Buying a home can be one of your most significant life decisions, and many wonder whether working with a realtor is the right approach. With new regulations to protect consumers, implemented last month by the Real Estate Council, your mind will now be at ease when it comes to teaming up with a realtor.

To better understand what homebuyers need to know about the new regulations, we invited Tara Desmond, Project Sales Manager at Canopy, to share her knowledge based on 18 years of professional real estate experience in the presale and resale markets.

StreetSide: What is the first thing you remind consumers who walk into a StreetSide Sales Centre without a licensed realtor representing them?

Tara: Although our Sales Managers are licensed within our Sales Centre environment, it’s good to remind consumers that we do not act as their agent. We can assist consumers with their home purchase, but the services we can provide are limited. For example, we are not able to list their existing home for sale, nor would we be involved in any of their personal situations regarding the real estate transaction. Since StreetSide is part of Qualico, a fully-integrated builder, current and potential homeowners can be assured that we are fully aware and understand all aspects of the new home purchasing experience.

StreetSide: Two disclosures were introduced as part of the new regulations. What are they intended for and what are the differences between the two?

Tara: The intention of the disclosures is to keep consumers informed of their options when working with a licensed real estate professional in a real estate transaction.

The Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services outlines the consumer’s options when entering into a real estate transaction. We use this form to ensure consumers are aware of the differences between being a client of a licensed real estate professional and being an unrepresented party.

If the consumer decides to purchase a home as an unrepresented party without a licensed real estate professional, we provide them with the Disclosure of Risks to Unrepresented Parties.

Regardless of whether the consumer decides to be represented or not, we are here to ensure they are well informed and comfortable with their decision to purchase a new home with StreetSide Developments.

StreetSide: As an unrepresented party, what should a consumer expect in terms of project details and information you are entitled to provide them with?

Tara: Besides excellent customer service from our entire sales team, we can provide them with general market information and statistics, project marketing materials, and assist them in filling out our standard contracts. As a licensed real estate professional, as well as an employee of StreetSide Developments, we provide consumers with the necessary facts that assist them in making an informed decision during their home selection process, and communicate their messages to the developer.

StreetSide: If a consumer is represented by a real estate professional, how would their knowledge of available information differ as opposed to being an unrepresented party?

Tara: Licensed real estate professionals act only in the best interest of their clients. They are very well versed in all aspects of the industry, and, therefore, can interpret all relevant terms and conditions of a real estate transaction.

In presale, regardless of whether the consumer is represented by a real estate professional or not, we do not penalize nor discount the price of their home. At the same time, we encourage our real estate professional colleagues to bring their clients to our sales centre. At the end of the day, we want the sales process to be a comfortable and pleasant experience for everyone.

StreetSide: Signing a contract can be a stressful situation for homebuyers who have never purchased a home before. How can they benefit from working with a licensed representative in this situation?

Tara: We never want this to be a stressful situation. Although we are not able to advise homebuyers on their personal situation, we are available to provide them with facts regarding the project. If a homebuyer has an established relationship with a licensed real estate professional they trust, having them available to interpret details of a transaction and advise on their unique situation may make the process more comfortable for the homebuyer.

StreetSide: Do you have any suggestions for when a homebuyer is selecting the right real estate professional to represent them?

Tara: I think it is imperative that homebuyers feel comfortable with the real estate professional they work with. A real estate transaction is a significant purchase in anyone’s life. Working with someone you trust and who will always be acting in your best interest based on your unique situation is key. I believe the same goes for when selecting a community and a developer – homebuyers should feel confident in the purchase of a new home.

Canopy is a master-planned community of townhomes on the perimeter of Tynehead Park in Surrey. Contact Tara and the Canopy Sales Team at 604-588-8869 or to get the latest information on the new release of parkside homes, as well as the brand new 3-bedroom display home.