Have confidence in your real estate dealings
You’ve been carefully saving your money and you finally feel ready to buy your first home. This is a very exciting time, but it can also be daunting, especially in a competitive or super-heated market.
There are a lot of decisions to be made and a lot of potential pitfalls. Before you jump into the market, it’s essential that you feel as confident and in control as possible. That’s why it’s a good idea to hire an agent who is in good standing with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).
We encourage you to speak with several agents before choosing the one you feel best meets your needs, and to use RECO’s real estate professional search tool so you can check the status of your agent.
What does RECO do?
Like many other professionals – including lawyers, accountants, teachers, nurses, and engineers – real estate agents and brokerages are regulated in Ontario and across Canada. RECO enforces the Ontario government’s Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA) to protect buyers and sellers. Our mission is to promote a fair, safe and informed real estate market.
As the industry’s regulator, we have the authority to manage complaints about the conduct of real estate agents and brokerages in Ontario.
While most agents follow the rules, unfortunately – as in all professions – there are some who do not. If we receive a complaint about an agent or brokerage, we will investigate and take appropriate action, which could include prosecution that results in a fine and, for the most serious cases, suspension or revocation of a registration.
Education to meet the needs of buyers and sellers
Before they are allowed to become registered with RECO and trade in real estate, aspiring agents must pass a set of comprehensive exams to ensure they understand the rules and have the necessary expertise to provide the best service possible to their clients. This includes having a thorough grasp of many topics, such as:
- Laws that apply to real estate transactions
- Rights and responsibilities of agent and client
- Terms and conditions of agreements
- Multiple offers
- Pre-emptive (or bully) offers
- Advertising rules
- Home inspections
You should also know that agents must follow the lawful instructions they are given by their clients, so it is crucial that any written direction you give your agent is detailed and very clear.
Agents must also complete continuing education courses every two years to stay up to date. And they must follow a strict code of ethics that is designed to protect the consumer.
Insurance to protect you and your money
Through RECO, your agent is also insured. Consumer deposit insurance protects your deposit in the event of fraud, misappropriation of funds, or insolvency, and is available at no cost to those who hire a brokerage.
Whether you are a first-time buyer or a real estate veteran, RECO works to promote a fair, safe and informed marketplace. Check out our website for more information.