Sign a Listing Agreement*
* otherwise known as an Exclusive Seller Representation Agreement in Alberta
The agreement authorizes your REALTOR® and their brokerage to market and sell your home on the MLS® System*. This agreement serves three purposes.
- It defines your relationship. Every detail of your work together, including the limits of your REALTORS® authority and sets a time limit for the REALTOR® to sell your home. will be clearly defined.
- It provides detailed information about the home. This information can then be placed on the board’s Multiple Listing Service®, to help potential buyers find you.
- It forms the basis for drafting offers on your home. Any formal offer on your home starts with the Listing Agreement.
* The MLS® System is a cooperative selling system paid for and operated by REALTORS®. An MLS® System includes an inventory of listings of participating REALTORS®, and ensures a certain level of accuracy of information, professionalism and cooperation amongst REALTORS® to effect the purchase and sale of real estate. So it can be used to spread the word to other REALTORS® to help find you a buyer resulting in maximum exposure. It really is the better way to sell.
The real key to attracting buyers. You have the final say over this magic
number, but your REALTOR®
will have very useful advice. You can learn more
about choosing the right asking price when marketing
Real estate commission
This is usually a percentage of the final sale price and you only pay
once your REALTOR® has found you an acceptable offer. This commission
or percentage is negotiable and is agreed upon between you and the individual
A physical description of your property
Your REALTOR® will itemize the lot size, the age of your home and
the style of construction. They’ll list the style, number and size
of the rooms. They will also be sure to include any outstanding selling
features of your home such as “backs onto ravine” or “fabulous
Items such as the lot number, land surveys and the zoning code will be
like the minimum deposit you require with any offers. If you have a mortgage
that can be assumed (taken over by a buyer) that information should be
listed because it could make your home more desirable, especially if you’re
locked into a lower interest rate than what is presently available.
This lets everybody know how long you need to move out, once your home
is sold. The standard time is 60 or 90 days, but if you can be flexible
be sure to make note.
How the home will be shown?
Normally your REALTOR® will arrange appointments. Any specific instructions,
such as “make sure the cat stays in” can also be noted.
What exactly is included in the price?
Chattels and Fixtures
Chattels are moveable items like washers and dryers, microwaves and window
blinds. Chattels are not automatically included in the sale, but sellers
will often include them to sweeten the deal. Any chattels you wish to include
should be clearly noted. Fixtures are permanent improvements to a property
like central air conditioning, installed lighting and wall-to-wall carpeting.
Fixtures are assumed to be included in the sale of the home unless you
note otherwise. Maybe the dining room chandelier is family heirloom and
you wish to take it with you. The line between chattel and fixture can
get blurry, so leave nothing to chance! Go over every item with your REALTOR® and
make sure it’s accounted for in the Listing Agreement.
The importance of a Seller Property Information Statement
Many real estate boards now request a Seller Property Information Statement.
This can list any recent renovations or improvements, but more importantly,
it lists all the known major defects and faults with the home, hidden or
not. Be honest about imperfections. Maybe the basement leaks during the
spring thaw, maybe the kitchen sink backs up when both showers are running.
It is best to come clean and report it. If you don’t and a significant
fault is discovered before the sale, it can cast a shadow of doubt over
the rest of the home. If the fault is discovered after the sale and it
can be proven that you knew about the problem, you may be sued for the
cost of the repairs.
Be honest about imperfections
Maybe the basement leaks during the spring thaw,
maybe the kitchen sink backs up when both showers
are running. It is best to come clean and report it. If
you don’t, and a significant fault is discovered before
the sale, it can cast a shadow of doubt over the
rest of the home. If the fault is discovered after the
sale, and it can be proven that you knew about the
problem, you may be sued for the cost of the repairs.
Honesty is always the best policy
A major defect does not mean your home will not sell. List the defect
and state how your home’s price has been lowered accordingly. This
can actually be attractive to some buyers, especially if they have experience
with the required repairs!
Next Step: Determine the Asking Price