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Before you make a decision to buy or sell real estate, be sure to educate yourself about all of the information and services available to you.

Housing market information originating from the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) system has long been recognized as the most reliable and comprehensive data available for those looking to buy or sell a home. If you're looking for the most accurate property listing information on-line, make sure the information you use is associated with the MLS® brand.

While real estate remains a people business, consumers today have access to numerous resources that can help them find a Realtor, find a property and connect all the dots in between.

Here's a rundown of some of the key real estate websites:

This is the most popular and comprehensive real estate listing website in Canada. Each month, approximately four million unique visitors go to www. Realtor.ca and view more than 145 mil-lion pages. The home listing information on www.Realtor.ca streams from the Multiple Listing Service® system but does not contain the full collection of in-formation on the system. The website is provided by Realtors across the country to help market properties on behalf of their clients.

At any given time, there are approximately $1.35 billion in Canadian properties listed on the website. All totalled, 456,749 homes were sold through the MLS® in Canada last year.

This is the online version of the news-paper publication found in real estate offices and grocery stores across the region. The www.realtylink.org website is another great resource for consumers. The website contains home listings for properties across the province and features a wide range of in-depth, walk-through-style information. You can also use the site to find a Realtor working in your community.

Built and maintained by the Canadian Real Estate Association, this site is filled with a broad range of supporting information for those looking to buy and sell a home. The site offers information for buyers and sellers on a variety of topics and includes brief videos to illustrate examples. You can also find handy tools like checklists for buyers and sellers and mortgage calculators.

The Real Estate Council of British Columbia is the body responsible for licensing and regulating Realtors in B.C. Their website is full of valuable consumer protection information, as well as information on how to become a licensed real estate agent. One of the most important features of this site is the Complaints & Discipline section, which allows consumers to file complaints against licensees and inform themselves about recent disciplinary decisions.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's (REBGV) website offers detailed MLS® statistics, monthly video podcasts, consumer guidance and other information and links related to real estate. Home buyers and sellers can learn about government initiatives that impact local real estate and the different cost-savings programs available to the public.

The REBGV has also established a presence in social media with sites on Face-book (www.facebook.com/rebgv) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/rebgv). These websites are updated with a mix of in-formation from the REBGV and other real estate industry sources.

www.recbc.ca


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