Listing Contract & Disclosure

Listing contracts
If your home is going to have any chance of selling, then buyers are going to have to know that it’s for sale in the first place.  Marketing your home involves selling it either on our own or listing it with an agent.

If you are listing it through an agent, you’ll need to fill out and sign a listing contract.  The listing contract gives authorization to the brokerage to sell your home, and specifies how much you’ll pay for its services.  The contract is a legally binding agreement that places obligations on both you and your chosen real estate agency.  You have some options for listing your home.

Selecting your listing type

Two kinds of listings exist:

Multiple Listing Services (MLS)
  • Authorizes your selling agent to work with other agencies’ associates.  An MLS listing markets your home across Canada, and the world, reaching a huge network of real estate agents.  Your agent is free to cooperate with all other agencies, and gives them a full cooperation and access to your home’s listing.  The MLS system, along with the local real estate boards that maintain it, have very specific requirements regarding cooperation between real estate agents.  MLS listings are often in the best interest of the seller, because they can give your home maximum exposure to the market.  The listing contract and the MLS data indicate what portion of the total commission is payable to the buyer’s agent – that is, the agent who brings along a ready and willing buyer for the property.

Exclusive Listing:

  • Authorizes a brokerage to market your home for a specified period of time,  Exclusive listings are rare.  Generally, exclusive listing contracts don’t allow you to sell your home yourself during the listing period.  By bypassing the MLS system, an exclusive listing means your property is not made available for all of the world to see.  It is displayed and marketed directly by the listing agent, limited to their website.  You are under no obligation to show your property to other agents.

Most sellers want the extra exposure and agent cooperation guaranteed by the MLS system, and therefore sign a MLS listing.

Detailing your listing contract

A listing contract is a legal document that must be signed by both you and your agent, usually via standard forms that are supplied by their local real estate board.  All the particulars about your home appear on the listing contract; it also states under what conditions you’re willing to sell, and you and your agent’s obligations.

If it makes you more comfortable, or if you’re concerned or confused about something in your contract, you can have your lawyer review it before you sign.  Remember that although you’re listed with an individual salesperson, the listing contract is with the brokerage.

A listing contract deals with three major elements:
  1.  Duration of the agreement.  How long do you wish to have your property listed?  You should list your  home for at least a month longer than the average days on market for your area.

2.  Commission.  Be sure you know exactly what services you are getting for a successful sale.  Keep in mind you want to be careful in choosing a commission structure with your agent.  Listing agents split the commission with the buyer’s agent, and there can be a downside to negotiations if the buyer’s fee is not sufficiently covered by what you are offering.

3.  List price.  Make sure you are completely comfortable with the price you and your agent agree upon before signing the agreement.

Other things to consider

Other questions asked will be:

  • What attached or unattached goods (chattels) do you wish to include or exclude from your sale?
  • What proposed possession date do you wish to offer?
  • Do you have any other terms of sale?
The disclosure statement deals with all aspects of your property

It asks you about both land and structure.  You should be aware of and be able to answer about:

  • Mortgage information.
  • Defects in the property.
  • Government or local authority notices.
  • Permit requirements.
  • Hidden defects.

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