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Dear Urban Diplomat: is my real estate agent trying to scam me?

Dear Urban Diplomat,

My wife and I are selling our starter home. Our agent pitched us on the fancy-sounding notion of an “exclusive listing,” which means his brokerage gets priority access to our house for two weeks (and stands to make both the buyers’ and sellers’ commission). If it doesn’t sell, then the process opens up to other agencies. But don’t we want as many bidders as possible? We expressed our hesitation to our realtor, and he got pissy with us and said this is just what’s done these days. Am I being played?

—Well Excluuuuuude Me, Upper Beach

The Real Estate Council of Ontario—the organization that polices the ­industry—has no problem with exclusive listings. And they do offer a few advantages, like providing more privacy than a public listing, and giving you some control over the number of strangers stomping around your house and peering into your medicine cabinet. If those pros outweigh the con of a smaller pool of buyers, then go with the exclusive listing. But if your chief goal is a big sellers’ market payday, you’re better off with a traditional open listing. And if that makes your realtor unhappy, kick his cranky keister to the curb. Your house, your rules.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com

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