Have you ever thought about listing your house for sale, just to “see” what kind of offers you may get? You may want to reconsider!
An Ontario Superior Court of Justice case suggests homeowners should be cautious about listing their house for sale if they are not serious about selling. In TL Willaert Realty Ltd v Fody, 2013 ONSC 7533, the court held that if a seller does not accept a full priced offer, the realtor is still entitled to their commission, even if the house does not sell.
In this case, Fody entered into a listing agreement with T. L. Willaert Realty Ltd. to list his property for sale. The listing agreement Fody signed was the Form 200 Ontario Real Estate Association Listing Agreement, the standard contract that is used by realtors in the province. Several offers were made on the property, including a full asking price offer of $199,900.00, however Fody declined to accept.
Once it became apparent Fody no longer wanted to sell his property, the realtor warned: “should you decide not to sign the offer, the commission will still be payable per the terms of your listing agreement.” It turns out, they were right, and Fody was ordered to pay the realtor $8,995.50.
Based on the court’s interpretation of the terms of the listing agreement, Fody’s acceptance of an offer was not required for the commission to be payable. Paragraph 2 of the listing agreement contemplates payment of the commission upon presentation of an offer at the full listing price. Thus, under certain circumstances, sellers may be on the hook for the commission if a full price offer is present, and even if the transaction does not close.
Listing agreements are binding contracts and as such, you should consider consulting with a real estate lawyer prior to signing one.
At simplyclose, our experienced real estate lawyers can help you plan your transactions. We take the time to walk you through your options and ensure you are fully informed and comfortable with your choices. For more information, please contact our office at 519-997-3775 or [email protected]. Our real estate lawyers and closing specialists are always available to help.
Author: Lauren Delgreco, Law Student
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