There are many different resources available to those seeking housing. The first place many people choose to search are the newspapers. The Toronto Star (http://www.thestar.com), one of the most popular daily newspapers, has one of the largest classified sections in the area, and posts their ads both in the newspaper and online. Local papers can be useful for finding housing in the GTA, but is generally limited to apartments and rentals from private citizens rather than from apartment complexes. Ads can usually be found in the classified section of every daily and weekly newspaper in Toronto.
Several publications are available for free at newsstands and in street-side boxes around the city. Home Guides publishes a series of free magazines filled with new homes, condos, rentals, and resale homes.
Online listings for potential home buyers or tenants:
- http://www.realtor.ca – A comprehensive search engine specifically designed to help buyers/sellers find realtors in their area.
- http://www.canadarentals.net – A Canada-wide site to help you find houses and apartments for rent.
- http://kijiji.ca – A free local classified site with a section for rentals and properties for sale.
- http://craigslist.com – Another free local classified site with a section for rentals and properties for sale.
- http://viewit.ca – A user friendly site that helps you find and view apartments in the Toronto neighborhood of your choice.
- http://www.gottarent.com – A great resource site for renters and landlords in Canada.
Real Estate Agents
Recommended real estate companies:
- Century 21: http://www.century21.ca – A well established and trusted realtor with many agents working in the Toronto area.
- Coldwell Banker: http://www.coldwellbanker.com – This is a U.S based real estate company that has agents in most major North American cities.
- Homelife Real Estate Canada: http://www.homelife.ca – A real estate company that’s been in business for over 25 years.
- ReMax: http://www.remax.ca – Another of one of Canada’s larger companies, with agents based all over the country.
- Royal Lepage: http://www.royallepage.ca – A comprehensive real estate company that can help you find a home. Fast!
- Sutton Group: http://www.sutton.com – With agents in every region of Canada, the Sutton group has a good track record and reliable agents
You can also visit these websites to find a quality realtor:
- Brampton Real Estate Board: http://www.breb.org
- Canadian Real Estate Association: http://www.crea.ca
- Mississauga Real Estate Board: http://www.mreb.ca
- Realtors Association of Hamilton / Burlington: http://www.rahb.ca
Realtors work on a commission basis. This commission is usually paid by the seller of a home. Expats seeking to purchase a home should be sure to contact the agent responsible for selling the home directly and make arrangements for viewing the property. Most purchasers are responsible for finding their own means of transportation to the home for viewing, and must make an appointment with the agent and current home-owners prior to arrival.
When searching for a rental property in Toronto, it not a general practice to use a real estate agency. With that being said, sometimes realtors are used by potential renters to source out appropriate accommodations, usually with the payment of a consultation fee. This fee varies, depending on the level of service, but is usually about $25 per hour. Landlords also may use realtors to show more upscale apartments, paying a commission to the realtor for their services. Most apartment rentals, however, are conducted free of realtors in Toronto.