I’m ready to sell my cottage. Can I work with both a Toronto brokerage and a local brokerage?
You can list your cottage with more than one brokerage – the arrangement you described is known as a co-listing agreement – but you may have to shop around to find two real estate brokerages who will agree to it.
It’s important that at least one of the salespeople assigned to you is experienced in buying and selling cottages, because there are issues that are unique to such transactions. For example, there are special considerations arising from waterfront properties.
Sellers enter co-listing agreements for a variety of reasons. Two brokerages could present different, but equally-attractive marketing strategies. Or a home may be co-listed when there are two or more owners of a property and each wants to use their own brokerage. This sometimes happens when a home is sold during divorce proceedings.
If you choose to co-list your cottage, make sure the final agreement specifies which brokerage is responsible for which service; that it’s clear how the listing brokerages are splitting the listing-side commission between themselves (the agreement may specify what that split will be, so there aren’t any disagreements later on); and that it includes the amount of commission to be paid to any co-operating brokerage that acts for the buyer.
For example, you may want the local brokerage to market the property locally, arrange showings, stage the home, manage open houses, and review the agreement, given their expertise in the local area. Meanwhile the Toronto brokerage may market the property to prospective Toronto area buyers. There are a variety of complimentary activities these brokerages could do to help get your property sold.
As I mentioned, there are some special considerations when you buy or sell a cottage. Here are a few questions you may ask yourself before you start the selling process:
- Zoning – how is the property zoned? Does the municipality provide emergency services and snow-plowing in the winter, and are you allowed to use it year-round?
- Rights and access – do you need to travel through a neighbouring property in order to access a road or a shoreline, and are there any formal agreements in place? Do you have a survey of the property’s boundaries?
- Water – Do the tap water and well installation meet provincial standards? What’s the overall condition of the cottage’s septic system, and do you have written inspection and maintenance records?
I can’t say how many brokerages will agree to work with another brokerage to sell your cottage, but I strongly recommend shopping around for a salesperson who best understands your needs and expectations and is experienced in buying and selling similar properties in the area.
If you have a question for Joe about the home buying or selling process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.