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Real estate is always a hot topic regardless of current market conditions. People are always curious as to what their property is worth, which is understandable as the real estate market is ever-changing. What Realtors take for granted as common knowledge isn't exactly common knowledge to the general public.

Here are some common questions we answer regularly:

What is MLS?
MLS is the Multiple Listings System, also known as the Multiple Listing Service. MLS is a tool available on the internet for public use. Anyone can access information about current properties in any market across Canada. MLS is an excellent resource of information; exterior and interior pictures of each property, total square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, land size as well as a general description about the property.

Can you show me a house even though it's not your listing?
Every licensed Realtor in Saskatchewan has the ability to show any active MLS listing within Saskatchewan, unless the property in question is an Exclusive MLS listing which means only the listing agent has the authority to show that particular property. Please keep in mind that proper viewing arrangements must be made in advance with the listing agent with the approval of the seller.

How are Realtors paid?
Realtors do not make an hourly wage or salary - we are self-employed. Realtors are paid at the end of a successful real estate transaction. If a Realtor doesn't sell a house for six months, then that Realtor has not made money nor been paid. Please keep in mind that each Realtor is personally responsible for his or her own business expenses such as office rent, administrative costs, advertising, brokerage fees and other related expenses. The real estate industry typically has a high turnover rate of Realtors. Being self-employed takes a lot of discipline, a solid business plan and perseverance to be successful.

What's the difference between a "withdrawn" listing contract and a "cancelled" listing contract?
Life happens and sometimes due to circumstances, listings are withdrawn or cancelled. To withdraw a listing contract simply means that the listed property is on hold or not available for showings, however the property is still bound to its original listing contract. If you have signed a one-year listing contract and three months into the contract you have to withdraw the listings, the listing agent is still legally entitled to the agreed financial compensation if the property is successfully sold before the listing contract's expiry date. Your Realtor or the Realtor Brokerage will provide you with the proper paperwork to withdraw the listing contract.

If a listing contract is cancelled then the listing contract ceases to exist. Please keep in mind that cancelling the contract does have one catch, if you choose to break the contract because your listing agent brought you a competent buyer and you are attempting to avoid paying the commission fees, the Realtor is in a position for legal recourse if the real estate transaction is successful with that buyer within three months of the cancelled contract. Your Realtor or the Realtor Brokerage will provide you with the proper paperwork to cancel the listing contract.

What is a Buyer's Brokerage Agreement?
A Buyer's Brokerage Agreement is a legally binding contract between a Realtor and his or her buying client. The contract is designed to give both the client and the Realtor piece of mind - the Realtor agrees to find suitable properties for the client to view, on both MLS and/or For Sale by Owner and the client agrees to work exclusively with the Realtor named in the contract. Finding the perfect home can happen quickly or it can take months. This depends on how specific the desired requirements are for their dream property. The desired end result for the Realtor is to work for and with the client in finding a suitable property for them in order to receive financial compensation for the time and expense invested into the buying process. The length of the contract can vary depending on what you and your Realtor are most comfortable with.

What is a deposit cheque?
When a Realtor is working with a client to buy a suitable property, a deposit cheque is attached to the Offer to Purchase. The deposit cheque safeguards not only the seller but also the buyer - the seller uses the deposit cheque as security that the buyer is serious about the property and the buyer uses the cheque to buy time in order to satisfy the conditions in the Offer to Purchase. If the buyer can not receive final mortgage approval or is not satisfied with the results of the written conditions, the deposit cheque is returned to the buyer. Deposit cheques are written to the buyer's Brokerage or to the buyer's real estate lawyer's law firm. The deposit cheque is cashed then held in a trust account when the Offer to Purchase is accepted by the seller. Please note that once conditions are satisfied and removed, if the buyer decides to walk away from the transaction, the deposit monies are surrendered to the seller.

If you have any questions about the Saskatoon real estate market or the buying or selling process, feel free to contact us any time.

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