“A listing agreement protects the Realtor, the brokerage I work for and it also protects the seller, because the seller now has someone who has the fiduciary duty to protect and guide them,” says Randy Dyck, an agent with the Eximus Real Esate Team at RE/MAX Little Oak Realty in B.C.’s Fraser Valley.
“It’s my job to keep us all out of the ditches and on the road – the legal road.”
While the listing agreement may offer all parties protection, Dyck says it’s not a guarantee, only an opportunity – an opportunity for him to prove himself.
“The moment a client signs this agreement is the moment I start spending money and start up the marketing machine,” says Dyck.
A listing agreement may be a Realtor’s bread-and-butter, but Dyck says in certain circumstances alternatives may be more suitable.
In the case of bringing a buyer to a seller who has a property not on the market yet, “some agents would say ‘I better get them signed up on a listing agreement so I’m protected,’” says Dyck.
“But if I feel confident enough to show a property and an offer is forthcoming, I would offer the seller what we call in B.C. a transaction engagement agreement that says if this offer is accepted and it closes, upon completion, you’ve engaged to pay me an agreed upon amount of money for bringing this transaction together.”
On the other side of that transaction Dyck sometimes calls upon is a buyer’s agreement, which he uses in instances where he is showing potential buyers unlisted homes. “The agreement says the buyers are going to pay me a commission if I help them purchase that house.”
In terms of the length of a listing agreement, Dyck is happy with a minimum sixty-day contract.
Most Realtors would like to have a listing for an eternity, but I like sixty days,” he says. “In sixty days I’m going to prove to you that I’m really worth it, even if I haven’t sold it.”
While it’s not a Realtor’s only option, one BC agent says having a listing agreement in place with clients is the best way to protect everyone involved in a real estate transaction.