Choosing a Licensee
Buying and selling real estate requires specialized knowledge. This is why we recommend that you use the services of a licensed real estate brokerage to make sure that all the steps involved in buying and selling real estate are completed in accordance with good trade practices.
BENEFITS OF USING A LICENSEE
Brokerages and individuals must be licensed by the Commission and comply with the Real Estate Trading Act and Commission Bylaw to trade in real estate. A consumer who carries out a real estate transaction through an unlicensed person is not protected under the Real Estate Trading Act, because the protection mechanisms apply only when the consumer deals with a professional recognized under the law. Before you do anything, check with the Commission to ensure the licensee you intend to work with is indeed, licensed.
All real estate licence applicants must complete a real estate licensing course and pass an entrance exam in order to enter into the profession. To maintain their licence, licensees must complete continuing professional education courses annually. Courses are based on subjects that provide licensees with a higher level of skill and knowledge.
All licensees are required to carry errors and omissions insurance to maintain to protect consumers from errors or omissions caused by licensees in their involvement in a real estate transaction.
COMPLAINTS & INVESTIGATIONS
As the regulatory body for real estate in Nova Scotia, the Commission handles all public complaints about the conduct and actions of licensees. Find out more in our Complaints section. Note that the Commission does not award damages.
Consumers are protected against any loss arising from fraud or breach of trust by a licensee (as determined by the Commission) through the Recovery Fund, a fund financially supported by all licensees.
A licensee must be licensed with a brokerage and can only trade on behalf of that brokerage. In accordance with the Real Estate Trading Act, the broker supervises the business conduct of all the licensees with the brokerage and ensures the business of the brokerage complies with the laws of Nova Scotia. Many of these laws are designed to protect consumers. A consumer who deals with an unlicensed individual does not have these safeguards.
To check whether a particular brokerage or individual is licensed to trade in real estate in Nova Scotia, use the Search for Licensee button on every page of this website. Alternatively, contact the Commission at 902-468-3511 or toll-free at 1-800-390-1015.
TIPS WHEN CHOOSING A LICENSEE
- Ask friends to recommend a licensee they have worked with successfully.
- Ask the broker to recommend one of the licensees of the brokerage who will be a good match for you and your needs.
- Search licensee’s online and view their social media profiles for a better understanding of their online activity.
- Interview several licensees and discuss your needs and expectations.
- Ask for and assess their qualifications (education, experience, specialty areas, knowledge of the market place, and so on).
- Send a written request to the Commission for a discipline history of a licensee.
- Request a written service and fee proposal.
- Ask for and check references from the licensee’s past clients.
- Discuss and agree to the nature of the services you will receive before signing anything.