Is it now possible to sign a brokerage contract with a Realtor simply for the listing my property on the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) and nothing else?
When an agreement was concluded last October between the Competition Bureau and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), one question seemed to be on everyone's lips: Is this new option now available to Quebec consumers?
Contrary to other provinces, real estate brokerage here is governed by the Civil Code of Quebec, which imposes the Real Estate Brokerage Act (REBA) on all permit holding realtors. Notably, the mandatory brokerage contract a realtor must sign with his selling client binds him to 18 specific obligations which he is required to abide by. These cannot, under any circumstances, be eliminated nor reduced to consequently decrease the consumer's protection. Therefore, it is impossible for a realtor to detach himself from any law-enforced responsibility.
Furthermore, the realtor is responsible for all information appearing on the technical description of a property listed on the MLS. He cannot simply accept his selling client's declarations as absolute truths. The realtor has the obligation to visit the property, take exact measurements and dimensions as well as amass and verify all pertinent information and documents before a property can be properly listed. The duty of diligently filling forms, presenting offers to purchase and such - remain amongst the realtor's obligations. Any realtor choosing not conform to these obligations would be found responsible of any fault or infraction committed during a sale, even if he'd not personally participated in the transaction.
Is the Real Estate Brokerage Act discriminative towards Quebecers?
Not at all. At the time being, no law prevents an individual from selling his own property without any representation and many websites have been placed at the seller's disposition in order to achieve maximum visibility. The owner must then assume all tasks related to the sale of his property, the advertising, market research and comparables in order to attain a reasonable selling price, calls at all hours, visits, etc. and should also be capable of finding his own ressources should the sale have had any complications, delays, the omission of a clause or if a fault was committed; this, even if the act was discovered months even years after the sale. It is the owner's responsibility to verify all aspects of the sale with minutia.
However, the law has provided that if an individual chooses to use professional representation, he has the right to be protected adequately, which is perfectly legitimate. Hence, the brokerage contract was formatted with the consumer's protection as its main objective, thus allowing the selling client access to the global ensemble of his realtor's brokerage services which include, amongst other things: professional liability insurance in case of errors or omissions, an indemnity fund in case of fraud, dishonest acts or misappropriation of funds, and of course, the listing of his property on the MLS.
For informed consumers : Should a realtor have agreed to sign a brokerage contract with you for the mere listing of your property on the MLS, please note that he is still bound by law and must offer you all obligations cited in the brokerage contract.
Sylvie Brault, Courtier Immobilier - Century 21 Realisation - 53, rue Du Pont, Quebec, J0J 1A0 - Cell 450-521-0018 - LAISSEZ MOI M'OCCUPER DE TOUT ET SURTOUT DE VOUS!