Buying a Comox Valley home is not like buying a car for many different reasons. Several recent experiences with people prompted me to write this buyers info blog. In one instance, a couple contacted me to view a property. They wanted to meet me at the home on short notice. I asked them to first meet at the real estate office so that I could explain a couple of forms to them. When they arrived they appeared surprised that I was asking them for some information. They thought that they should be able to go and see a home just like they could walk onto a car lot and see a car. Buying a home is not like buying a car. This blog will discuss some of the reasons why this is the case in the Comox Valley real estate market.
The Comox Valley real estate industry is a highly regulated industry and as a Comox Valley real estate agent, by law, I have obligations to fulfill related to providing real estate services. Comox Valley agents are licensed to be able to provide real estate services to people in exchange for pay (remuneration). These services are defined by the Real Estate Services Act and they include things such as showing real estate, making representations about it, and advising on price.
Comox Valley real estate agents who are bound by the Canadian Real Estate Association REALTOR Code of Ethics must disclose the role and nature of the service that they will be providing and this disclosure must be made at the earliest opportunity and prior to providing professional services. This means that this disclosure must take place before the showing of a home. Agents must also explain the British Columbia Real Estate Association form titled Working with a REALTOR ® (Designated Agency) before providing any real estate services to people.
Real estate agents must also comply with the Federal Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act. This Act was applied to real estate in December 2008 and it now requires that real estate agents collect personal identification information from Comox Valley home buyers and home sellers. Real estate agents must also, by law, identify and document the identity of people before they engage in real estate transactions. The Canadian Real Estate Association form titled Individual Identification Information Record is used for this purpose. Other versions of this form exist to identify businesses, third parties, and people who may live out of the local area served by the real estate agent.
When one walks onto a car lot to view a car, the person is viewing a car owned by the dealership. When buyers view a home they are generally entering a home and private residence of another person. Real Estate agencies represent both home sellers and home buyers. If you owned a home that was up for sale through a real estate agency, would you want to know that the people entering your home were legitimate buyers, and that they could be identified if necessary? For the protection of sellers, our office requires that potential buyers be identified before they enter and view a home.
People who contact Comox Valley real property agents and ask them to set up an appointment to view a home should also be aware of what is involved. The real estate agent must contact the agent representing the seller and request a viewing. The other agent then must contact the seller to see if the time and date works. When a tenant is involved, the law requires that the tenant be given a notice of at least 24 hours before the home can be viewed. At times, this coordination can happen fairly quickly. At other times it may take time and several follow ups.
Time is money. Real estate agents who provide real estate services to people do so in exchange for remuneration. Most real estate agents do not get salaries. They get paid on a commission basis when a real estate transaction (such as the purchase of a home) completes. Like any other business, real estate agents cannot stay in business if they provide services for free. Showing a home takes time, effort, and some money on the part of the real estate agent. Having said this, showing real estate may only a very small part of what real estate agents are licensed and qualified to do.
It also normally takes time and effort on the part of the seller who has to get the home ready for the viewing. Sellers generally do not like people coming through their homes who are not at least prospective buyers. Sellers also generally like to know if the prospective buyers are financially pre-qualified. Peoples’ homes are their castles and their homes are a personal and private place. Viewing a home is not like viewing a car.
If you are considering the purchase of a home in the Comox Valley and would like to view a home or homes, contact Brett Cairns of RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty.