Your real estate selling journey

(January 16, 2023 )

What is Your Home Worth?

There are several factors which can impact the value of any property. These are very similar to the factors a buyer will consider when making an offer to purchase a property. Most importantly, be realistic. Most sellers have an emotional attachment to their home but these should not factor into your pricing strategy. Next, focus on what your home’s neighbourhood has to offer which may play into your pricing. Finally, think about what professionals you need to help execute your plan. Consider the questions below when determining a list price.Are you being realistic?

Do not let your emotional connection to the property play into your pricing strategy. Buyers will base their offer price primarily on what similar properties in the area have sold for.

What features exist in your neighbourhood, such as proximity to schools, shops, and restaurants?For some buyers, being close to amenities is something they are willing to pay more for. For others, seclusion may be more desirable. Don’t negate the impact your community or neighbourhood has on how desirable your property will be to different parties.Getting help from a professional?Professionals know the industry and can help you navigate complicated situations.

Be Realistic With Your List Price

Most sellers love their homes and their design choices, which reflect their personalities and cultures. For that reason, it is understandable that property owners believe that their homes look better than many other similar homes they view. It is important not to let your opinion of your property overinfluence what you try to sell your home for.A real estate licensee can use statistical data to show you what similar properties have recently sold for in your neighbourhood. This value can then be adjusted to compensate for your property’s proximity to amenities and any upgrades your property may have that comparable properties don’t. Armed with that information you will be in a better position to determine a realistic listing price for your home.

What is Agency?

Where a real estate licensee acts only for a buyer or seller of a property, they are deemed to be in a “sole agency” relationship. Under the Real Estate Services Act, which is the legislation governing the conduct of licensed real estate licensees, when an agency relationship is created, there are several duties owed by the real estate licensee (commonly referred to as an agent) to you.In addition, there is a general obligation that all real estate licensees have to act honestly and with reasonable care and skill in performing all assigned duties. Almost all duties owed to you by your real estate licensee end once you buy your home, or you terminate your relationship with them. One duty, however, extends forever, even after you purchase your home. The duty of confidentiality. When you enter into an agency relationship, your real estate licensee will provide you with a form called the Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services and walk you through its content.

A Real Estate Licensee’s Duties to You

Avoid Conflicts of Interest
Your real estate licensee must actively avoid any conflict of interest they can, and must disclose to you any conflict that cannot be avoided. You will then have an opportunity to work with your real estate licensee to determine how best to address the conflict.
Maintain confidentiality
Did you know that your real estate licensee must keep all your personal information confidential and that this duty goes on forever? Your personal information will always be kept safe by your real estate licensee and the brokerage they are licensed to except where they are required by law to share the information with law enforcement, BCFSA, or the governmentThe Contract of Purchase and Sale, which you signed when you accepted the offer, will state the completion day for the transaction. On that day, legal ownership of the property will transfer from you to the buyer in exchange for the purchase price of the home. The possession date is the day the buyer can move in or take control of the property. The completion and possession dates are not necessarily on the same day. Both you and the buyer usually engage a lawyer or notary public to prepare the documents necessary to transfer the legal ownership. Among other things, they will protect your interests by:
  • Searching the title in the Land Title and Survey Authority Office registration system to find if anyone other than you has any legal rights to the home and to see if there are any registered easements or restrictive covenants;
  • Preparing the documents to transfer ownership from you to the buyer, including the Property Transfer Tax return;
  • Ensuring that your old mortgage has been properly discharged if this is required;
  • Confirming that all payments for which you are responsible have been made;
  • Arranging for the buyer to sign the transfer documents;
  • Preparing a Statement of Adjustments outlining all monies owed by the buyer and the funds they will need to complete the transaction;
  • Delivering the final amount due to you, and ensuring the buyer is registered as the owner in the Land Title and Survey Authority Office; and
  • Obtaining documents for strata-titled properties, such as the Information Certificate (Form B as prescribed in the Strata Property Act), Certificate of Payment (Form F as prescribed under the Strata Property Act) and the strata corporation’s Certificate of Insurance.
The day has arrived! You have signed the documents, received your money, and handed over the keys. You have sold your property!Usually, the buyer will provide a deposit with their offer to purchase or after their offer is accepted. That deposit is usually held in the buyer’s real estate licensee’s brokerage trust account. The brokerage holds the deposit as stakeholder. This means they are holding it as a neutral party, and not on behalf of the buyer or seller. If your contract contains subject clauses in the buyer’s favour and they do not remove those clauses, they will not automatically get their deposit back. Both you and the buyer will have to sign a separate release form, except where the buyer is exercising their right of rescission.If a release is required, and one of the parties does not agree to sign it, both you and the buyer will have to obtain legal advice, as the brokerage cannot release the deposit unless you and the buyer have agreed to do so. Should there be no agreement between you and the buyer, the brokerage may request to pay the funds to the B.C. Supreme to have a judge rule on where the deposit is to go.

Types of Service Agreements

Exclusive Listing

Exclusive listing gives the seller’s brokerage the sole right to sell the home. This means that even if you sell the home to a prospect of your own during the term of the listing, you must pay the agreed commission to the seller’s brokerage unless that prospect was specifically excluded from the listing agreement.

Multiple Listing

Multiple listing is a form of exclusive listing which differs from exclusive listing only in that the seller’s brokerage agrees to register your home in a Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) so that its availability is made known to all real estate licensees who are members of the local real estate board.In this case, the seller’s brokerage agrees to share a specified amount of the commission with any other member of the real estate board who is able to find a buyer for your home.In addition to the Listing Contract, the real estate licensee may ask for additional information to assist in the marketing of your home, including:
  • the existing financial arrangements and whether this financing can be assumed by a new owner;
  • a list of items attached to the building (normally called fixtures) which are not to be included in the sale; for example, a fireplace insert or a crystal chandelier; and
  • the date on which you can give possession of the home to a new owner.

Your Responsibilities as a Seller

When you employ a real estate licensee, you are responsible for providing them with accurate information concerning your home, such as:
  • its age;
  • the current financing arrangements;
  • the condition of the roof and hot water heater; and
  • the property taxes.
The real estate licensee may also need your assistance to gather information about such things as the ownership details, the outstanding balance owing on the mortgage, the home’s assessed value, and the current zoning of the property. Most information is publicly available at the Land Titles office and is not considered to be confidential or private information.For strata titled properties, real estate licensees will want your assistance to gather and provide information, including:
  • minutes of all strata meetings in the last two years;
  • current financial statements;
  • registered bylaws;
  • current rules;
  • building inspection or engineer’s reports;
  • Information Certificate (Form B prescribed under the Strata Property Act);
  • how parking stalls and storage lockers are designated;
  • whether a special assessment is being proposed; and
  • any other documentation relevant to the strata property.

Receiving an Offer

Your real estate licensee must advise you of all offers that are submitted on your property. Some sellers will allow buyers to submit offers whenever they want, while others prefer to ask buyers to submit offers on a specified date and time so they can all be considered at once.When you are ready to entertain offers, you and your real estate licensee will go through the contract line by line and ensure that you understand the contract including all the terms and clauses added by the buyer.Should you receive an offer you are willing to accept without changes, your real estate licensee will show you where to initial and sign making the document a legally binding contract. Both you and the buyer will be bound by the contract and must each perform your obligations as stated.

Home Buyer Rescission Period

The specifics of the Home Buyer Rescission Period are set out in the Property Law Act (“PLA”) and the Home Buyer Rescission Period (“HBRP”) Regulation .The legislation comes into effect on January 3, 2023, and provides buyers with an opportunity to rescind their offer to purchase residential properties up to three days after an offer is accepted. If a buyer chooses to rescind their offer in the time period provided, they must pay the seller 0.25% of the offer price. This rescission period applies to residential transactions of residential real property regardless of whether a real estate licensee is involved in the transaction, and cannot be waived by the buyer or seller.