Humber Course 4: Top 10 Study Tips & Strategies
Passit Online Study Guides are now available for these Humber courses: Course 1: Real Estate Essentials,
Course 2: Residential Real Estate Transactions,
Course 3: Additional Residential Real Estate Transactions, and
Course 4: Commercial Real Estate Transactions.
If you’re prepping for the Course 4 exam, you’re already knee-deep in topics like brownfields, environmental site assessments and due diligence. As a free warm-up for the Passit Guide for Humber Course 4: Commercial Real Estate Transactions, here are our Top 10 tips and study strategies:
Passit’s Top 10 Course 4 Study Tips
1. Start Course 4 ASAP.
Start Course 4 as soon as possible after Course 3 / Simulation 1. This course covers many topics you’ve already learned, so it will be easier to draw on that knowledge while it is still fresh in your memory. If you used Passit for prior courses, you will be in good shape for these fundamentals—you will simply be applying them to commercial scenarios (more on this below).
2. Student Tip: Click through and book the exam.
If you wanted to book an exam for Course 4 today, the current wait time is 5 weeks. That means that once you finish the course, you’ll need to wait over a month to write the exam. Update: As of September 1st 2020, the current wait time is 2 weeks. You can check the current wait times from the Humber Course 4 Exam page. Many students report starting the course, clicking through to the end, booking the exam, and then returning to the start to complete the material. Not an ideal approach, but it helps prevent an unexpected gap prior to the exam.
3. Read the course materials.
“But, do I have to?” Yes, we know, the course is long and repetitive. We’ve received a number of messages asking if there’s a quick fix, e.g., “What’s the minimum I need to do?” The simple answer? Read the course. As you get comfortable with the content you’ll realize many topics are repeated, so you can strategically skim. Remember, each Humber exam is different and can cover content from any page in the course. Once Passit for Course 4 is ready, you can break up all the reading with Passit practice questions to ensure you’ve understood the course materials and can apply that knowledge to any question on exam day.
4. Apply existing knowledge to commercial scenarios.
Time spent fully understanding Courses 1, 2 and 3 will help you now! REBBA and the Code of Ethics apply to any trade. There isn’t a separate set of rules for commercial transactions, you simply need to apply the rules you already know to commercial scenarios. Here’s an example:
- A salesperson is aware of a material latent defect in a high-rise condominium unit. When showing the property, the buyer client asks if there are any problems with the unit. Which of the following is the best course of action?
- A salesperson is aware of a material latent defect in an industrial building. When showing the property, the buyer client asks if there are any problems with the unit. Which of the following is the best course of action?
Obviously, there are many important commercial-only topics that are new, but much of what you’ve already learned applies to residential and commercial trades, such as:
- Representation agreements (minimum content, representation vs. customer service)
- Planning fundamentals (easements, encroachments, restrictive covenants, Ontario Building Code, building permits, provincial policy statements, official plans, zoning, etc.)
- Obligations owed to clients and customers (fairness, honesty, conscientious and competent service, etc.)
- Third-party referrals (when to refer and to whom)
- Defects and material facts (identifying, documenting, disclosing)
- Negotiating an offer (identifying parties, offer plans, agreement signing, counter offers, amendments, waivers, notices of fulfilment)
- Clauses (protecting buyer/seller interests, condition precedent/subsequent)
5. Study in segments.
This course is best tackled in logical sections. This helps to solidify your knowledge before you move on. We recommended these segments:
- Modules 1-2 (Commercial Fundamentals)
- Modules 3–7 (Office, Retail, Condominium, Industrial)
- Modules 8–11 (Showing & Agreements)
- Modules 12–13 (Leasing)
- Modules 14-15 (Land, Farms and Businesses)
6. Download the PDFs.
Download the PDFs for each module and save them to a folder on your computer for easy access. They are handy for studying and review because you can quickly jump around the course. Many PDF readers also allow you add comments or bookmarks, which can be especially helpful to consolidate notes and easily find important topics.
September 2020 Update: Module PDFs are now available directly from the module start screen in your Humber learner portal. Just be aware if you are relying on previously saved PDFs that the course material is updated frequently, so an old PDF download may no longer be current.
7. Print and/or review the available forms.
Forms create the basis for many tasks as a salesperson. Getting comfortable with these now helps for this exam, Simulation 2 and your post-registration duties as a salesperson. Here’s where all of the forms are covered:
- Listing Agreement–Commercial: M1 L1 pg 8
- Buyer Representation Agreement: M1 L1 pg 10
- Agreement of Purchase and Sale—Commercial: M9 L2 pg 11
- Confirmation of Co-operation & Representation: M9 L2 pg 17
- Amendment to APS—Commercial: M9 L4 pg 5
- Notice of Fulfillment of Condition(s) —APS—Commercial: M9 L4 pg 8
- Waiver—APS—Commercial: M9 L4 pg 11
- APS Condominium Resale—Commercial: M10 L3 pg 7
- Agreement to Lease—Commercial: M13 L6 pg 4
Many of these forms mirror their residential counterparts, but there are important differences. Visually compare the forms and course materials to understand important changes. For example, review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale—Commercial (Form 500) and compare it to the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (Form 100) from Course 2.
8. Review the hot topics and need-to-know terms.
Many people ask: What should I make a top priority for my final review? That’s tricky, as many topics are covered in multiple places and to varying degrees of detail. Here are the absolute need-to-know topics and the best spots for a quick last-minute review:
- Representation agreements: M1 L1 pg 7–12
- Planning fundamentals: M1 L3
- Environmental site assessments: M2 L2 pg 6
- Defects and material facts: M3 L2 pg 9
- Rentable vs. usable space and measuring: M4 L6
- Due diligence, industrial uses and restrictions, and brownfields: M6 L3
- Site plan control: M7 L4 pg 6
- Commercial property features—clear span, clear height, ceiling height, bay depth, high cube, live loads, loading docks, etc.: M7 L3 pg 12-18 and M7 L6 pg 3
- Highest and best use: M7 L7 pg 2
- Investor Needs/Risk/Return & Capitalization: M8 L1 pg 14
- Obligations under the REBBA Code of Ethics: M7 Summary and M8 L6 pg 3
- Completing agreements and associated documents: M9 (all), M10 L1
- Rent terminology—base rent, additional rent, gross vs net leases, percentage rent, early occupancy, expense stops: M12 L1–2, M13 L2
- Commercial landlord and tenant rights (note that these differ significantly from residential landlord/tenant rights): M12 L4 pg 4–6
- Farms—inclusions/exclusions, rights, quotas: M14 L3–7
- Sale of a Business: M15 (all)
- Remember: These topics are top priorities and the most challenging, but the entire course will be covered on the exam—expect questions from all lessons. Exam questions are computer-generated and all content is fair game. Skimming this course is short-sighted. Students often share their exam topics, but remember your exam could be very different! The best approach is to be ready for anything.
Overall, our analysis concluded that the start and the end of this course are content-heavy, with much of the middle replicated in various ways. Pay careful attention to Modules 1–4 and 12-15. Most modules have critical content in early lessons (lessons 1–3).
9. Read carefully.
This is a three-hour exam, entirely multiple choice, with 115 questions. Most students report having ample time to finish all questions and review their answers. In a rapid paced world, we increasingly scan blocks of text. In both the course and the exam, SLOW DOWN. Watch for NOT questions and stay calm. Read every word and, before reviewing the answer options, make sure you understand what is being asked. Re-read if necessary. Marks can be quickly lost by missing key words, for example:
- Industrial condominium vs. office condominium
- Rental equipment vs. owned equipment
- Square metres vs. square feet
10. Don’t panic.
Prep for your exam with a disciplined and methodical approach. Use the daily study strategy to keep you on track. Cramming the night before the exam will overwhelm your active memory. Set aside time in the week prior to your exam for a review of the course from start to finish. For this phase, we recommend:
- Setting aside 45 minutes to study
- Warm yourself up with 20 Passit Rapid Recalls and an All Course Passit TERMinator
- Challenge 20 MCQs in the Passit MCQ 700 (Study Mode)
- Review your results, note your areas of difficulty and re-read the applicable course materials.
- Take a break, refresh! Then repeat!
Remember to read all of the explanations and Topic Tips, as this helps solidify the reasoning and not just the answer. Prioritize fully understanding why an answer is correct/incorrect over answering the most number of questions.
Update: Passit for Course 4 is Available Now!
Now that Passit for Course 4 is available, you have quick and easy access to hundreds of practice questions with full answer explanations to solidify your reading, test your knowledge and simplify your studying! Topic Tips help consolidate need-to-know facts and explain commonly misunderstood topics. Each Passit Guide is custom developed by a team of Ontario real estate education experts, so it’s a highly reliable resource you can trust!
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