If you’ve ever sold your home, you’ll likely remember the myriad of contracts and legal documents you signed. But you likely don’t remember what you signed, aside from the asking price. Well, you’re not alone. In a recent Angus Reid Forum survey by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), a whopping 61% of respondents stated that their second top concern when selling a home is understanding the selling process and the legal documents required in a sale.
As a Realtor, it’s my job to protect the interest of my clients. And part of that is to make sure they understand the rather complex listing agreement. Topics such as multiple representation (when the listing brokerage or salesperson is representing both the buyer and the seller) and holdover periods (the amount of time the listing agent could still collect commission after a listing agreement has ended, if the buyer found the house during the listing period) are often a mystery to even experienced sellers. And any good Realtor should explain this to their clients before signing…as opposed to handing them a stack of paper and pointing where to sign.
The other top concern of sellers is understanding the process of selling their home. There’s a lot that goes into listing a house — photos, floor plan measurements, video production, home inspections, agents’ open house, public open houses, offer day, scheduling viewings and access visits after the deal is firm…the list goes on. A good Realtor has to be a details person. I like to setup a schedule for my clients so they know–at a glance–what is happening, why and when. By providing this as soon as possible after the listing agreement is signed, my clients can prepare both their minds and schedules.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, have your Realtor explain all the documents to you. They should be able to confidently walk you through each and every clause because there’s nothing in there that’s scary and you should know what you’re agreeing. Also, be sure you have absolute clarity to the selling process and what needs to be done and when. The process of selling your home can be very complex, but it shouldn’t be a surprise.
To read more about OREA’s survey, visit their website.