Real Estate

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

From broker bona fides to seller strategies, your most pressing property problems, solved

Urban Diplomat
(Illustration: Graham Roumieu)

I’m selling my house, and my agent is pushing for an “exclusive listing.” His brokerage would get priority access for two weeks, after which, if it doesn’t sell, the process would open up to other agencies. But don’t I want as many bidders as possible? I expressed my doubts, but my agent got pissy and said this is standard. Am I being played?

Only Fools Rush In, Upper Beach

The Real Estate Council of Ontario—the organization that polices the industry—has no problem with exclusive listings. The benefit for the brokerage is obvious—they make both the buyers’ and sellers’ commission if they sell the place in those two weeks—but there can be advantages for you, too: an exclusive offers more privacy than a public listing, and you’d have more control over the number of strangers rummaging through your house and peering into your medicine cabinet. If those pros outweigh the con of a smaller pool of buyers, 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. If that makes your realtor unhappy, kick his cranky keister to the curb. Your house, your rules.

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