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Contracts:

Can I rescind a listing contract?

The listing contract is a legally binding contract and you have to get the agreement of the other party (the listing brokerage) in order to cancel the obligations that contract has created. If you cannot get that agreement, you may wish to seek legal advice.


Can I rescind a Contract of Purchase and Sale?

Once accepted by the seller and buyer, a Contract of Purchase and Sale becomes a binding agreement that creates certain responsibilities that each have agreed to accept and/or perform. A seller or buyer should always obtain legal advice prior to taking any action that may place them in breach of a contract.


Must I sign an agency agreement with a brokerage/registrant?

No. A brokerage (usually through their representative) is obligated to provide you with a written agency agreement outlining real estate services being provided, any fees, etc. that is signed by the brokerage and presented to you for acceptance and signature. You are not obligated to sign this agreement if you do not wish to. You may also ask the brokerage to make changes to the agreement before signing it.


Does a brokerage/registrant have to provide service to me?

No. Only if they have agreed to do so. A brokerage may choose not to provide service to you.


Do I get a copy of any agreement or contract that I signed?

Yes. You must get a copy.


What must be included in an agency agreement?

The start date, an expiry date, services to be performed, any promises, amount of commission/compensation, any other terms/services agreed to.


Is there a set commission rate/flat fee?

No. Commissions are not set or fixed by any regulation. You can negotiate compensation.


Is the commission always paid by the seller?

No. Buyers should confirm the commission arrangements prior to entering into an offer on a property.


The registrant has promised to do certain things for me. What do I need to do?

Make sure any promise is in writing expressing your understanding of the promise.


I don’t understand the agency agreement the registrant has asked me to sign. What do I do?

If the brokerage representative cannot explain a term of the agreement to your satisfaction, do not sign it until you do understand it. You may want to contact the broker or a lawyer for clarification of any terms of the agreement.


Is there a “cooling off” period to cancel an agency agreement?

No.


Does a seller have to make me a counter offer?

No. Once an offer is presented to a seller they may do what they want, such as accept, decline, make a counter offer or do nothing.


Does a seller have to give me an opportunity to make another offer?

No.


When does the buyer get a copy of the Contract of Purchase and Sale?

The registrant assisting a buyer to write a Contract of Purchase and Sale must immediately provide the buyer with a copy of the signed agreement.


I want out of my contract/agreement. Can the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission help me?

The Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission does not have jurisdiction over contractual matters and cannot insist that a consumer be released from a legal contract or that the contract be cancelled. As a first step, you should discuss your concerns with the registrant and ask if the brokerage is willing to agree to cancel the contract. If agreement cannot be reached, contact the Broker. If cancellation is not an option, the Broker may be willing to assign another registrant to assist you in buying or selling a home. If there are concerns relating to conduct, in addition to contractual issues, you may wish to file a complaint.



Deposits:

How much should I give as a deposit?

There is no set amount, amounts vary by local custom.


What is the purpose of the deposit?

The deposit demonstrates the commitment of the buyer to the seller to complete the purchase.


Where does the deposit go?

The registrant takes the deposit to his/her brokerage office. The brokerage is responsible for placing the deposit into the brokerage’s trust account pending completion or termination of the contract.


Do I get interest on the deposit?

If you wish to receive the interest on your deposit; this must be agreed to in the Contract of Purchase and Sale.



Licensees/Registrants:

Does a licensee/registrant have an obligation to have known about a defect and should they have advised me of it?

Sellers and their licensees/registrants have an obligation to disclose known latent defects to buyers. A latent defect is one that is not obvious on a reasonable inspection of the property and which would have a substantial impact on the buyer’s use or enjoyment of the property. If a buyer believes that information about a known latent defect has been withheld by the seller or the seller’s licensee/registrant, legal advice should be obtained.


Why is it so important that I only deal with a registrant?

Registrants have completed the necessary educational training and passed admission exam(s) in order to become registered. The Commission regulates their conduct and business practices and they are required to attend continuing professional development seminars. They must comply with The Real Estate Act, its regulations and the Commission Bylaws. They are covered by the Real Estate Assurance Fund. All of these requirements are in place to ensure that the person you are dealing with is qualified to provide professional real estate services to you.

As a consumer you take a significant risk when you deal with an unregistered agency or individual. They are not subject to these standards and there is no protection for you in the case of fraud or breach of trust. It is an offence under The Real Estate Act for a person to trade in real estate without a registration and the Commission will prosecute known cases.

The name of an individual or of a brokerage may be searched on the Commission’s Public Inquiries page. This database will tell you whether a particular individual or brokerage is licensed/registered to provide real estate services.



Miscellaneous:

As a consumer, how can I be sure that my interests will be taken into account?

The aims of licensees/registrants and consumers are sometimes perceived as very different. This is, in fact, not the case. Licensees/Registrants who operate unethically and illegally hurt the integrity of the industry. They also have a competitive advantage over those who follow the rules. It is in everyone's best interest for the Commission to set standards and to stop unethical or illegal business practices by monitoring the marketplace, carefully investigating complaints, and conducting disciplinary hearings.

Although this method of self-regulation is new for the real estate industry, there are checks and balances in The Real Estate Act to make sure that the Commission carries out its responsibilities as intended by the government.

The Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission pledges not to turn a blind eye. It strives to be a neutral regulator that is objective, consistent and fair.

Why is it so important that I only deal with a registrant?

Registrants have completed the necessary educational training and passed admission exam(s) in order to become registered. The Commission regulates their conduct and business practices and they are required to attend continuing professional development seminars. They must comply with The Real Estate Act, its regulations and the Commission Bylaws. They are covered by the Real Estate Assurance Fund. All of these requirements are in place to ensure that the person you are dealing with is qualified to provide professional real estate services to you.

As a consumer you take a significant risk when you deal with an unregistered agency or individual. They are not subject to these standards and there is no protection for you in the case of fraud or breach of trust. It is an offence under The Real Estate Act for a person to trade in real estate without a registration and the Commission will prosecute known cases.


What compensation can a consumer obtain if a licensee/registrant is negligent or in breach of contract? Can you cancel my deal and get my deposit back?

It is not the role of Commission to settle civil cases between consumers and licensees/registrants. A consumer who loses money as a result of breach of contract or the negligence of a licensee/registrant can make a claim against the registrant in civil court.


I find some terms used in real estate are confusing. Could you explain some of the typical ones?

a) Registrant – an individual or a brokerage registered under The Real Estate Act.
b) Salesperson, Associate Broker, Branch Manager or Broker – individuals registered under The Real Estate Act who provides services to a consumer on behalf of a brokerage.
c) Brokerage – the real estate company.