I want to put my house up for sale. Do all listing sales reps offer Open Houses? Or is this something I have to request?

Just like every house is unique, so, too, are real estate salespeople and the services they offer.

The types of services can vary widely, from just posting a listing on MLS® to a full suite of services designed to prepare your property for market and sale. What salespeople provide depends on many factors, including the practices of their brokerage, the nature of your property and your specific preferences.

So, it is important that when you shop around for a real estate representative that you have a thorough conversation with them about the services they offer or recommend, and get as much detail as possible.

Each one will have their own approach or style, and you will want to hire someone who suits you and has a good understanding of how to address your particular needs.

Some may recommend Open Houses, while others may suggest social media or other, different ways to market a home.

You and your salesperson may decide that holding Open Houses is a good idea. He or she may also suggest that you stage your home (a process that can range from simply decluttering to moving all your possessions into storage and substituting furniture and decorations) while others may suggest keeping it as-is to take advantage of its warmth and charm.

They also may offer to produce a brochure with photographs and a list of the features of your home that prospective buyers can keep after a viewing or open house. Others may offer to provide 360-degree or drone videos or create a website devoted to advertising your property.

In short, there’s no such thing as “typical” services; they vary just as a client’s needs do.

Depending on what you expect your salesperson to provide, fees can also vary, so you should discuss available commission options with your representative.

Commissions can be a set fee, a percentage of the sold price, or a combination of both. Do your homework, interview a few different real estate agents, and check their references before hiring one. You will likely find many good options, but one may just be a bit better fit for you.

Also, never assume that just because you talked about a particular service that it will be included in the agreement with your listing brokerage. Discuss with your salesperson what will be in the representation agreement and make sure you understand what you are signing. If you aren’t sure, ask your rep or consider seeking legal advice if there are things you do not understand.

There is a wide array of services available, so find the right salesperson to help you successfully sell your home.

As this column is running on Remembrance Day, the Real Estate Council of Ontario would like to thank the men and women who have served our country.


Joseph Richer is Registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). He is in charge of the administration and enforcement of all rules that govern real estate professionals in Ontario. You can find more tips at reco.on.ca, follow on Twitter @RECOhelps or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/RECOhelps.


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