Step 3: Sign a listing agreement

The “Listing Agreement” authorizes your REALTOR® and their brokerage to market and sell your home. This agreement serves three purposes.

It defines your relationship, including the limits of your REALTOR’S® authority.

It provides detailed information about your home which can be placed on a real estate Board’s MLS® System to help potential buyers find you.

It forms the basis for drafting offers on your home.

Highlights of the Listing Agreement


This describes the legal relationship between you and the real estate brokerage, and sets a time limit for the REALTOR® to sell your home.

Exclusive or Multiple Listing Service?
“Exclusive Listing” means that only your brokerage can find a buyer for your home. REALTORS® generally recommend a “Multiple Listing”, which allows them to put your home on a real estate Board’s MLS® System – a great tool to market your home and help find a buyer.

You have the final say over this magic number, but your REALTOR® may have very useful advice on what price will attract buyers. Learn more about choosing the right asking price in Step 4: Determine your home’s asking price. 

Real estate commission
This is usually a percentage of the final sale price that you only pay once your REALTOR® has found you an acceptable offer. The percentage is agreed upon between you and the individual brokerage. This can also be a fee arrangement.

A physical description of your property
Your REALTOR® will itemize the lot size, your home’s age, the style of construction, number and size of the rooms, and any outstanding selling features such as “backs onto ravine” or “fabulous kitchen renovation”.

Legal information
This includes the lot number, land surveys and the zoning code.

Financial information
Let people know the numbers like the minimum deposit you require or if you have a low-interest rate mortgage that can be assumed.

Completion date
This lets everybody know how long you need to move out, once your home is sold. 60 or 90 days is standard, but if you can be flexible be sure to make note.

How the home will be shown
Your REALTOR® can make the arrangements for viewing appointments. Any specific instructions, such as “make sure the cat stays in” can also be noted.
What exactly is included in the price? Chattels and fixturesChattels are moveable items like washers and dryers, microwaves and window blinds. They’re not automatically included in the sale, but sellers will often include them to sweeten the deal.Fixtures are permanent improvements to a property like central air conditioning, installed lighting and wall-to-wall carpeting. Fixtures are assumed to be included in the sale of the home unless you note otherwise. Maybe the dining room chandelier is family heirloom that you wish to take with you. The line between chattel and fixture can get blurry, so go over every item with your REALTOR®.

The importance of a Seller Property Information Statement
Many real estate Boards now request a Seller Property Information Statement that lists any recent renovations, improvements, major defects and faults with the home.

Honesty is always the best policy
A major defect does not mean your home will not sell. List the defect and state how your home’s price has been lowered accordingly. This can actually be attractive to some buyers, especially if they have experience with the required repairs!