The Process of Listing your House for Sale

When You List

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The process starts with the Listing Agreement. It’s a contract between you and Royal LePage (Real Estate Broker). It 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. We both sign the listing agreement and each receives a copy. The agreement binds both parties to its terms and conditions. As your REALTOR, in law, I owe you my client the duties of utmost care, integrity, confidentiality and loyalty.

Generally, in the agreement you appoint the brokerage company as your agent 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 that 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. It should also provide information about annual property taxes; and references for any easements, rights of way, liens or charges against the property.

One advantage of listing with a REALTOR is that only a REALTOR is able to place your listing on the MLS® or Multiple Listing Service ®, which is the co-operative listing system operated by local real estate boards.

When your listing is placed on the Multiple Listing Service®, the information about your property is shared with all other REALTORS accessing MLS®, and all REALTORS have the opportunity to sell your property. This type of cooperative effort will result in the listing agent offering compensation to the selling agent. Your property gains maximum exposure, because it reaches the majority of the real estate professionals in the Mississauga, Etobicoke, Toronto, and Brampton areas. It can also reach real estate professionals in Oakville if your Realtor (Agent) is a member of the Oakville Board (which I am).

There’s another benefit of dealing with a REALTOR. Through ‘’ the national MLS® Internet website, participating local real estate Boards can also advertise listings to potential buyers across Canada and around the world.

Once a buyer is found, we will be receiving an offer that will detail how much, specify any conditions that may apply, or be attached by the buyer, say when the buyer would like to take possession, and when the offer expires. As an act of good faith, the buyer will make a deposit with the offer.

You don't have to accept the offer as is. You may wish to make a counter offer that comes part way to meeting the offer's conditions. The counter offer is one more step along the way to negotiating the final terms and conditions of the sale.

The offer, once signed by everyone, is a binding contract. I will make sure you understand and agree to all of the terms in the document.

Before closing, especially if the buyer makes it a condition of sale, you may be asked to provide a current survey, or a "real property report," showing the location of the house is on the property owned by you and that there are no encroachments. You may also have to prove that you have title to the property (the buyer's lawyer will check this out when he or she conducts a title search to see if there are any liens on the property, easements, rights of way or height restrictions).

The buyer in all likelihood will also make the purchase conditional on an inspection by a qualified engineer or inspector (see below the ‘Steps to a Successful Home Inspection’).

On Closing Day: On or before closing day, lawyers representing you and the buyer will set up a trust account for the money coming from the sale and will pay off any mortgages you owe on the property. After these are paid, you will receive any money you have coming from the sale. You must deliver the property deed or transfer documents, mortgage details and keys to your lawyer. Your lawyer will register the mortgage discharge and transfer the deed at closing.

Your lawyer should also ensure that you receive compensation for prepaid expenses such as, property taxes, electrical or gas bills, or if applicable, any heating oil left in your tank. Some lenders will make it possible for your mortgage to be portable, so you can take your mortgage with you when you move to your new home.

Here, your responsibilities under the listing agreement end. You'll have paid your listing agent the agreed-upon compensation. This can be done by your lawyer who can arrange the payment from the proceeds of the sale.

Note: The comments and information contained within this site are for information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.

Cynthia Shaw, Sales Representative - Selling Mississauga's Finest Homes - 905-822-5000 Contact Cynthia Shaw