What is a Brokerage Contract?
Updated: Jan 19, 2019
Selling your home is not a simple procedure. It involves large sums of money, stringent legal requirements and the potential for costly mistakes. A REALTOR® is committed to spending the time it takes to help you sell your home in the least amount of time and for the best possible price. A REALTOR® may represent a buyer or a seller; they may also represent both buyer and seller in the same transaction. A broker owes his or her client the duties of utmost care, integrity, confidentiality and loyalty. Make sure you discuss all related matters concerning your real estate goals with your broker.
The process of selling a home with a REALTOR® starts with the Listing Agreement. It's a contract between you and the Agency that the broker represents. This contract 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 Agency as your broker 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 "exclusions."
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.
Ask your listing REALTOR® about disclosure, which is a seller's obligation to disclose facts about properties for sale. The buyers will need to know material facts about the property - that is, anything that could materially affect the sale price or influence a buyer's decision to buy it. A major cause of post-sale disputes and lawsuits center around defects and disclosure, but most disputes can be avoided if proper disclosures are made. Intentionally withholding information about a property when selling it can have serious legal consequences.