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Builder or Realtor

Often, when buying a new home, you’ll deal with a builder/contractor. If you’re buying a resale home, however, you’ll probably encounter a realtor.

In the sections below, some tips and advice are provided for finding a reputable realtor or builder.

How to Find a Builder

Most homes in Canada are built by professional builders, and unless you plan to build a house yourself, you’ll need to rely on these people to build your future home.

Unlike a resale property, with new homes you have more say in what the final product looks like. You can opt for a custom builder, which will build a one-of-a-kind model for you, or you can buy a property built by a new home builder. That said, there are several things to keep in mind when looking for a builder, such as:

•    What is the builder’s reputation?
•    How long have they been in business?
•    Is the company a member of an industry organization or association (such as the Canadian Home Builders’ Association)?
•    Are they licensed in the province where you intend to live?
•    Do they have other developments that you can look at?
•    Do they have a list of previous clients for you to contact?
•    Do they offer a warranty? If so, what does their warranty record look like?
•    How much say do you have on how your home ultimately looks?
•    How much do they charge for extras?

Some of these questions will be easily answered by the builder. Others, like a company’s warranty record, might require some research on your part through provincial new home warranty organizations. Some are government-run and others are non-profit organizations or co-operatives. Many offer a free warranty reports service on builders, by providing the frequency and dollar value of recent home warranty claims. They include:

•  British Columbia: Homeowner Protection Office
•  Alberta: Alberta New Home Warranty program
•  Saskatchewan: New Home Warranty of Saskatchewan Inc.
•  Manitoba: New Home Warranty of Manitoba Inc.
•  Ontario: Tarion is the home warranty organization
•  Quebec : L’Association provinciale des constructeurs d’habitations du Québec
•  Maritimes: Atlantic New Home Warranty

How to Find a Realtor

You’ll typically rely on a realtor to help you through the purchase process on the resale market. Since home buying is complicated, realtors can help guide you through much of the paperwork, particularly around initiating and completing a purchase. Your realtor can show you various types of properties for sale on the resale market.

If you’re interested in finding a realtor in your area, simply go to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) website and enter the requested information. There are over 90,000 realtors accessible across Canada through MLS.

When dealing with realtors, homebuyers do not incur additional costs beyond the purchase price of the home. Home sellers, however, pay a commission to a realtor whenever a sale is made.

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