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Professional development:

All Industry Members are required to complete continuing professional education annually. Courses are based on subjects that provide Industry Members with a higher level of skills and knowledge that will aid them in protecting the public.

Entrance Examination:

The profession’s entrance examination ensures that Industry Members possess the knowledge and competence required to provide adequate service.

Brokerage Audit:

The Registrar ensures that the work methods of real estate Industry Members are in accordance with the rules of the profession. To verify this, the Commission’s Compliance Officer carries out inspections of brokerages and makes recommendations as necessary.


The Registrar is the senior staff person at the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commis- sion and is responsible for the administration of the Real Estate Trading Act and the Commission By-Law and policies. The Registrar investigates when there is reason to believe that a Industry Member has violated the rules that govern the profession. The Registrar has the authority to lay charges with the Commission’s Complaint Review Committee if necessary.

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Part of the success in selling your home depends on the impression which potential buyers will have when they view it. Showing it off properly is therefore of prime importance. Many elements can help get you the best possible price for your property. Some involve up-front expenses, which can probably be recovered when you sell your house. You will find on the next page a Preparation checklist to help you plan how you will prepare your home.

First impressions:

First impressions have a considerable impact on a person’s perception after a visit. Therefore, certain visual aspects must be reviewed. Is the outside of the house in good condition? Do gutters need repairs? Is the garage neat? Have broken windows been replaced? Has the grass been cut and raked? Do the hedges and shrubs need trimming? In winter, has the snow been removed? Does the doorbell work? Are door trimmings in good condition?

Indoor aspect:

Have cracks been repaired? Are paint touch-ups necessary? Have leaky faucets been repaired? Are there any burnt out bulbs? Do doors need a drop of oil? bathrooms Are bathrooms shiny? Has the bathtub been re-caulked? Are the floors clean?


Is a thorough cleaning required? Are the sink and faucets clean? Are cupboards impeccable both inside and out?


Have lights been turned on? Is the furnace on if it’s cold? Is there a fire in the fireplace when it’s cold? Are curtains open during the day? Have you thought of putting on a little soft music? Do your plants and flowers look healthy? Have animals been removed or locked up for the showing? Is ventilation adequate?

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Exclusive Listing Contract:

In an exclusive listing contract, the seller agrees not to use the services of another brokerage for the sale of his property. This type of contract guarantees to the broker- age that their efforts to sell the home will be compensated at the time of the sale. The seller can also expect their brokerage to devote maximum time and effort to sell the property. The brokerage will cooperate with other brokerages unless instructed otherwise by the seller.

Non-exclusive listing contract:

In a non-exclusive listing contract, the owner retains the right to sell their property through another brokerage of their choice. This type of contract, although it may ap- pear advantageous at first glance, can have a major drawback in that the broker risks losing his compensation to a competing brokerage, regardless of the effort they may have put in, which could lead to devoting less energy to the sale of your property.

Multiple listing Service® (MlS®):

A property can be listed exclusively with the option of placing it on the MLS®, which is a cooperative marketing system of member brokerages. This means the property is marketed through the MLS® where the information on the property will be shared with all members of the MLS® system. The MLS® is operated under licence by the Canadian Real Estate Association.

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One of the main concerns of real estate buyers is mortgage financing. To determine the amount you will need to borrow, you have to know the purchase price of the property and the total expenses you will need to pay in cash. The summary of these calculations enables you to determine the amount of financing you need to purchase your home.

Cash expenses

You have to plan for several cash expenses when buying a home. These costs must be estimated to determine the amount you need to borrow to finance the purchase of your new home.


When presenting an offer to purchase, you will need to make a deposit to prove your legitimacy as a buyer. For that, you have to plan on a cash outlay.

Down payment

The down payment is without a doubt your main expense when buying a home. A higher down payment means lower monthly mortgage payments. If your down payment is less than 25% of the purchase price, your mortgage loan must be insured by high-ratio mortgage insurance such as that provided by CMHC. There are administration fees involved for the application. Yo also have to plan on legal fees and an insurance premium, which is a percentage of the loan amount.

Related expenses

Several related expenses must be taken into consideration when buying a home, such as building inspection, property appraisal, loan application, legal fees and disbursements, property taxes, deed transfer tax, fuel adjustment, insurance, and so on.

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Analyzing your financial capacity

Before you start looking for a new home, you should conduct an analysis of your needs and an accurate evaluation of your financial capacity. You must establish a realistic budget that accounts for your lifestyle and your goals. The purpose of this exercise is to set a reasonable purchase price. This way, you can narrow down your search and avoid being tempted by real estate that is above your means.

The key element in this exercise is accuracy. Remember that a budget is only useful if it accounts for your overall needs and personal or family situation.

Estimating your maximum mortgage

A simple way to estimate the maximum mortgage you can get is to multiply your gross annual salary by two (see Table 1). Note that most mortgage lenders calculate this by multiplying the gross annual income by 2.5. However, it is more reasonable to multiply it by two to avoid overextending yourself on mortgage payments. You should consult your banker or financial planner to get more ac- curate information as to what you can afford. This process is called mortgage pre-approval.

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Your monthly housing budget is the amount you have to live, finance and heat your future home, after you have fulfilled all your other normal obligations. To do this, use current data that will not change when you are a new homeowner: your net household income, your debts (student loan, car loan, and so on) and your current living expenses (food, clothing, insurance, miscellaneous expenses, and so on).

The difference between your net household income and your total monthly expenses is your monthly housing budget. This amount must cover your mortgage pay- ment (principal plus interest), taxes, heating costs and condominium fees, if applicable.

Remember that a budget is only useful if it reflects reality. Your budget, more than the methods used to calculate your monthly payments, will help you determine your maximum mortgage loan.