Working with a Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents and any salespeople that represent them are regulated, in part, by FCNB. All real estate agents and salespeople operating in New Brunswick must be licensed with FCNB and be members of the New Brunswick Real Estate Association (NBREA). To be a member of the NBREA, real estate salespeople must meet education requirements and follow The REALTOR® Code of Ethics set by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
If you decide to work with a real estate agent, take the time to choose the right agent for you and make sure to contact FCNB to check that both the agent and salesperson are licensed. Before you make your decision, meet with the agent or salesperson. You should feel comfortable with their experience and feel that they will work in your best interest. Some questions that may help you decide include:
- How many years have you been in the industry?
- What is your commission fee? Do you charge a flat fee or percentage of the sale?
- What types of services will you provide?
- How will you market my home?
- Will my property be listed on MLS® Systems?
- Do you have a website?
- How will you help me find my dream home?
- Do you have any buyers / sellers in mind?
- Can you provide me with references?
When you retain the services of these professionals through an agency agreement, you are legally giving the real estate agent and any salespeople the authority to act on your behalf. This is called an agency relationship. In an agency relationship real estate agents and salespeople have a responsibility to act in your best interest. If the buyer and seller are represented by the same salesperson or by salespeople who work for the same agent, this is called dual agency. In this case, the agent’s salespeople may not be able to act in both side’s best interest. After all, it may not be possible to both help the seller get the best price for their home while helping the buyer get the best deal.
Buyer agency agreement
Once you’ve chosen a real estate agent and salesperson to work with, you may sign a Buyer Agency Agreement. The Buyer Agency Agreement outlines the relationship between you and your agent and salesperson, including compensation and the amount of time the agreement will be in effect. Before signing any agreement or contract, it is important to read the document and ask questions to clarify anything you do not understand. Make sure you know your rights, responsibilities and obligations.
Before listing your home, you and your agent and salesperson will sign a listing agreement. This is a contract between you and your agent and salesperson. It gives the agent and salesperson permission to list your home, outlines your obligations as a seller, and outlines the agent and salesperson’s duties, commission fees and deadline for selling your home. The agreement will also tell you whether the listing is a Multiple Listing or an Exclusive Listing. Your agent is required to provide you with a copy of this Listing Agreement. Always keep a copy of the agreement in case of a dispute.
Your agent and salesperson may list your property on a Multiple Listing Service (MLS® Systems). MLS® Systems is an online database of properties for sale that is only available to salespeople who are members of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) (REALTORS®). This information is available to anyone looking to buy a home. As a result, when a REALTOR® lists your home, REALTORS® from other companies learn about your home and try to match it with the buyers they are working with. If an agent other than yours finds a buyer they will usually split the commission with your agent.
Your agent and salesperson may market your home without posting it on MLS® Systems. This means any prospective buyers will be referred directly through your salesperson or agent. An exclusive listing may give you an added level of privacy when selling your home. But it also means your listing will be visible to fewer buyers. Before agreeing to an exclusive listing, ask your salesperson their experience and success rates with this type of listing, and how they plan to market your home for you.
Real estate agents and salespeople are regulated by FCNB and the New Brunswick Real Estate Association (NBREA). Contact FCNB if:
- You want to confirm that an agent or salesperson is licensed in New Brunswick
- You suspect fraudulent activity
- You have an inquiry or complaint about real estate and do not know who to contact. We will refer you to the appropriate person or organization
Contact the NBREA if you would like to report a professional misconduct or ethics type complaint against your agent or salesperson.