Taken from the Edmonton Journal June 7 2014.
EDMONTON - The pile of paperwork that comes with buying and selling a home is growing one document taller.
Starting July 1, Realtors in Alberta will ask their clients to sign a written service agreement.
While this has been standard practice for sellers, the rule change being implemented by the Real Estate Council of Alberta means people trying to purchase a home will also sign a buyer representation agreement.
The document lays down the ground rules of the relationship between the real estate agent and the client, which have typically been implied or based on conversation, said Kevin Clark, chairman of the council, which licenses Realtors in Alberta.
“What are my expectations of this? When do I go out and how many homes are we going to look at, how do I write an offer, who does the writing and who develops the offer, how do you get paid and how long does this relationship go on for?” Clark said.
“What a written service agreement does, is basically take all that I’ve just said and puts it down in writing so there is clarity of the relationship between the two parties.”
The agreements will also spell out the services to be provided by the brokerage; the obligations and responsibilities of the parties; consent for collection, use and distribution of personal information; and the method of calculating remuneration or how the agent will be compensated.
Some first-time buyers may not know their agents are paid through a cut of the selling agent’s commission, for example.
“If you and I had never done business before and you had never sold or bought a house before and I’m giving you my time and showing you property, it would be reasonable for you to ask ‘how do you get paid?’ ”
Spelling out the expectations will curb confusion and disputes, Clark said.
There were about 65,000 residential transactions in Alberta, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.
Making your Real Estate needs my Priority
Realtor, Century 21 Vantage Realty Ltd
Office: 780 483 2122
Direct: 780 446 3727
Fax 1 866 217 4642