To become a REALTOR®, applicants must undergo a thorough training program and become licensed by the BC Financial Services Authority. Most real estate professionals in Victoria are members of the Victoria Real Estate Board, and only members of real estate boards and associations can call themselves REALTORS®. When you deal with a REALTOR®, you can expect not only strict adherence to provincial laws but also to a Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice. This is important to you because it assures you will receive the highest level of service, honesty and integrity. REALTORS® also ensure their skills and knowledge are fully up-to-date by taking courses and seminars which are offered through the Victoria Real Estate Board.
It is not training alone that makes a REALTOR® so valuable -- his or her expertise extends into every aspect of home ownership. REALTORS® know how best to sell or buy a home and have an intimate knowledge of the real estate market. They will gladly clarify any legal terminology or government regulations for you.
For sellers, REALTORS® develop a marketing plan that will likely include listing your property on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®). REALTORS® have access to this co-operative marketing system, which ensures the widest possible exposure for your property. REALTORS® may also place other advertising and hold open houses if desired. They can also pre-screen buyers so that only those who are truly interested and qualified view your home.
When it comes to negotiating a price, a REALTOR® can act as a mediator between you and the buyer. This will allow you to remain at “arm's length” during the stressful negotiation process, which tends to be stressful.
Buyers can use their REALTOR®'s access to the MLS® system to draw up a short list of homes that suit their client's specific needs and budget.