New Year’s resolutions for buying and selling

First of all, Happy New Year! I hope you had a joyful and safe holiday season surrounded by loved ones (and great food). As we embark on 2023 and a fresh start, many of you have already made some New Year’s resolutions.

If you’re planning on buying or selling a home in 2023, here are a few more resolutions you may wish to add to your list.

1. I will interview several real estate agents before I hire one.
Buying or selling a property is a big financial undertaking and you will want to make sure that the agent you hire is suitable for your needs and matches well with your communication preferences. That’s why I highly recommend meeting with a few individual agents. Ask them questions about their experience, approach, services, and knowledge of specific neighbourhoods and types of properties, and ask them for references. You likely will find many agents who have the knowledge and skill you need, but your ability to communicate and interact with them effectively is crucial for success. You can also search for registered agents on RECO’s registrant search tool.

2. I will read and understand forms and contracts before I sign them.
Please remember that the agreement of purchase and sale is a legally binding contract. Take the time to thoroughly review and understand all the fine print and its implications. Make sure that any blanks on the form are filled in prior to signing it, and cover the terms agreed upon with your agent. If you are not certain about something, ask your agent for clarification and consult with a real estate lawyer.

3. I will take time to prepare my home for an open house.
The better your property shows, the more likely buyers will want to make an offer. That should go without saying, but some sellers don’t put much effort into preparing their homes to show well or to protect their privacy. Remove clutter and complete any maintenance work (such as painting and having the carpets professionally cleaned) so that you can showcase your home in the best possible light. Move your valuables to a safe location, whether that’s in a locked cabinet or off site. Ask your agent to allow only a few visitors into your home at a time and to ensure that each of them shows identification and completes a registration form, in case you need to contact them later.

4. I will lead with logic and not emotion.
Most people set a budget early on in their home search, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they always stick to it. It can be tempting to go over a pre-established budget, especially if you find a home you love. If this happens to you, it’s important to remain level-headed and honest about how much you can comfortably afford to spend. While the property may seem like the perfect fit, remember that there will be a lot of great homes on the market, and you will likely find another suitable property that’s within your price range if you are patient.

All the best in 2023!

If you have a question for Joe about the home buying or selling process, please email

This column is for general information purposes only and is not meant as legal or professional advice on real estate transactions.

Joseph Richer is Registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). He is in charge of the administration and enforcement of all rules that govern real estate professionals in Ontario. You can find more tips at, follow on Twitter @RECOhelps or on YouTube at

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