This fee is usually the cost to cover expenses already paid by your Realtor prior to your cancellation. The service fee amount will be set out in the agreement you signed. However, if you paid a fee upfront, there usually is no cancellation fee.


Will I still have to pay a commission after I fire my agent?


A: If a buyer was introduced to your home during the term of your listing agreement and you sell it privately (during a specified time in the agreement) to that same buyer, commissions will be payable.


Can I hire another agent immediately?


A: Yes. Once your home is off of the market, you are free to list your home with any licenced real estate agent.


When you are ready to fire your Realtor, simply inform your agent that you would like to cancel the listing and ask him to provide you with the cancellation listing form. There will be two choices on this form. Make sure you have a property termination end date, the broker (not the Realtor) has signed and you have received a copy.

  • 1. Unconditional termination
  • Which allows no further obligations for either the seller or Realtor
  • 2. Conditional Termination
  • Your agreement will end on the termination date but your obligations will continue under the terms of Section 10 of the Exclusive Seller Representation Agreement. There may also be an additional term.

If your Realtor fails to provide this form within a timely matter, contact the brokerage and tell them about your grievances with the agent.


Can you fire a Buyers Agency or Buyer Realtor?


Yes. It is a different form, but you are free to fire your Realtor when buying. There may or may not be a small fee to get out of the agreement. This fee would have been set out in the original buyers' agreement which states: If you change your mind about looking for a property, you must tell us in writing. You must reimburse us for our reasonable expenses up to the time you tell us. Reasonable expenses will include: (If this section is blank - no penalty will be payable). However, this does not allow you to approach a seller that has been introduced to you while working with your realtor. If you do this, you will have to pay a full commission as set out in the original buyer brokerage agreement.


If you have any questions, both RECA (the Real Estate Council of Alberta) and EREB (the Edmonton Real Estate Board) have plenty of great information to help you make the best decision for you!

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Home >  Real Estate Q and A > Real Estate Commissions

How Real Estate Commissions are Divided

Let's pretend for a moment, your Edmonton home sells for $400,000 and you are paying 7% on the first $100,000 and 3% on the balance of the purchase price. The total commissions payable would be $16,000 plus GST. To understand, how much money real estate agents actually make, we need to look at how agents real estate commissions really work.



First - Half of the commission is given to the buyer's agent. Out of the buying side, the buyer's agent does not receive the total $8000. Depending on how the agent splits their commissions between a team or office split, many buyers agents in Edmonton will receive half of the remuneration of $4000. Out of this sum, the buyers' agent will have to pay their monthly desk fee, vehicle maintenance, gas, and insurance. There are also annual licencing fees for Edmonton Realtors, buyer closing gifts, title searches, other fees associated with selling a property and of course Revenue Canadas share.


The other half of the commission goes to the listing agent. Out of the listing side, the Realtor usually has more expenses than a buyers agent including the cost of marketing the property, (which is not cheap!), the cost of hiring a professional photographer, the cost of accurately measuring the property, cost of a third company putting up and removing real estate signs, key boxes, promotional items, website maintenance, property-specific webpages, etc. Same as the buyers' agents, the listing agent also pays for annual licencing fees for Realtors, seller closing gifts, title searches, other fees associated with selling a property and Revenue Canadas portion of the commission.


There are real estate companies in Edmonton who will charge a flat fee or a lesser commission to put your home on MLS, and other Realtors will charge a higher fee. Understanding how much money Edmonton Realtors make will depend on how many homes they sell and how much commission they receive on each property sold.


The net commissions left for the real estate agent is what they get to take home to feed, shelter and clothe their families. Today, in Edmonton's soft real estate market, many agents are now changing companies to a "lesser fee structure" company due to the cost of doing business. Many of these agents can no longer afford to be a Realtor, simply because they are not doing enough business, don't want to work as hard to earn a higher commission, are licenced only to buy and sell real estate for themselves or are on their way out of the business.


Now that you have a better understanding of how commissions work and how much Realtors actually net, let's pretend again for a moment, you are a real estate agent. Although it is against the Realtors Code of Conduct not to show properties based on commissions, it can be a buyers discretion not to view them (read more about buyer brokerage agreements). If you were a Realtor in Edmonton, would you show a property with a lesser commission?


In Alberta, all real estate commissions are negotiable, up or down and when hiring a real estate agent to sell your Edmonton home, a few thousand dollars in real estate commissions can make the difference between selling and not selling your home - Choose your Realtor based on the value they offer and interview more than one. Do they have the tools to market your home? Are they giving you a discount based on services which will be eliminated? Are they asking for money upfront, prior to doing anything? How is their internet presence?


Always interview a few real estate agents, ask lots of questions especially about their marketing plan and how they attract buyers. Find out what they have to offer. Not all Realtors are the same, each agent is different. If you use a Realtor or a real estate company to sell your home, there will be a fee. The big question you need to ask yourself is - "HOW MUCH MONEY WILL YOU NET AT THE END OF THE DAY?"


Most REMAX Realtors in Edmonton have the highest monthly real estate fees and are working hard to help you sell or buy your home, staying on top of their game, a doing what it takes to get your home sold including paying for the costs of marketing your property. Keep in mind, Realtors do not get paid by the hour, their real estate companies DO NOT pay them for working there. Realtors work very hard to earn their commissions and only get paid once your property is SOLD (usually on possession date) and not on the day it is sold!


If you have any questions on real estate commissions in Edmonton or what like an in-home real estate interview with myself, feel free to contact us at 780-237-7074.

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Home > Real Estate Q and A > Reverse Mortgages

Retired or Retiring Soon? The truth about a Reverse Mortgage

Financing your home is probably one of the least fun aspects of homeownership. Nevertheless, it is essential. And when it comes to a reverse mortgage, things get a little more interesting. With a reverse mortgage, you can take advantage of the value of your home without selling it. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Before you call your bank, here are all the facts about how reverse mortgages work.


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What is a Reverse Mortgage?


A Reverse mortgage refers to an equity release. It allows a homeowner to borrow a percentage of the current value of your property. This percentage is based on certain criteria which include your age, the appraisal of your home, financial institution, and current market trends in your municipality. All of these factors will contribute to the amount of money you will be allowed to access.


Can a Reverse Mortgage Be Paid Off?


The reverse mortgage loan is not usually required to be paid off until the time of death. This is one of the things that appeal to older homeowners, especially if they plan to live for a long time. However, if you are planning to leave your property for your children at your time of death, an equity take out may be a better option. Reverse mortgages do not have regular monthly payments. Keep in mind, interest will be charged to the original loan amount until your loan is paid in full and will continue to increase the loan amount over time. When you sell your home, or you no longer use your home as your primary residence, you will be expected to pay the entire amount owing.


Who is Eligible for a Reverse Mortgage?


In order to apply for a reverse mortgage, you must:

Own your home, which must be your primary residence
Be at least 55 years old if you are single
Both must be at least 55 years old if you own the home with a partner/spouse
Both must be on the mortgage application if you own the home with a partner/spouse
Pay off your mortgage once you receive a reverse mortgage


How Do I Access My Money Once I Qualify?


Once you qualify for a reverse mortgage, you are required to pay off your mortgage as well as close outstanding loans or lines of credit that are secured by your home, which includes your mortgage as well as a home equity line of credit. That might sound scary, but you use the money from your reverse mortgage to pay everything off. The balance of your reverse mortgage can then be used for whatever you like. There are also other fees which include a high-interest rate, home appraisal fee, setup fee and legal fees.

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Home >  Real Estate Q and A What is a Real Property Report

What is a Real Property Report?

A Real Property Report (also known as the RPR) is a legal document that clearly illustrates the location of significant visible improvements relative to property boundaries. It is a plan or illustration of the various physical features of the property, including a written statement detailing the surveyor’s opinions or concerns.



Who needs a Real Property Report?


Part of the standard real estate contracts in Alberta will have a term in the document states the seller will provide a current real property report with the compliance report to the purchaser upon closing. Prior to putting your home on the MLS System and/or Realtor.ca, Sellers should order a new RPR to protect themselves from potential future legal liabilities resulting from problems related to property boundaries and improvements. Your REALTOR® can assist you with this process to ensure your property complies with municipal requirements.


Do I need a Real Property Report for a Condominium?


Bareland Condominiums require Real Property Reports. Conventional Condominiums do not require an RPR.


How does a Real Property Report protect you?


Purchasing a property may be the largest financial investment you ever make. With a Real Property Report, owners are aware of any boundary problems. They know whether their new home is too close to the property line, or part of their garage is on their neighbour’s land or vice versa. Since legal complications may occur if a sold property fails to meet requirements, a Real Property Report protects the seller.


What is on a Real Property Report?


The legal location description of the property and municipal address, dimensions and directions of all property boundaries, any improvements on the property, right-of-way or easements, any visible encroachments, a duly signed certification and opinion by an Alberta Land Surveyor and a permit Stamp where applicable.


How much does a Real Property Report cost?


The amount of work to prepare a Real Property Report varies between properties. Lot size and shape, number of buildings, natural features, age and availability of the property boundary information all affect the cost. However, if you are planning on selling your home in the near future, the sooner you order your Real Property Report, the more economical it will be plus any problems can be identified and resolved before a sale is finalized.


READ MORE ON THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN REAL PROPERTY REPORTS AND TITLE INSURANCE

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