The process of selling a home with a REALTOR
starts with the Listing Agreement. It’s a contract
between you and the brokerage company that the agent represents.
It is a framework for subsequent forms and negotiations.
It's important the agreement accurately reflects your property
details and clearly spells out the rights and obligations
of all parties. Both you and the listing agent sign the
listing agreement and each receive a copy. The agreement
binds both parties to its terms and conditions.
Generally, in the agreement you appoint
the brokerage company as your agent and give its representatives
the authority to find a purchaser. The duration of the agreement
is indicated, and the compensation is specified. The agreement
also sets out the listing price, and accurately describes
the property you are selling. That will include the lot
size, building size, building style and materials, floor
areas, heating/cooling systems, room sizes and descriptions.
This is when you must also decide what you
are taking with you and what you are leaving with the house.
Generally, unless stated otherwise, fixtures remain with
the property, while chattels -- things which are movable
-- aren't included in the sale. If necessary, what stays
and what goes are listed under "inclusions" or
Finally, the Listing Agreement also details
the financial conditions of the property, including the
mortgage balance, mortgage monthly payments and the mortgage
due date. It should also provide information about annual
property taxes; and references for any easements, rights
of way, liens or charges against the property.
One advantage of listing with a REALTOR
is that only a REALTOR is able to place your listing on
the MLS® or Multiple Listing Service ®, which is
the co-operative listing system operated by local real estate
When your listing is placed on the Multiple
Listing Service®, the information about your property
is shared with all other REALTORS accessing MLS®, and
all REALTORS have the opportunity to sell your property.
This type of cooperative effort will result in the listing
agent offering compensation to the selling agent. Your property
gains more exposure, because it reaches the majority of
the real estate professionals in your community.
There’s another benefit of dealing
with a REALTOR. Through mls.ca, the national MLS® Internet
website, participating local real estate Boards can also
advertise listings to potential buyers across Canada and
around the world.
One major issue for anyone selling a property
is how much to ask for. Although you may have an idea of
how much your house is worth, it's important to have your
home valued by a professional on its own merits. Be careful
not to price yourself too high or too low. If it's too high,
there's no sale; too low and you lose on your investment.
A REALTOR has the research and expertise
to provide a market assessment of what similar properties
in your area have sold for. They can also provide information
on market history, such as the number of properties sold
in your community the previous month or year.
A REALTOR also has a number of marketing
tools and options to promote your property. First is the
mls.ca web site, which attracts more than 600,000 unique
visitors a month. It shows the details of your home to local,
regional or national buyers looking for a property in your
Your REALTOR may also recommend an Open
House as a marketing strategy. There are two types: first
is an agent's open house, where sales representatives from
the listing company will be invited to view your house.
If you have signed an MLS® agreement, other REALTORS
may also be invited. Remember, each of these REALTORS may
have a prospective buyer.
The second type of open house is a public
open house, where members of the public are invited to walk
through your home and have a look. It's an efficient way
to show your home to many potential buyers at once. The
listing agent will act as host, answering any questions.
You and your listing agent will pick the
time and date for an open house. In order to give the agent
access to your home, you may wish to keep a key at his or
her office, or in a lockbox. It's also a good idea to ensure
that any valuables are put away in a safe location, then
leave while the open house is underway. If you do stay,
be sure to keep out of the way, and turn off any TVs or
radios to let the agent and the buyer talk in peace.
Needless to say, clean counts with open
houses. A general rule is that clean, uncluttered and well-lit
spaces look larger and more attractive. People will naturally
want to buy a house that is clean and well cared for.
Sometimes a home doesn't sell right away.
Avoid the urge to pull your home off the market... be persistent!
Generally, there are three reasons why a home may not sell
as fast as others. First is location; second is condition;
third is the asking price.
Naturally, you can't change your home's
location, but you can fix the condition of your home and
you can, of course, adjust your price. Throughout the listing
process, you need to be constantly comparing your asking
price against those of similar properties in your area.
It may be time to adjust the price of your home.
Review your selling strategy regularly with
your listing agent: Is your house being shown regularly?
Are you receiving the feedback from prospective buyers?
Are you in touch with the marketplace? Is your property
competing well? If not, what else can you do?
Once a buyer is found, you’ll be receiving
an offer that will detail how much, specify any conditions
that may apply or be attached by the buyer, say when the
buyer would like to take possession, and when the offer
expires. As an act of good faith, the buyer will make a
deposit with the offer.
You don't have to accept the offer as is.
You may wish to make a counter offer that comes part-way
to meeting the offer's conditions. The counter offer is
one more step along the way to negotiating the final terms
and conditions of the sale.
The offer, once signed by everyone, is a
binding contract. Make sure you understand and agree to
all of the terms in the document. You may want to have it
reviewed by your lawyer before signing.
Before closing, especially if the buyer
makes it a condition of sale, you may be asked to
provide a current survey, or a "real property report,"
showing the location of the house is on the property owned
by you and that there are no encroachments. You may also
have to prove that you have title to the property (the buyer's
lawyer will check this out when he or she conducts a title
search to see if there are any liens on the property, easements,
rights of way or height restrictions). Especially in rural
areas, you may also be asked to provide a certificate for
a well or septic system, stating the system meets local
The buyer may also make the purchase conditional
on an inspection by a qualified engineer or inspector.
Then on or before closing day, lawyers representing
you and the buyer will set up a trust account for the money
coming from the sale and will pay off any mortgages you
owe on the property. After these are paid, you will receive
any money you have coming from the sale. You must deliver
the property deed or transfer documents, mortgage details
and keys to your lawyer. Your lawyer will register the mortgage
discharge and transfer the deed at closing,
Your lawyer should also ensure that you
receive compensation for prepaid expenses such as, property
taxes, electrical or gas bills, or if applicable, any heating
oil left in your tank. Some lenders will make it possible
for your mortgage to be portable, so you can take your mortgage
with you when you move to your new home.
your responsibilities under the listing agreement end. You'll
have paid your listing agent the agreed-upon compensation.
This can be done by your lawyer who can arrange the payment
from the proceeds of the sale.
Note: Article provided by CREA. The comments contained on this site are for information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.