by Lynn Tribbling. Sales Representative

5 Important Things You Should Know
Before Signing a Listing to Sell Your Property
(Things Your Mother Never Taught You About Real Estate)

1) A Listing Agreement, in its bare-bones essentials, is a reciprocal pledge which states 2 things. A broker/sales representative will undertake, on a best efforts basis, to sell your home for a stipulated price. You, the owner, agree to pay a commission for marketing services. In short, you and your realtor agree to be part of a team with one common objective: to sell your home on the best terms, within a certain time period.

2) In the fine print of the Listing Agreement, the owner also agrees to inform the broker /sales representative of any direct inquiries about the property. Sometimes unscrupulous individuals see a property while it is listed, and attempt to contact the owner directly. This tactic, akin to Neanderthal opportunism, is clearly unfair to the realtor, and may compromise the owner legally. Such an unethical purchaser will probably try to "steal" the property from the seller too, and should be avoided, or immediately referred to your realtor.

3) Yes, realtor fees are negotiable. (Please don't say you heard it here!) Many realtors adjust their commissions from time to time to stay competitive. Typically, fees for full brokerage services on M.L.S., range from 5%-6% of the selling price, plus G.S.T., and the pie is usually split 4 ways among 2 realtors and 2 brokers. It is my view that a top-notch broker/realtor who can realize the highest value for your home, through expert strategic marketing, and skill, deserves full remuneration. Maximum performance merits maximum compensation. Also, if a realtor has a hard time negotiating the best fee for his services, he may not he able to negotiate the best price for your home. Think about it. In real estate services, as in other business endeavours, it is generally true, "you get what you pay for."

4) At the time of listing, you and your realtor should strive to make sure that the information presented about your property is 100% accurate. It is important that you provide precise details about ownership, legal description, taxes, utilities, mortgages, maintenance fees, parking units, lockers, room sizes, improvements, items included items, excluded, hidden defects, any special legal issues, etc. If the information is incomplete, the realtor will insist on verifying missing details. It may seem like your realtor is a pesky nitpicker, but such fastidiousness protects you both from grievances, disputes and law suits in the future.

5) The key to a positive experience in selling your home seems to be realistic expectations. Ideally, prospective buyers show up on time, never cancel, always remember to remove their shoes, shut the lights out, don't let the cat out, and never, ever commit the ultimate faux pas and leave the toilet seat up. In reality, these nuisances happen, but are necessary evils. Also, sellers should be realistic about the time required to market a property. Despite a robust real estate market, some properties, especially high-end condominiums, can take several months to sell. My experience is that marketing a property is much like going fishing, it takes a little luck, and lot of angling before you get a nibble. Tolerance and patience are the secrets for sanity as a vendor.

If you are contemplating selling your home, and especially if it is a luxury condominium, I am confident I can help. Contact me below to list today.


How to Calculate Net Proceeds of Sale
3 C's


SELLING PRICE                                                                    $______________


Commissions and Fees
(Lawyer, Realtor, + GST)


Closing Costs
(adjustments, disbursements)


Cash Payout of Mortgage
(Outstanding balance, discharge fee, penalty, if any)


                                             DEDUCT TOTAL COSTS           $_______________

                                             NET PROCEEDS OF SALE       $=============*


*Assumes that the Seller is a Canadian resident for tax purposes, otherwise a tax on any profit is payable to the government on or before closing, and should therefore be deducted as a cost in the above formula. Non-resident Vendors should seek independent accounting and legal advice before selling.

5 Step Guide to Home Enhancement:

Statistics show that homes that show well, sell faster and fetch tens of thousands of dollars more! Here's my 5 most important tips.

  • Sanitize Make sure every visible surface sparkles, especially bathrooms and kitchens. Have carpets and windows professionally cleaned. Fresh air or floral scents.
  • Neutralize Reduce personal collections by 50%, remove any religious or political objects. Beige and white paint does wonders! Mask any noise with low music. Keep temperature low.
  • Maximize Emphasize light and space. Remove objects from doorways, windows, Open doors, organize closets and cupboards leaving empty space, de-clutter! Lights on. Store excess items.
  • Dramatize This is called "staging". Create vignettes which suggest the pleasant activities that go on (2 wine glasses, gourmet cookbook, Fireplace lit, chess set, easy chair with book)
  • Personalize Type a letter about the 5 special things that you love about your home. Display photos of views in different seasons. Candies and treats available for viewers!



  • Provide statistics regarding recent sales and market trends
  • Assist in determining the most marketable price range
  • Advise on 5-Step Plan to enhance you property value
  • Prepare custom fact sheet showcasing special features of your home
  • Network with other Realtors introducing them to your home
  • Contact existing client data base with details about your property
  • Notify neighbours and other potential prospects
  • Register property on the lnternet to reach International buyers
  • Advertise in appropriate publication which targets specific buyers
  • Personally attend showings whenever possible
  • Provide feedback from prospects who viewed the property
  • Prepare and present offers, negotiate the most favorable terms

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