The Seller Representation/Listing Agreement

January 4, 2022

,

Congrats, homeowner! You’re ready to sell your house, and you’ve picked a real estate agent you trust to get the job done. That’s a big step toward your end goal. But before you can put your home on the market and show it off to the world, you need to make the deal with your real estate agent official.

That’s where the listing agreement comes in—to establish a written arrangement between you and your agent, kick off the selling process, and set the stage for the next few months of your home sale. You might feel some nerves about that big, scary contract in front of you. And you likely have a lot of questions about whether the agreement you’re looking at is standard and to your liking.

Here’s everything you need to know about the listing agreement so that you can sign on the dotted line with confidence and peace of mind.

What is a seller representation agreement?

The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), a public agency formed to protect consumers and regulate the industry, introduced guiding principles mandating that REALTORS® ask their clients to sign a Written Representation Agreement at the earliest possible time. A written agreement is necessary in order to secure commission and to ensure compliance with the REBBA Code of Ethics. So, when you are selling your home, your broker or salesperson will ask you to sign a listing agreement.

Seller Representation Agreement, also known as a listing agreement, is an agreement between a seller of real estate and a brokerage firm that provides detailed information on the property being sold. It forms the foundation of negotiations between the seller and the buyer through an agent. It is used when drafting a sale agreement and mortgage application. The agent relies on the information contained in the seller representation agreement to respond to questions asked by prospective buyers.

From the agent’s perspective, the seller’s representation forms the basis of the authority to represent the owner in the sale of the property. Without permission, we would not be able to successfully market and sell a listing. The agreement provides the start and end date of the contract, and the amount of compensation that the broker will receive, subject to certain terms and conditions of the contract. The agreement may also include the list price at which the seller is willing to sell the property, and the agent’s ability to work with other brokers and the compensation they will get if they manage to bring a successful offer.

Why do REALTORS® ask me if I have already signed a representation agreement?

REALTORS® have a responsibility to ask if you been working with any other REALTORS® and if you have signed any agreements. If you have signed an agreement, a REALTOR® can not coerce you to break that agreement and they must only communicate with you through the REALTOR® whom you have a signed agreement, not directly with you.

REBBA 2002 – Dealings with other registrants

7. (1) A registrant who knows or ought to know that a person is a client of another registrant shall communicate information to the person for the purpose of a trade in real estate only through the other registrant, unless the other registrant has consented in writing.  O. Reg. 580/05, s. 7 (1).

(2) If a broker or salesperson knows or ought to know that a buyer or seller is a party to an agreement in connection with a trade in real estate with a brokerage other than the brokerage that employs the broker or salesperson, the broker or salesperson shall not induce the buyer or seller to break the agreement.  O. Reg. 580/05, s. 7 (2).

Contents of the agreements

To protect the interests of all involved, agreements should be in writing. In fact, the Code of Ethics under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, contains a number of provisions specifically related to agreements.

An agreement must indicate the date it will take effect and the date it will expire. The agreement must describe the services that will be provided to you by the brokerage and provide information related to the amount of commission or other fees payable to the brokerage as well as how these amounts will be paid to the brokerage. Consumers should be aware that commissions and other remuneration are not set or fixed by RECO, government authorities, real estate associations or real estate boards.

Major listing types include the open listing, the exclusive listing and the MLS® listing.

An Open listing:

  • The open listing agreement offers the lowest level of commitment.
  • An open listing is given to any number of brokers with out liability to compensate any, except the one who first acquires a buyer ready, willing and able to meet the terms of the listing, or secures the acceptance by the seller of a satisfactory offer.
  • The seller reserves the right to sell the property/business by himself/herself and avoid any commission.

An Exclusive listing:

  • With this form of representation agreement, only the brokerage with whom the agreement is signed may sell the property and receive the commission. However, the brokerage has the option of co-operating with other brokerages.
  • An exclusive listing means that your salesperson or broker will be marketing the property on your behalf, without posting it on the Multiple Listings Service (MLS®). All prospective buyers will be referred directly through your representative or their brokerage.
  • Exclusive listings are popular among sellers who prefer an added level of privacy during the selling process. In some instances, commissions associated with an exclusive listing can be lower, as the real estate professional does not have to pay the MLS® fees.
  • Before committing to an exclusive listing, speak with your sales representative about his or her past experience and level of success with these types of listings. Obtain an outline of how they will market your home without the MLS®.

An MLS® listing:

  • An MLS® listing is viewed in the marketplace as a distinct type of listing. However, it is actually a special form of exclusive listing where co-operation with other brokerages within an MLS® system is specifically authorized by the seller.
  • In order for a property to qualify for listing on an MLS®, the seller and his/her agent need to have agreed on a listing period of at least 60 days.

There are two parts to a seller representation (MLS listing) agreement:

The listing agreement performs several functions:

  • Establishes the seller/brokerage agency (legal) relationship
  • Outlines:
    • Services being performed.
    • Obligations of the parties.
    • Defined limitations on the agent’s authority.
    • Time limits concerning such authority.
  • Provides property specifics for paper and electronic distribution.
  • Furnishes information for negotiations and drafting offers.

Key elements of the seller representation agreement

Authority

  • Granted in the brokerage’s name
  • Identifies the agent/broker directly providing the services

Dates

  • Start and end dates and times of the contract.
  • Seller initials if contract spans more than 6 months.

Listing price

  • The responsibility to set a listing price rests with the seller, not the salesperson.
  • Includes any other price or terms that the seller may accept.
  • The seller is entitled to the salesperson’s professional opinion regarding property value and listing price. A comparative market analysis (CMA) is usually prepared for that purpose.

Seller representation/ warranty

  • This clause us bolded for emphasis, as this warranty relates to the property not being currently listed with any other brokerage.

Commission

  • Seller agrees to pay a total commission that can be a % rate, an agreed amount, or a combination of both, plus applicable taxes.
  • Seller shall pay, on demand, any deficiency in commission and taxes owing on such commission.
  • Seller shall pay commission, even if sale does not complete due to Seller’s default or neglect.
  • When a homeowner sells their property, they pay a commission to their real estate agent and the buyer’s agent. Technically, the seller is paying these to the brokerages that the agents work for.
  • They’re actually agreeing to pay the total commission to the real estate brokerage they’re listing with. And their real estate brokerage is agreeing to pay a percentage of this to the buyer’s agent’s brokerage.
  • For example, let’s say the total commission is 5%, with 2.5% being paid to the listing agent’s broker and the other 2.5% being paid to the buyer’s agent’s broker.

Holdover

  • Listing representation agreements typically include a “holdover clause”. Generally, it means that within “X” days after the agreement expires (the “holdover period”) if you sell to a buyer that was introduced to you or viewed it during the term of the agreement, you would be responsible for paying commission to your brokerage. The length of the holdover period is negotiable.

Representation

  • Confirms that the real estate company and the salesperson have explained the different types of agency relationships that may occur in a real estate transaction.
  • Details various disclosure and related procedures concerning representation, multiple representation and customer service.

Finders fees

  • In order for a Salesperson to receive any finder’s fee it is necessary to receive consent.
  • This section provides that consent. This may occur where a mortgage company sends a referral fee.

Referral of enquiries

  • Seller to advise brokerage immediately of all enquiries and any offers to purchase from any source whatsoever during the term of the listing.
  • Any enquiry during the listing period resulting in an accepted offer to purchase during the listing or the holdover period will result in the Seller possibly paying the brokerage the commission within 5 days.

Marketing

  • Brokerage is authorized to market the property and permit prospective buyers to fully inspect the property.
  • Can place “For Sale” and “Sold” signs on the property.
  • Can identify the property in advertising.
  • Sole and exclusive right to make all advertising decisions
  • Indemnification for acts or omissions in advertising other than gross negligence/wilful act

Items included in and excluded from the sale

  • This should be included in the agreement, as an attachment if needed.
  • Do you have any specific items that you would like to include or exclude from the sale of your property?
  • If so, you can state this in the listing agreement.
  • In most home sales, anything that is attached to the property will stay (e.g. bathroom fixtures) – so items that can be included or excluded will usually be things such as a refrigerator, washer/dryer, etc.

Defects

  • This should be included in the agreement, as an attachment if needed.
  • Latent defects cannot easily be discovered by a buyer, or their home inspector.
  • They include defects that:
    • make a property dangerous or potentially dangerous
    • make a property unfit to live in
    • make a property unfit for the buyer’s purpose (if the buyer has told their REALTOR® the purpose)
  • Examples of such defects include a problem with the foundation of the property, faulty electrical wiring hiding behind the walls or a well-hidden mold problem.
  • Where a seller is aware of any existing latent defects in a property, they are under an obligation by law to disclose such defects to the buyer.

REBBA 2002 –  Material facts

21. (1) A broker or salesperson who has a client in respect of the acquisition or disposition of a particular interest in real estate shall take reasonable steps to determine the material facts relating to the acquisition or disposition and, at the earliest practicable opportunity, shall disclose the material facts to the client.  O. Reg. 580/05, s. 21 (1).

(2) A broker or salesperson who has a customer in respect of the acquisition or disposition of a particular interest in real estate shall, at the earliest practicable opportunity, disclose to the customer the material facts relating to the acquisition or disposition that are known by or ought to be known by the broker or salesperson.  O. Reg. 580/05, s. 21 (2).

Warranty

  • Confirms that the Seller has all the authority necessary to sign the agreement.
  • Also confirms that the Seller has disclosed outside / third party interests concerning the property (e.g., first right of refusal, easements, mortgages and so forth).

Indemnification and insurance

  • The Seller will not hold the Listing Brokerage liable for loss or damage to the property or contents unless it was caused by the Listing Brokerage’s gross negligence or a willful act.
  • The Seller will save harmless the brokerage for any “loss” caused by the Seller.
  • Further the Seller confirms that the Seller has insurance to cover any injury or property damage that may occur.

Family law act

  • Seller warrants that spouse has signed agreement if necessary

Verification of information

  • Brokerage is authorized to and Seller agrees to provide further authorizations as may be required to obtain information from any regulatory authority, governments, mortgagees, or others, and said authorities are authorized to release any and all information to the brokerage in order to help with the sale of the property.

Use and distribution of information

  • Permission to use personal and property related information for marketing, advertising, and listing on the MLS® database considering privacy laws. (e.g., photographs, surveys, layout diagrams and so forth).

Payment of a commission fee

When a property seller engages a brokerage to sell a property, the seller must commit to paying the brokerage a commission fee subject to certain terms and conditions. The commission can either be a flat rate or a percentage of the sales price, or a combination of both.

The commission fee is negotiated between the seller and the brokerage and is contingent on various factors such as the duration of the sale, labor costs, advertising, market competition, etc. Typically, the percentage commission ranges from 3% to 5% of the sales price depending on service offerings and market conditions.

For a brokerage to receive a commission from the seller, the following conditions must be met:

  • The brokerage must bring on board a satisfactory buyer who is willing and ready to pay the list price provided by the seller for the acquisition of the property.
  • Successful negotiation between the seller and the prospective buyer, and the continued willingness of the buyer to complete the transaction.

If the seller fails to close the transaction after the brokerage has met the above conditions, the seller maybe required to pay the brokerage since it has performed the functions it had been assigned. However, the terms of the deal can vary significantly, depending on what the two parties had agreed in their initial agreement.

The listing price in a seller representation agreement

When giving a brokerage the right to sell the property, the seller must provide a listing price at which the property will be sold. However, depending on the market competition and the offers given by prospective buyers, the final selling price of the property could be higher or lower than the listing price. In such cases, the commission for the brokerage is calculated based on the final selling price of the property.

The listing price is usually agreed upon by the seller and the brokerage. It must be a reasonable selling price based on the features of the property being sold. Experienced brokerages can recommend a selling price that is in line with the prevailing market property rates, and the seller can either accept, reject, or negotiate a better rate for the property.

If the seller recommends a price that exceeds the prevailing market rates for the property, the agent can negotiate with the seller to lower the price to attract more buyers. If the seller declines to lower the listing price, the brokerage can opt out of the agreement.

Before you sign

Your broker or salesperson wants to provide you with the best service he or she can. To make the most of this relationship, it’s important to clarify your needs and expectations. To avoid misunderstandings later on, it’s important not to make any assumptions.

Discuss all of the services that will be provided. Take the time to clarify the fees and costs related to these services and make sure the written agreement is clear. You should also take time to ask what the broker or salesperson expects from you and what your obligations are.

Remember that you are entering into a legally binding agreement with the brokerage authorizing the brokerage and the salesperson to represent your interests in the sale of your home. You and the brokerage will be bound by the agreement.

Once all parties have signed the agreement, the brokerage will provide you with a copy.

If you choose not to sign an agreement, the brokerage is still responsible for outlining the services that will be provided to you by the brokerage.

REBBA 2002 – Information before agreements

10. (1) Before entering into an agreement with a buyer or seller in respect of trading in real estate, a brokerage shall, at the earliest practicable opportunity, inform the buyer or seller of the following:

1.  The types of service alternatives that are available in the circumstances, including a representation agreement or another type of agreement.

2.  The services that the brokerage would provide under the agreement.

3.  The fact that circumstances could arise in which the brokerage could represent more than one client in respect of the same trade in real estate, but that the brokerage could not do this unless all of the clients represented by the brokerage in respect of that trade consented in writing.

4.  The nature of the services that the brokerage would provide to each client if the brokerage represents more than one client in respect of the same trade in real estate.

5.  The fact that circumstances could arise in which the brokerage could provide services to more than one customer in respect of the same trade in real estate.

6.  The fact that circumstances could arise in which the brokerage could, in respect of the same trade in real estate, both represent clients and provide services to customers.

7.  The restricted nature of the services that the brokerage would provide to a customer in respect of a trade in real estate if the brokerage also represents a client in respect of that trade.  O. Reg. 580/05, s. 10 (1).

(2) The brokerage shall, at the earliest practicable opportunity and before an offer is made, use the brokerage’s best efforts to obtain from the buyer or seller a written acknowledgement that the buyer or seller received all the information referred to in subsection (1).  O. Reg. 580/05, s. 10 (2).

Don’t sign if you don’t understand it

Never sign an agreement unless you are sure you know how long it will be in effect, what geographic area it covers and what the different clauses mean. It’s one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself.

Take the time to read it thoroughly. Ask questions. Your broker or salesperson can’t provide legal advice, but they are familiar with these agreements and should be able to answer your questions and explain what the clauses mean and what effect they will have.

Feel free to seek legal advice at any time.

Do you have to sign a listing agreement?

If you want to sell your home using a real estate agent, you absolutely have to sign a listing agreement.

The REBBA 2002 Code of Ethics also requires that the brokerage (usually through its REALTORS®) explain the types of service alternatives available to consumers and the services the brokerage will be providing. The brokerage must document the relationship being created between the brokerage and the consumer, and submit it to the consumer for his/her approval and signature.

REBBA 2002 – Seller representation agreements

13. If a brokerage enters into a seller representation agreement with a seller and the agreement is not in writing, the brokerage shall, at the earliest practicable opportunity and before any buyer makes an offer, reduce the agreement to writing, have it signed on behalf of the brokerage and submit it to the seller for signature.  O. Reg. 580/05, s. 13.

REBBA 2002 – Agreements with customers

15. If a brokerage enters into an agreement with a customer in respect of a trade in real estate and the agreement is not in writing, the brokerage shall, at the earliest practicable opportunity, reduce the agreement to writing, have it signed on behalf of the brokerage and submit it to the customer for signature.  O. Reg. 580/05, s. 15.

The most common relationships are “client” and “customer”, but other options may be available in the marketplace. A Seller’s Representation Agreement acknowledging a client relationship is an “exclusive” agreement meaning both parties agree to work only with each other. A Seller Customer Service Agreement acknowledging a customer relationship is a “non-exclusive” agreement, meaning both parties agree to work with other people.

If you choose to list your home as for-sale-by-owner (FSBO), you do not have to work with a real estate agent, and therefore do not have to sign a listing agreement.

The Real Estate Business Brokers Act Code of Ethics clearly states that loyalty ultimately rests with the client and that a broker or salesperson must protect and promote the client’s best interests. However, the Code also requires that a broker or salesperson deal fairly, honestly and with integrity and provide conscientious service to all clients and customers. You can decide to be a customer, rather than a client, but should be aware that the obligations of the brokerage will differ.

If you prefer to not sign either the Sellers Representation Agreement or the Seller Customer Service Agreement; then there is no documented ask from you for services and no obligation upon the brokerage to commit time or resources to provide any services to you.

Mere postings

A Mere Posting is essentially a “For Sale By Owner” property, but includes the invaluable help of Realtor®.ca exposure—your home gets showcased on Canada’s MLS® system (the most powerful listing tool on our market) alongside all other full-service brokerage listings.

The Mere Posting must be posted by a brokerage and the Seller must ensure the information in the listing is an accurate representation of the property; any misrepresentation is illegal. However, the key difference is that the Sellers represent themselves and take on all legal liability associated with the sale—there is no brokerage representation unless otherwise stated in the service agreement. With a Mere Posting, Sellers will also have to pay a flat-fee upfront to get the home listed.

When do you sign the listing agreement?

It all depends on the situation. While some homeowners sign the listing agreement on the first meeting, others may wait weeks or months until they are ready to sell their home. Whatever the case, a listing agreement will be signed once you are ready for your real estate agent to start marketing your home.

How long does a listing agreement last?

A listing agreement is valid from the date you sign it until the expiration date. The expiration date depends on a few factors and varies by situation. The condition of the home, the current real estate market, and homeowner’s needs are all factors that play a role in how long a listing agreement remains valid.

Typically, a listing agreement will last from two to six months from the time it’s put on the market. I have found if a house needs a lot of maintenance, or if the homeowners are out of province, the owner may sign the listing agreement ahead of time even though it may be two months until you put your house on the market.

The expiration date also depends on the real estate market and the comparable homes in the area. If every comparable home in the area has sold in less than 60 days, you may want to sign up for a two-month contract. Ultimately, the expiration date of the agreement can be negotiated with your real estate agent.

What can you negotiate in the listing agreement?

In real estate, everything is negotiable. If you’re uncomfortable with certain terms, say something to your real estate agent or real estate broker that they work for. If they refuse to negotiate, you may want to consider finding a different agent or a different brokerage. Be careful though. Some negotiations may send a real estate agent walking.

Here are some common things to negotiate in the listing agreement:

Expiration date: Real estate agents want to be confident that they will sell your house, so they may want a longer expiration date to give themselves plenty of time. If you believe your home is particularly special and can sell faster than the time frame suggested by the real estate agent, you have a right to negotiate. Most real estate agents will listen to a homeowner’s concerns and find a way to compromise.

Commission: Most listing (or seller’s) agent commissions are between 3.0% and 5.0% and are typically split with the buyer’s agent when the deal closes. The commission percentage is decided on when signing the listing agreement, and then becomes part of the MLS listing.

A big chunk of real estate agent fees goes to marketing your house, so lowering the commission could lower the quality of marketing for your home. I explain the current market conditions to my clients. If it is an average home and a “sellers market” it will likely require minimal marketing; if it is a “buyers market” or an exceptional home, it will probably take more effort and time. I offer a selection of marketing packages to accommodate market conditions which provides the seller some flexibility on costs; they choose the package that suits their needs.

Keep in mind, if you negotiate your real estate agent’s commission to a lower percentage, you sometimes reduce the compensation a buyer’s agent would receive at the deal’s close. Unfortunately, some buyer’s agents may secretly steer clear of showing homes that offer a low commission, though the practice is technically unethical and frowned upon. The decision is ultimately yours, but be aware that a lower commission could slow down your buyer foot traffic for reasons outside your control.

Type of listing: You have the right to choose the type of listing agreement they want to use. While most real estate agents choose to sign an MLS® listing agreement, you can negotiate a different agreement. However, this may make it harder to find a real estate agent to work with, which could hold up your sale.

List price: The listing agreement will specify what you will list your home for. Your real estate agent will determine a recommended list price based on market data, comparable homes that have sold in the area, and condition of the home. As the homeowner, you have a right to negotiate the list price. In most cases, it is best to go with a top real estate agent’s recommendation.

Duties: The duties of a seller’s real estate agent includes things like, implementing a tailored marketing strategy, listing the property on multiple online platforms, arranging photos & video, arranging viewings, posting a sign in the yard, creating printed marketing materials and qualifying buyers. If you have any issue with these things or the other duties listed in the agreement, you can negotiate them with your real estate agent or the broker that your agent works for.

5 Questions to ask yourself before signing a listing agreement

Do they understand your goals?

There are a lot of reasons you could be selling your home. Maybe you’re moving to another state, you want to downsize, or now is simply a good time financially to make a change. Maybe you’ve already bought a new home, or you need to sell to buy. Whatever the case, your agent needs to work with you and keep your goals in mind while they sell your home.

Do they have real estate and area knowledge?

At the core of the relationship, you need to like the person you’re working with. But along with that, they should have in-depth real estate experience and knowledge of the current market in your area. They are there to provide expertise, including negotiations and concessions. If they aren’t experienced, they may not know what to fight for.

Do they have your best interest in mind?

There are many reasons to sell a house, but there are also many ways to do it. Throughout the process, you’ll likely receive various types of offers, from cash to various loans. Whatever the final decision, your agent needs to have your best interests in mind. They have to make the best deal possible that will put you in a good position for your future.

Are they professional and respectful?

Finally, you want to work with an agent who is professional and respectful on the job. Not only should this apply to the way they communicate with you, but also how they negotiate with buyer’s agents and all of the other professionals, such as lawyers or mortgage lenders, who will be a part of the process. You need to like them on a personal level, but also trust them on a professional one.

Will they go above and beyond to market your property?

Real estate today is a very different business than it was just ten or twenty years ago. Today’s market requires a more creative approach. That’s why your agent’s marketing plan is essential. They’ll need to:

  • Be committed to selling your home
  • Demonstrate credible skills
  • Work with other professionals (inspectors, agents, photographers….)
  • Use marketing strategies such as social media
  • Use professional photography

The pros and cons of signing listing agreements

Pros

  • Dedicated to the interest of the seller
  • Real estate brokers can screen for high quality prospects—those who are qualified, those who will bring the better offers
  • The agent will design a marketing and advertising strategy that optimally promotes the property.
  • To achieve the best price, agents will use all their available resources to ensure the property is presented well.
  • Agents will administer the optimal time for viewings and open houses.
  • A thorough account and accurate information of the property being sold—many transactions fail because of incomplete or inaccurate information about your property
  • Your real estate agent will handle all paperwork and is bound to put your best interest before all else
  • This agreement creates a mutually beneficial relationship that makes the sale of the property possible for the maximum price in the shortest time
  • Simplified negotiation—price to conditions to closing date

Cons

  • In an “exclusive listing”, other REALTORS® and brokers are excluded from showing your property during the specified period of time when the agreement is in place
  • Sellers cannot sell the property themselves.
  • Sellers must stay with the same agent until the agreement expires.

How do you terminate a listing agreement?

The agreement you signed is a legal contract between you and a real estate brokerage to sell your home. It contains a start date and an end date, and could contain provisions for ending the agreement early. If you and your real estate professional agree in writing to end the agreement before the end date, the agreement ends with a mutually signed release.

If you change your mind about selling your home and your real estate professional agrees to end the agreement early, you may be responsible for reimbursing your real estate professional for reasonable expenses they incurred while your property was for sale. Those potential expenses need to be listed on the agreement when you sign it; your real estate professional can’t add them after the fact. These expenses may include, but aren’t limited to, reimbursement of advertising, measurement, staging, inspections, Multiple Listing Service® fees, office administration, videography or photography costs.

If you are unhappy with a particular agent, you can ask to switch agents in the same brokerage without breaching the contract.

I always provide a detailed Service Guarantee. If I don’t fulfill my commitments you have the right to address your concerns with the Managing Broker. He or she has two days to resolve the situation. Should the brokerage be unable or unwilling to resolve the issues, we will cancel our service agreement with you without cost or penalties and will have no further obligations to each other.

COVID-19 Clauses that Buyer’s may add to the purchase and sale agreement

Due to COVID-19, the Ontario Real Estate Association has recommended to include clauses to protect buyers and sellers from penalties due to closing delays.

These clauses include:

  • Paperless Closing
  • Delay of Closing if Third Parties are Unable to Close
  • Delay of Closing and Title Insurance
  • Automatic Delay of Close if Either Party is Quarantined and Cannot Sign

Learn more about the COVID-19 clauses and agreement terms that are important to buyers in the Buyer’s Representation Agreement.

Things to keep in mind when choosing an agent

Experience helps, but it isn’t everything.

The amount of time someone has been in a field is typically a bonus because they have more knowledge and likely more experience dealing with common issues in the business, but it doesn’t always make them a great agent.

What matters more than experience is the agent’s ability to serve your needs, their resources to help you along the journey, and their network of people to rely on to ensure the closing and sale go smoothly. Don’t overestimate a veteran agent just because they have 20 years’ experience in real estate. Conversely, don’t discount someone new to real estate, especially if they have been trained well and seem competent and able to deliver. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Referrals are great, but always conduct your own interview

Referrals are a tremendous way to get in contact with a quality agent. Start the search for your next agent by asking family, friends, or colleagues if they have a referral for a good agent. It’s a great starting point, but don’t forget to conduct your own interview and make sure that they seem like the right fit for you. The fact that a friend had a good experience with a particular agent doesn’t mean your personalities will mesh.