How to become a real estate agent in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The educational model for becoming a real estate agent in the province of Saskatchewan changed on July 1, 2014. This post outlines the new requirements for entry with the most recent costs.

All requirements and prices are valid at the date of publication and are subject to change, without notice, at the discretion of the organizations and associations responsible.

Provincial legislation in Saskatchewan states that anyone wishing to represent members of the public in a real estate trade in Saskatchewan must be registered. The Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission (SREC), an independent, non-government agency, responsible for regulating the real estate industry in Saskatchewan, mandates qualifications for registration.

First of all, people wishing to become registered to trade in real estate as a sales person must have completed Grade 12, or equivalent.

Secondly, prospective registrants must complete a home study course known as Real Estate as a Professional Career, which is offered by the Association of Saskatchewan Realtors® (ASR). Enrolled students have one full year to complete the program. Before the conclusion of the one-year period they must present themselves for an examination and obtain a mark of at least 70%.

Once they have completed Real Estate as a Professional Career, prospective registrants must complete the following specialty courses.

  • Residential Real Estate as a Professional Career
  • Commercial Real Estate as a Professional Career
  • Farm Real Estate as a Professional Career

All three of the specialty programs are offered by the ASR on a home study basis. Enrolled students have two full years to complete all three specialty programs. Before the conclusion of the two-year period they must present themselves for an examination on each program and obtain a mark of at least 70%.

Students wishing to practice in the field of property management must also complete the following course. The cost of this course is the same as the other three specialty courses outlined below.

  • Property Management as a Professional Career

Once a person completes the mandatory courses they qualify to apply for registration to trade in real estate within the province of Saskatchewan. An application for registration as a licensed salesperson, signed by an employing broker, must be made to the SREC within two years of successfully completing the chosen specialty course. Applicants must produce proof of having obtained a Grade 12 or equivalent, and a completed criminal record check.

Cost GST Total
MandatoryEducational Courses
Real Estate as a Professional Career $1,332.38 $66.62 $1,399.00
Examination Fee (first attempt in included – $155 for additional) 0 0 0
Residential Real Estate as a Professional Career $760.95 $38.05 $799.00
Examination Fee (first attempt in included – $155 for additional) 0 0 0
Commercial Real Estate as a Professional Career $760.95 $38.05 $799.00
Examination Fee (first attempt in included – $155 for additional) 0 0 0
Farm Real Estate as a Professional Career $760.95 $38.05 $799.00
Examination Fee (first attempt in included – $155 for additional) 0 0 0
Total Cost for Mandatory Educational Courses $3,796.00
Provincial Licensing and Related
Registration for Salesperson License $330.00 $0 $330.00
Mandatory Errors and Omissions Premium $255.00 $0 $255.00
Real Estate Assurance Fund Levy $100.00 $0 $100.00
Total Cost for Provincial Licensing and Related $685.00
Other Incidental Costs
Criminal record check $25.00
Total estimated cost to become a real estate agent in SK. $4,506.00

 

You can register for these courses online or at the office of the Association of Saskatchewan REALTORS® located at 2811 Estey Drive in Saskatoon.

In addition, within each one-year registration renewal period, all registrants are required to complete mandatory continuing education known as the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program approved by the Commission and provided by the ASR.

Becoming a REALTOR®

The majority of the real estate companies in Saskatchewan, particularly those located in the urban areas are REALTORS®, and all of the sales people that they employ must also be REALTORS®. In addition to expanding the potential opportunities that might exist for a real estate registrant, choosing to practice as a REALTOR® also provides access to the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), a sophisticated system for sharing property information and commissions with other REALTOR® members. In a nutshell, the MLS® provides agents with easy access to a large inventory of homes for sale, and access to a large number of sales people for the homes an agent may have listed for sale. Agents use this system to cooperate with each other for the aforementioned benefits and typically share commissions when they successfully bring a buyer and seller together to complete a real estate transaction.

Becoming a REALTOR® requires a registrant to become a member of the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors®, the Association of Saskatchewan Realtors®, and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Members must commit to conduct their business in accordance with the rules and regulations of each organization, and the Code of Ethics of the CREA.

Here are the costs associated with becoming a member of these organizations.

Cost GST Total
Real Estate Association Joining Dues
Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® $300.00 $15.00 $315.00
Association of Saskatchewan REALTORS® $330.00 $16.50 $346.50
Canadian Real Estate Association $200.00 $10.00 $210.00
Total Cost for Real Estate Association Joining Dues $840.00
Annual Real Estate Association Dues
Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® $50.00 $2.50 $52.50
Association of Saskatchewan REALTORS® $330.00 $16.50 $346.50
Canadian Real Estate Association (Annual dues & tech fee) $310.00 $15.50 $325.50
Total Cost for Annual Real Estate Association Dues $724.50
Post Licensing Education Requirements
Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® New Member Course $549.00 $27.45 $576.45
Total additional costs to become a REALTOR® $2,140.95

That’s a brief overview of what it takes to become a real estate agent in Saskatchewan, and to become a REALTOR® in Saskatoon. If you have questions, or are interested in exploring a career in Saskatoon real estate I’d be happy to hear from you. My contact information is here.

Other resources

Association of Saskatchewan Realtors® website
Association of Saskatchewan REALTORS Career Guide (a must read)
Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission website
Canadian Real Estate Association website
Royal LePage Real Estate Career website

Please note that the estimated costs outlined above were valid at the date of publication and are subject to change, without notice, at the discretion of the billing organizations.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra

Saskatchewan shows considerable housing affordability improvement: RBC

RBC Economics just released their fall Housing Trends and Affordability study that shows house prices having returned to “pre-boom” levels nationally with Saskatchewan showing considerable affordability improvements, but remaining above long-term historical averages. At the same time, the graph on page eight of the report suggests that affordability improvements may level off as Saskatoon seems to be trending back towards “seller’s market” territory.

Housing affordability improved in Canada for the fifth consecutive quarter during the second quarter…At the national level, affordability has now been restored to pre-housing boom levels (that is, those prevailing in late 2005-early 2006)… However, this restorative phase of the affordability cycle is likely running out of steam. The two major contributors to the significant improvement during the past year or so — the decline in mortgage rates and the drift down in prices — appear to have reached turning points.

Homeownership continued to become more accessible in Saskatchewan in the second quarter with RBC’s affordability measures falling between 0.4 and 1.4 percentage points. The measures have retreated considerably since their peaks early last year. However, they are still some distance above long-term averages, although these averages might have been depressed by previously unfavourable migration flows that have since been reversed. Certainly, the current levels of affordability do not appear to have been an obstacle to buyers taking the plunge in recent months. Sales of existing homes in the province have rebounded smartly, up by more than 50% since their low in March. If sustained, this will eventually heat up property prices, which are still trending modestly, lower.

This graph shows the recent affordability trend for the four Saskatoon housing types that RBC tracks and reports on, in comparison to the historical norm for the area. The figures shown on the graph represent the “proportion of median pre-tax household income required to service the cost of mortgage payments (principal and interest), property taxes and utilities” on the various housing types. So, of course, the lower the figure, the more affordable the homes are.

Saskatoon housing affordability trend compared to long-term historical norm

Saskatoon housing affordability trend compared to long-term historical norm.

Read the full RBC report here.

Thanks for the heads up to my friend Larry Yatkowsky who runs Yatter Matters where he blogs about the Vancouver real estate market.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Real estate geeks can follow our daily updates on Twitter @Norm_Fisher.

Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.

Housing affordability trend turns on lower rates and higher incomes: RBC

Here are a few of the highlights from RBC’s recent Housing Trends and Affordability study released yesterday.

As we head into the all-important spring season, the ongoing cyclical correction will put the entire housing sector to the test. However, while the pain will likely persist for many homeowners and industry participants, there are encouraging signs on the affordability front in light of developments through the fourth quarter of 2008. The sharp deteriorating trend in RBC’s affordability measures from about 2004 to late 2007-early 2008 has reversed in the past year. At the national level, the RBC measures improved 2.3 to 3.5 percentage points between the final quarters of 2007 and 2008, with markets in Alberta and British Columbia showing more sizable repair (although this largely reflects the extent of the earlier impairment).

The improvement can be primarily credited to monetary policy during that period because lower mortgage rates account for the largest portion of the reversal in RBC’s measures in almost all major urban areas in Canada except for cities in Alberta. Rising family income also contributed positively across the country.

Only in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver was price a constructive factor in the year-over-year change – although price has played a wider beneficial role in recent more quarters. Higher utilities and property taxes have remained a modest undermining factor.

Going forward, low mortgage rates and persisting downward pressure on housing prices will continue to help repair affordability, but slowing income growth will act as a restraint.

Saskatchewan — Boom is over but no bust

The housing boom is officially over in Saskatchewan. Market activity has cooled considerably from the frenzied pace of 2006-early 2008 and prices have begun to come off the heights they reached during their spectacular run-up. However, the post-boom period so far has been a mostly orderly affair thanks to the province’s largely supportive economic and demographic fundamentals (Saskatchewan’s economy is the strongest in Canada and is forecast to remain so during 2009). These positive factors overshadow extremely poor affordability levels that have resulted from the spike in prices of recent years. While lower mortgage rates, income gains and, in more recent quarters, lower prices have helped improve affordability in the past year, RBC’s measures remain at worrisome levels compared to historical averages. This represents an element of risk if the province’s economic performance is weaker than expected.

Read to entire report here.

Good news, bad news for home buyers: Star Phoenix

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @Norm_Fisher.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatchewan home values down from a year ago even after modest first quarter gains: Royal LePage

With residential real estate inventory above benchmark levels, average home prices in Saskatchewan showed year-over-year declines of 5.5 per cent, but increased 2.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2009. According to Royal LePage’s quarterly House Price Survey, the year-over-year value of key housing types – detached bungalows, standard two-stories and condominiums – were down 10.9 per cent in Saskatoon, while Regina home values increased 7.8 percent over last year’s average. However, most Saskatoon housing types showed increases in the first quarter of 2009.

“The decline in Regina’s housing market started in 2008 – later than some other cities – so we lagged behind other markets,” said Mike Duggleby, Manager of Royal LePage Regina Realty Saskatchewan. “However, average 2009 house prices have increased over last year.”

After posting price gains throughout 2008, Regina South’s housing market has seen little activity so far in 2009 – with average prices for detached bungalows up 21.9 percent year-over-year to $295,000, standard two-storey homes up 13.7 percent to $290,000 and standard condominiums up 12 percent at $196,500. In Regina North, standard two-storey home prices were unchanged from a year ago at $200,000, while bungalow prices were up 2.6 percent to $238,250 year-over-year. Meanwhile, condominium prices declined 3.6% year-over-year to $141,111.

According to Duggleby, Regina’s buyers are sitting on the sidelines. “People are waiting to pick up bargains,” he said. “They’re waiting to see if prices go down further. Right now, there is an over-supply situation.”

Despite a slumping global economy, Duggleby believes it won’t be long before the province’s vibrant resource and construction sectors help drive all residential real estate prices back up. “House prices are connected to our local economy,” he says. “Construction is starting on a global transportation hub that will take air, rail and trucking freight from Thunder Bay and Vancouver. Work is also starting on a new western Canadian distribution centre for Loblaws.”

Although Saskatoon home prices have dropped over the past year, values have started to rebound with average price increases of 3.5 percent for key housing types within the first quarter of 2009 (not exactly how I would have characterized the first quarter, but I did point out that average prices and cost per square foot increased in January and February).

Condominium values took the biggest hits year-over-year, with prices down 13.6 percent in Saskatoon North and a decline of 16.4 percent for condos in Saskatoon East Central. Across Saskatoon, the average price of a detached bungalow was down 8.1 percent year-over-year, to $312,500, while two-storey homes were down 11.8 percent to $348,500.

The number of homes in Saskatoon for sale in March – approximately 1,400 – was down from a peak of 1,800 last year – but current supply levels are still very high and well above average.

“Prices have seen downward pressure over the last twelve months,” said Norm Fisher, Sales Manager, Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate Ltd. “This is the first time in this particular cycle that we’ve shown year-over-year price declines – from 4.5 percent to as high as 16.7 percent in a standard townhouse in the West End. It’s definitely a buyer’s market.”

Most of the 2009 activity in Saskatoon has occurred in the lower priced housing categories. Home ownership has become more accessible, with an average first quarter house price of approximately $282,700 – down from last year’s peak of $318,300.

“Through 2007 and the first half of 2008, Saskatoon experienced the greatest deterioration of affordability in Canada, so we were due for a correction. We want our young people to stick around and build a future here. Some first time home buyers are starting to come back to the market because of low interest rates.”

At the other end of the spectrum, Fisher notes that very few of Saskatoon’s half-million dollar homes sold in the first quarter of 2009.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @Norm_Fisher.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatchewan’s economic success…a rare commodity: CNN

You might call it hype. You might call it a “glimmer of hope” in a pretty tough time. I’d call it a home run for Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall who managed to pique the interest of CNN.com journalist Mallory Simon with a little “good news” about an economy that has at least some hope of growth in 2009 and 2010.  It started as a story titled, “Saskatchewan: Thousands of jobs open if you don’t mind the moose” and it quickly became “the most viewed and second most emailed story on the media giant’s website” according to Star Phoenix writer Cassandra Kyle in her story from today’s newspaper.

Check the CNN story here.
Cassandra Kyle’s coverage is here.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate