Montreal's senior monthly since 1986

Feb '10

Columns

How to choose a real estate agent

You’re ready to place your home on the market and you need an agent. Here’s advice on how to choose a pro:

Referral

Speak to neighbours, family, and friends about agents with whom they have had dealings or check out which agents and brokers are active in your neighbourhood.

Compatibility

Interview more than one agent. Choose the agent who earns your confidence and makes you feel comfortable. Remember that your agent will represent you in the negotiations leading to the sale of your home, which should be accomplished with the least amount of difficulties and in the shortest timeframe.

Reality Check

If agents make promises that seem too good to be true, then you need to verify the claims. A good market analysis should enable you to determine a fair price for your home.

Support

An agent should represent his vendor through to the completion of the transaction, from the signing of the brokerage contract to the signing of the Act of Sale.

Ann Malka is an affiliated agent with Century 21 Vision and may be reached at 514-606-8784 or at annmalka.com.

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Signing a brokerage contract

Montreal realtor Ann Malka addresses some common concerns about contracting a real estate broker.

Who must sign the brokerage contract?

Your Deed of Sale and/or matrimonial regime determine ownership. Couples married without a notarial contract are governed under the regime of partnership of acquests, and must both sign the brokerage contract. Couples married with a notarial contract under the regime of separation as to property, when only one name is mentioned on the Deed of Sale, must also both sign the brokerage contract — one as the owner and the other as party to an Intervention of Spouse, indicating his or her assent.

Length of the contract

There is no minimum or maximum duration to a brokerage contract (except 60 days minimum in order to appear on MLS). When deciding on the length of contract to give your agent, consider the time of year and how long it will take your agent to properly market your home. Three to six months is the norm.

Inclusions/Exclusions

Prior to meeting your agent, decide what items will be sold with the property and what items you will be taking with you. Remember, things attached in a permanent nature are considered part of the property.

Pricing your home

Your agent should provide you with information on similar properties to yours that were recently sold, and those that are still active in your neighbourhood. The recently sold properties show you what buyers are willing to pay, and those still active make you aware of your competition.

Exclusive or MLS

Exposure is the key to maximizing the final sale price of your home. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) provides information about your property to all the members of the Montreal Real Estate Board, as well as purchasers and realtors all over the world through www.mls.ca, at no extra cost to the vendor.

Disclosures

Be honest with your agent. If you know of any defects with your property, you must make your agent and purchasers aware of these problems in order to avoid legal disputes in the future.

Change of heart

Sometimes, no matter how informed and careful you are in choosing your agent, mistakes can be made. Most contracts can be cancelled at any time. Only those clearly marked “Irrevocable” are not easily terminated.

Ann Malka is an affiliated agent with Century 21 Vision and may be reached at 514-606-8784 or at annmalka.com.

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