The listing agreement is a legal contract between the owners (yourselves) and your real estate agent’s broker – in some cases this agent and the broker can be one and the same. However, most brokers do not actively sell; instead they lead the support team for the agents working in their firm. Brokers should be well educated in the field of real estate, have a depth of experience and offer a wealth of advice to your agent if needed.
Listing agreements are standardized forms, normally two pages where the owner or seller is named, as is the address of the property along with the postal code. It will note if a “Schedule A” is attached. Schedule As may be used, for example, if you are selling the property partially furnished and you want to name the furnishing being sold; or if you have a baby barn on the property that is not being offered along with the house. The firm selling the property will be named – in our case it would be ReMax Professionals Saint John, Inc. (http://www.remax-sjnb.com/)
The agent will go through each clause of the contract with you, pointing out where you need to initial. You will need to decide if you want to be on MLS (Multi Listing Services) which will give your property exposure to any person, anywhere in the world, as long as they have access to a computer and the internet. You and your agent will discuss the Listing Agent Commission (plus HST) and what the listing agent is prepared to pay a Buyer’s Agent – normally this is half of the listing agent commission (plus HST).
By signing the contract, you are saying that any information you give your agent either verbally, through a fact sheet or by filling out a Property Disclosure Statement is true to the best of your knowledge. You are also agreeing that you have read and understood the Working With A Realtor form (http://crm.agentlocator.ca/UserFiles/472/files/working%20with%20realtor.pdf), provided by your agent. The contract will state how long it will run (there is a minimum length of () days if you want it to go on MLS) – normally six to 12 months. It will be dated, state in what location it was signed, signed by the sellers and witnessed by the agent.
You should always receive a copy of the signed listing agreement – either a scanned email for your electronic files or a photocopy.
Written by: Sandy Morgan