No Comments

5 Good Reasons to work with a REALTOR

Are you considering a real estate transaction? One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether you should work with a licensed Real Estate Professional, who will represent you. Here’s 5 good reasons why you should.

Remember, not every real estate agent can call themselves a REALTOR®. REALTOR® is a trademarked term belonging to the Canadian Real Estate Association. It represents a high standard of professionalism and commitment to value for clients.

1. Standards

Professionally, a REALTOR® adheres to a strict set of standards called the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. Any violations to the Code, Standards, Rules, or legislation are brought forward for investigation and disciplinary action at both the Board level and at the provincial level, through the Real Estate Council of BC.

Before you disclose confidential information to a Real Estate Professional regarding a real estate transaction, you should understand what type of business relationship you have with that individual. You can work with a real estate professional in one of the following ways:

  • AS A CLIENT, your Real Estate Professional works on your behalf, and has special legal duties to you.
  • AS A NON-CLIENT, a Real Estate Professional who is not representing you as a client does not owe you any special legal duties

2. Loyalty

If you are a Non-Client, the Real Estate Professional(s) involved in the transaction may be representing a client with competing interests to yours in a transaction. They must be loyal to THEIR client, not you. When you’re the client of a Real Estate Professional, they will act only in your interests.

3. Full Disclosure

If you’re a Non-Client, the other Real Estate Professional(s) involved in the transaction do not have a duty to give you all relevant information regarding the transaction. When you’re the client of a Real Estate Professional, they must tell you everything they know that might influence your decision.

4. No Conflict of Interest

When you’re the Client of a Real Estate Professional, they must avoid any situation that would affect their duty to act in your best interests. When you’re a Non-Client, no Real Estate Professional acting in your interests.

5. Confidentiality

When you’re a Client, the Real Estate Professional must not reveal your private information without your permission, even after your relationship ends. When you’re a Non-Client, the Real Estate Professional(s) involved in the transaction must share any information you tell them, with THEIR client.

When you become a Client, you may be asked to sign a written agreement setting out yours and the Real Estate Professional’s responsibilities. As a Non-Client, a Real Estate Professional may give you only limited services.

Whenever a Real Estate Professional works with you in a real estate transaction, whether you are their client or not, they have a responsibility to act honestly and with reasonable care and skill.

The Real Estate Council of BC

The Real Estate Council of British Columbia is the legislated regulatory agency that works to ensure Real Estate Professional have the skills and knowledge to provide you with a high standard of service. All Real Estate Professionals must follow rules that help protect consumers, like you.

The Real Estate Council of BC helps you understand your rights as a real estate consumer. Visit their website at or call them at 1 – 877 – 683 – 9664.

No Comments

Home Buying 101, Part 1: Is it Right for You?

Big decision, right? Other than popping the question to your one true love, buying a home is probably one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. You’re going to need to do some serious research, and learn a TON of stuff. But that’s okay – I’ve got your back! We’re going to start out with the basics, and work our way through this process together. First up: is buying a home right for you?

Everyone needs a place to live, and you more or less have two options – you can rent, or you can buy. There are advantages and disadvantages to both – so let’s explore those options! We’re going to break it down into four sections – the advantages and disadvantages of renting, and the advantages and disadvantages of owning a home.


  • You have the freedom to move or downsize when you want, once the lease expires.
  • You have the ability to put your money into other investments with potentially higher gains.
  • You don’t have to maintain the property.
  • You may have fewer expenses that might be paid by the landlord, i.e. utilities.
  • There is no major down payment required, except for the deposit.
  • Your rental payment may be lower than a mortgage payment.
  • You don’t have to pay real estate taxes, such as property taxes.
  • Your rental may have free amenities, such as a pool or a gym.
  • Studies have shown that a disciplined renter can build as much wealth as a homeowner.


  • You may be paying more in rent than you would in a mortgage.
  • You have no equity when you’re renting – there is no ownership or wealth creation; all your rent money goes to the landlord.
  • The payments never stop when you’re renting – with a mortgage, eventually you own your home
  • Rents will increase likely over time, once your lease expires.
  • You have to deal with a landlord or property management company – want to paint a wall? Tear one down? Get a new fridge? Sometimes it can be tricky.
  • There are no tax advantages to renting.

If you’re considering buying a home for the first time, chances are that you’re already familiar with the above advantages and disadvantages of renting, because that’s what you’ve been doing for a while now. So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of home ownership next.


  • You can build home equity and wealth. It’s really the biggest investment most people make.
  • Your house, your rules – no landlord. Paint that wall, build that deck!
  • As long as you’re smart with it, a mortgage can improve your credit score.
  • You have the ability to borrow money against the value of your home (a home equity loan).
  • Eventually, there are no more payments once the mortgage is paid off (in the long term).
  • There are no capital gains taxes when you sell your primary residence.
  • It’s a kind of insurance against inflation – the house increases in value as the dollar decreases in purchasing value over time.
  • Paying your mortgage every month (or two weeks) is a ‘forced’ savings plan, so you become more financially responsible.
  • When you sell your home, you can use the proceeds to buy a bigger, better home, one that fits your lifestyle needs over time.


  • There is a sizeable down payment required depending on your choice and income level.
  • Home prices can lose their value in a tough economy.
  • Not everyone qualifies for a mortgage, and obtaining one can be a hassle at times
  • In addition to your mortgage payment, you’ll have to pay property taxes and get homeowner’s insurance as well.
  • There are significant legal and closing costs on buying a house.
  • Mortgage payments can rise with interest rate increases after the term.
  • Maintenance costs can be excessive, depending on the age of the home.

So there it is, all laid out for you. The decision is yours – but first, to help you decide, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are you financially stable? 
  2. Do you have the financial skills and the self-discipline to make a home purchase work?
  3. Are you aware of ALL the costs and responsibilities of being a home owner?

If the answer to the above three questions is ‘yes’, and you feel that the advantages of home ownership outweigh the disadvantages, then buying a home may be right for you. In part 2 of this Home Buying 101 series, we’ll explore the financial side of home ownership, and help you understand if you’re financially ready to own a home.

Thanks for reading!