By: James Hand

Using a Realtor to Buy a House



Are there actually any benefits to using a realtor to buy a house? Well if you do decide to use a realtor you have a choice to make, way before we can get into any benefits or disadvantages. The two basic options most home buyers can choose from, are either using what is known as a Buyers Agent or using the Listing Representative (the name on the For Sale sign).  One big plus of choosing either of them and that many home buyers are unaware of, is there's typically no monetary cost to you to work with them or take advantage of the professional advice or protection they can offer. With that being said, there are so many other reasons for you to use a licenced realtor when you’re purchasing your new home, in addition to it most often having no cost to you as the buyer. Let’s dig in and see what the benefits are to you, depending on who you choose to have working for you.


 Who Should You Choose?



You could choose either a Buyers Agent or the Listing Representative, the choice is of course completely up to you. Many of these reasons are however based only on choosing to have a Buyers Agents working for you, simply because you have a Client/Agent relationship which comes with what is known as Fiduciary Duty. This is the same protection you are provided by a lawyer representing you, your interests are protected and represented above all others as long as they meet within the law. You are however also protected by a code of ethics, which either representative must adhere to for your protection. The term client is reserved if  your interests are being solely protected by your realtor and customer if the other party (the seller) is having their intersts being solely protected above everyone elses (yours, as the buyer).



1. Insurance


If  the “Realtor” you chose to help you with buying a home in Ontario is a registered salesperson or broker they must be registered with RECO. The Real Estate Council of Ontario both established and administers an insurance program that with its coverage protects your deposit and is available at no cost to you. In the event of fraud, misappropriation of funds or insolvency the coverage available to consumers is up to $100,000 per claim to a maximum of $3,000,000 per occurrence. This is effective as of September 1, 2016.


2. Not Dealing With The Mountains of Paperwork


Selling and therefore buying property comes with an absolute ton of “paperwork”, even if it’s in digital form, as many sales representatives and brokers are using. If you aren’t digital you could without exaggeration have an entire filing cabinet drawer dedicated to the purchase of your new home. 



This list is just a taste of the most common documents you can encounter. With all this paperwork comes signatures, records, and multiple copies being distributed to the appropriate individuals and agencies. A real estate agent can help you track the paperwork, and most importantly, ensure that everything is signed and complete while keeping the files for you if you need to access them at a later date.

3.  Access To Trusted Professionals


Most full time Realtors will have a “million dollar” contact list. A list of their long term and trusted relationships that can and more often will save you so much time, money and possible heartache. Your Realtor will also be able to coordinate this team of professionals and the separate pieces from each team member and bring them all together as one fluid cohesive unit. Many Realtors will put you in contact with a mortgage professional that can get you the best fit financing for your situation, making sure you get the absolute best rates, lowest downpayment and lowest monthly mortgage payment possible. They will put you in contact with their trusted real estate lawyers, home inspectors, septic inspectors, surveyors, contractors, home furnishing specialists, designers, electricians, plumbers etc., often at pre-negotiated discounted rates.


4.  Savings


An experienced Realtor has most likely been there and done that. What does this mean? That they will bring their expert knowledge of the value of certain neighbourhoods and homes. They’ll educate you on why it’s not always about the slightly cheaper price of a house in what seems like similar neighbourhoods or vice versa. Buying a home that could require a slight bit of work but that’s two blocks over could not only gain you way more appreciation in value but also put you in a better school district.

They can guide you to the listings that offer the most opportunity to provide you with what matters to you, and at the price you want, too. In saying that, they can also avoid the listings that most likely won’t provide you with what you’re looking for, saving you both time and money.

5.  Help You to Become an Educated Buyer


There is nothing more valuable in this process than being in the know. Knowing what to look for in each step is critical. A great Realtor is there to focus on your needs first and foremost. A really great Realtor is there to also educate you about the process as a whole. From knowing about your financing, the varying clauses in Agreements, your legal requirements, what is great about some properties and not so great about others so when you get a home inspection you’re prepared for their evaluation, you will already be aware of your next step. They will be there to walk you through each and every one of your, what can be very emotional steps. After you’ve made your purchase, they can educate you on everything from obtaining utilities and changing identification to setting up movers and into your possible contractor needs. The true job of a Realtor is to educate you on every step from their experience so that you are extremely confident and at ease about each one of the decisions you’re making.

6. Help You Avoid Complications Upon Closing


The countdown is on and moving day is a few days away. The excitement is building and then there’s a hiccup with your documentation. Now what? A good Realtor with experience will often detect potential issues way in advance of them coming to light and alleviate the problem before any real stress happens. Even if things are missed and they do surface, having a real estate professional in your corner who has previously handled some of the many issues that can creep up, is very comforting. Using a realtor to buy a house can be seen as similar to having a mechanic in the car with you when you break down on the highway, their experience can be worth its weight in gold. 


A few of the most common closing issues can include:


  • Documentation errors

  • Mortgage funding delays and complications

  • Last-minute inquiries

  • Title errors

 7. Negotiating With Your Best Interest

Anyone can negotiate but there are differences between a negotiation, a great negotiator and a great negotiator with your best interest at heart. My son and daughter are both negotiators and decent at it. They negotiate the terms that surround their lives and for what they want. The woman or man visiting you at your garage sale are negotiators, they start very low on an item and know they were always willing to pay more but needed to be sure hey weren’t overpaying. An example of a good negotiator is a professional Realtor but who is the “Listing Agent” or the name on the sign. They have great negotiating skills but legally have to give their negotiating interest to the seller of the home as it is their Fiduciary Duty to do so. A good negotiator with your best interest is your own Buyers Agent. They will negotiate with strict confidence on your behalf, as it is their Fiduciary Duty to you to do so. They represent you alone when dealing with the listing agent and property owner. They work exclusively to protect your best interest in the entire process and work to get the terms to be suited solely to your benefit, as long as it is done within the confines of the law. This is an enormous benefit to using a realtor to buy a house that works for you and you alone.

8. Finding Homes


Many people believe that this is the only purpose of dealing with a real estate professional when you’re searching for a property to call home. Of course sending you listings is part of what happens when you’re using a realtor buy a house. However, why not just look them up on It is a great resource and is operated by the Canadian Real Estate Association. The one major drawback with this service is that the properties are not as up to date as what realtors use as part of their paid board membership, nor does it offer up as much information as that system. You will get access to more up to date properties, know what the status is on each property and will know all of the information that is available about a property by using a realtor. You will also gain access to “exclusive” listings which do not hit the open market and with the right realtor have access to properties a few days in advance of them hitting the open market. A good realtor will also find you homes that meet certain criteria, such as specific school districts or amenities. 

9.  No Cost To You


When you’re using a realtor to buy a house, more often than not it is at no cost to you. The seller of a home has signed a contract with their listing agent for “X”%. This amount is to be paid fully to the listing brokerage no matter where a buyer comes from. In cooperation, the listing brokerage offers a commission to a cooperating brokerage who represents a buyer and this is paid from a portion of what the listing brokerage has charged the seller of the property. When you choose a great realtor to represent you, you get all of the experience, expertise, contacts and protection with absolutely no cost  to you as the buyer. 


These 9 reasons are some of the benefits of using a realtor to buy a house that represents you solely and is one of the best real estate tools you can have if you're buying a home in Ontario. If you have any questions feel free to reach out, we're always happy to help