and are at the top of the list of quality real estate listing websites. When you are looking to buy a home, you will find many choices in an easy-to-search format at If you are looking for commercial properties, farms or vacant land, go to, where you will find the same user-friendly format. and are the national advertising websites owned by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). They have information about the vast majority of properties listed through MLS® systems throughout Canada. CREA has just finished some upgrades to the websites which make them easier than ever to use.

When you are looking for a property in our market area – or anywhere in Canada, for that matter – and are valuable sources of information. On both of these sites, you specify your location of interest and what kind of property you are looking for, click on “search” and the properties that fit your criteria are mapped. You can zoom in or out or move the map if you want to look beyond your specified area. Small dots show the location of a listed property and larger dots with numbers show the location of listings.

Put your cursor on a dot and a short version of the listing information appears with the photo supplied by the listing REALTOR®. If you like the look of it, click on “more information” and a longer version of the listing information (more photos, a more precise map and information about the listing broker or salesperson) appears. If you don’t like the look of the property, move your cursor to another spot on the map.

As you go through and, you may want to set aside listings to look at later. If you just want to save them, add them to your “favourites” list and you can get back to them later. If you want to compare properties you like, mark the “Add to Compare” box and they will be charted with others you have marked so you can compare feature for feature.

Looking at ads for homes or commercial properties and comparing a few features is very interesting and helpful. When the time comes to actually go out and look at the properties you’ve chosen, it is sound advice to contact a REALTOR® to guide you through the ins and outs of viewing and purchasing property. A REALTOR® will help you with all the things you don’t see in the ads on or – or any other real estate website, for that matter.

A real estate ad, no matter where it is found, is just that: an advertisement showing a property’s best features. It won’t be saying the granite countertops were added last month to take your attention away from the fact the house is located in an unpopular area. An ad won’t tell you that the property is over-priced or located next to a planned big box centre. And an ad won’t tell you the seller needs a flexible closing that is longer than or too soon for your needs.

It isn’t that the ads are misleading; ads put the property in the best light possible. That’s precisely why it’s helpful to engage a REALTOR® to work with you and on your behalf when you are looking for a home or commercial property – your REALTOR® will help you sort out how much a property really meets your needs. A REALTOR® knows the market, knows about properties, will work in your best interests and can help you find a home or property that suits you.

Use the services of someone who knows real estate and who can protect your interests. Let a REALTOR® be the first person you contact when you are buying a new home or commercial property.

Cameron Nolan
President, 2012