How to Fire Your Realtors®
There are a few reasons to fire your Realtor. If you feel you made a mistake by signing a selling agreement with the wrong Realtor, the best thing to do is to correct it and move on. If your Lawyer or Doctor was not working in your best interest, would you fire them too?
Your listing agreement is usually for a period of three to six months (sometimes longer) and you are entitled to cancel at any time. This can be done with a standard Alberta real estate form. A Realtor (depending on the agency designation) also has the option of terminating your agreement at any time without your consent, but this rarely happens.
If you have hired the wrong real estate company or agent to represent you, fire them. Do it professionally and do it in writing. There are a few things to consider prior to firing your Edmonton Realtor. All of these contingencies will be set out in your original listing agreement.
Who owns the listing?
A: The listing is owned by the brokerage, not the Realtor. If you have a problem with the agent, call the broker. If you have a problem with the broker, call consumer affairs and the Edmonton Real Estate Association.
Is there a fee to cancel your listing agreement?
A: There may be a cancellation fee in the standard agreement. This fee is usually the cost to cover expenses already paid by your Realtor prior to your cancellation. The service fee amount will be set out in the agreement you signed. However, if you paid a fee upfront, there usually is no cancellation fee.
Will I still have to pay a commission after I fire my agent?
A: If a buyer was introduced to your home during the term of your listing agreement and you sell it privately (during a specified time in the agreement) to that same buyer, commissions will be payable.
Can I hire another agent immediately?
A: Yes. Once your home is off of the market, you are free to list your home with any licenced real estate agent.
When you are ready to fire your Realtor, simply inform your agent that you would like to cancel the listing and ask him to provide you with the cancellation listing form. There will be two choices on this form. Make sure you have a property termination end date, the broker (not the Realtor) has signed and you have received a copy.
- 1. Unconditional termination
- Which allows no further obligations for either the seller or Realtor
- 2. Conditional Termination
- Your agreement will end on the termination date but your obligations will continue under the terms of Section 10 of the Exclusive Seller Representation Agreement. There may also be an additional term.
If your Realtor fails to provide this form within a timely matter, contact the brokerage and tell them about your grievances with the agent.
Can you fire a Buyers Agency or Buyer Realtor?
Yes. It is a different form, but you are free to fire your Realtor when buying. There may or may not be a small fee to get out of the agreement. This fee would have been set out in the original buyers' agreement which states: If you change your mind about looking for a property, you must tell us in writing. You must reimburse us for our reasonable expenses up to the time you tell us. Reasonable expenses will include: (If this section is blank - no penalty will be payable). However, this does not allow you to approach a seller that has been introduced to you while working with your realtor. If you do this, you will have to pay a full commission as set out in the original buyer brokerage agreement.
If you have any questions, both RECA (the Real Estate Council of Alberta) and EREB (the Edmonton Real Estate Board) have plenty of great information to help you make the best decision for you!
Have a Question? Feel free to reach out.
Understanding Buyers Brokerage Agreements in Alberta
Buyer Brokerage Agreements have been around for several years, and only recently has been mandated for real estate agents to have buyers under the agreement when working in a "client status". This legal change created security for both consumers and real estates in Edmonton and throughout Alberta. This form states the responsibilities of both the buyer and their real estate agent including:
- The mandated Fiduciary Duties, to protect the interests of the buyer
- The buyer cannot hire more than one broker or real estate agent to represent them
- The term of the agreement. Depending on the real estate market and how long the real estate agent chooses to work with a buyer, this agreement is normally 30 Days to 1 year and allows enough time for the buyer to purchase a home. If the buyer has not purchased a home during the time frame, they may extend the agreement or sign with another agent.
- The retainer fee (normally $1000 - $2500) is held in trust by the real estate agent/broker and forms part of the buyers down payment.
- Remuneration is stated in the agreement and can not be changed without written consent from all parties. This protects the agents' commissions and allows the buyer to know how much the REALTOR receives for their services. (usually paid for by the sellers real estate agent)
- While under the agreement, If the buyer elects to purchase a property without the help of their real estate agent, they will owe the agency the commission set out as per their Buyers Brokerage Agreement.
- This agreement also lays out the obligations and duties of the real estate agent ensuring the agency is working in the buyers best interest. Some of these obligations may include
- Showing you all properties you may be interested in as soon as possible
- The duration of the agreement
- Advertising for properties that meet your search criteria
- Pulling land titles to ensure closing capacity
- Setting you up on Auto-prospecting.
- Fiduciary Duties of the real estate agent
- Explaining and helping to prepare the offers to purchase
- Negotiate favourable terms for the buyer
- Provide a Buyers CMA to ensure you are not overpaying
- Inform you of all aspects of your offers including any counters
- Assist you with a chose of mortgage brokers, inspectors, lawyers, etc
- Any other relevant services you may require
For more information on working under a Buyers Brokerage Agreement, feel free to contact us.
How Realtor Commissions are Divided
Let's pretend for a moment, your Edmonton home sells for $400,000 and you are paying 7% on the first $100,000 and 3% on the balance of the purchase price. The total commissions payable would be $16,000 plus GST. To understand, how much money real estate agents actually make, we need to look at how agents real estate commissions really work.
First - Half of the commission is given to the buyer's agent. Out of the buying side, the buyer's agent does not receive the total $8000. Depending on how the agent splits their commissions between a team or office split, many buyers agents in Edmonton will receive half of the remuneration of $4000. Out of this sum, the buyers' agent will have to pay their monthly desk fee, vehicle maintenance, gas, and insurance. There are also annual licencing fees for Edmonton Realtors, buyer closing gifts, title searches, other fees associated with selling a property and of course Revenue Canadas share.
The other half of the commission goes to the listing agent. Out of the listing side, the Realtor usually has more expenses than a buyers agent including the cost of marketing the property, (which is not cheap!), the cost of hiring a professional photographer, the cost of accurately measuring the property, cost of a third company putting up and removing real estate signs, key boxes, promotional items, website maintenance, property-specific webpages, etc. Same as the buyers' agents, the listing agent also pays for annual licencing fees for Realtors, seller closing gifts, title searches, other fees associated with selling a property and Revenue Canadas portion of the commission.
There are real estate companies in Edmonton who will charge a flat fee or a lesser commission to put your home on MLS, and other Realtors will charge a higher fee. Understanding how much money Edmonton Realtors make will depend on how many homes they sell and how much commission they receive on each property sold.
The net commissions left for the real estate agent is what they get to take home to feed, shelter and clothe their families. Today, in Edmonton's soft real estate market, many agents are now changing companies to a "lesser fee structure" company due to the cost of doing business. Many of these agents can no longer afford to be Realtor, simply because they are not doing enough business, don't want to work as hard to earn a higher commission, are licenced only to buy and sell real estate for themselves or are on their way out of the business.
Now that you have a better understanding of how commissions work and how much Realtors actually net, let's pretend again for a moment, you are a real estate agent. Although it is against the Realtors Code of Conduct not to show properties based on commissions, it can be a buyers discretion not to view them (read more about buyer brokerage agreements). If you were a Realtor in Edmonton, would you show a property with a lesser commission?
In Alberta, all real estate commissions are negotiable, up or down and when hiring a real estate agent to sell your Edmonton home, a few thousand dollars in real estate commissions can make the difference between selling and not selling your home - Choose your Realtor based on the value they offer and interview more than one. Do they have the tools to market your home? Are they giving you a discount based on services that will be eliminated? Are they asking for money upfront, prior to doing anything? How is their internet presence?
Always interview a few real estate agents, ask lots of questions especially about their marketing plan and how they attract buyers. Find out what they have to offer. Not all Realtors are the same, each agent is different. If you use a Realtor or a real estate company to sell your home, there will be a fee. The big question you need to ask yourself is - "HOW MUCH MONEY WILL YOU NET AT THE END OF THE DAY?"
Most REMAX Realtors in Edmonton have the highest monthly real estate fees and are working hard to help you sell or buy your home, staying on top of their game, a doing what it takes to get your home sold including paying for the costs of marketing your property. Keep in mind, Realtors do not get paid by the hour, their real estate companies DO NOT pay them for working there. Realtors work very hard to earn their commissions and only get paid once your property is SOLD (usually on possession date) and not on the day it is sold!
If you have any questions on real estate commissions in Edmonton or what like an in-home real estate interview with myself, feel free to contact us at 780-237-7074.
CAF POLICY CHANGES, INFORMATION & IRP Changes 2018
As a BGRS approved military relocation Realtor in Edmonton and the surrounding area, it is important to stay current with information relating to military relocation moves and the Brookfield policies.
One of the biggest changes is the home equity assistance benefit, especially in our soft Edmonton real estate market. This has been a blessing for many of our DND members. It has helped both Canadian Armed Forces home sellers who would have otherwise, not been able to sell their current Alberta residence. It has also helped our military DND members who have been posted to CFB Garrison.
Below is a PDF with some great information on the directives that were updated in April 2018.
If you get a posting message to or from Edmonton, there is plenty of information you need to know. Below is a link with the helpful information provided by Brookfield Relocation Services.
We specialize in military moves, approved with BGRS for buying and selling in Edmonton and the surrounding area including Morinville, Bon Accord, Gibbons, Fort Saskatchewan and St. Albert. Our other real estate affiliates including inspectors and, lawyers are also on the BGRS approved vendor list.
If you have received your posting message, contact us & for a relocation package prior to your HHT or a complimentary pre-listing package for our DND members to maximize the equity in your home sale.