New realtor agreements aim to clear up confusion for homebuyers

CALGARY- Those in the market for a new home are being warned to anticipate some extra paperwork.

As of July 1, anyone using a realtor to search for homes will have to sign a written contract outlining responsibilities, a timeline and who pays fees.

The hope is it will help eliminate any confusion caused by verbal agreements.

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“Nothing is changing at all in terms of the relationship and how it’s been working. It’s just that we feel as a regulator it’s important to put some of these elements in writing so that both parties understand,” explains Kevin Clark from the Real Estate Council of Alberta.

“The gap between expectations and reality is always a concern.”

Homebuyer Lisa Davidson recently signed an agreement with her realtor, Sharon Murphy, and says it helped her know what to expect.

“It really helps you as a buyer figure out what you really want, and I think that’s important because you may think there are things that are really important to you, but when you actually sit down and write it out everyone knows.”

“It’s going to make us more effective at our job, because we’re going to know right from the beginning what our clients are looking for,” Murphy adds.

She thinks it will also help eliminate ‘window shopping’, which is when someone uses a realtor to see homes, then buys it with the assistance of a different agent.

The new contracts are negotiable, and already in use in provinces such as B.C., Ontario and Quebec.

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