Tag Archives: Realtor

Agreement of Purchase and Sale

The Agreement Of Purchase And Sale (AOPS) is the primary document used to purchase a property. It’s equally important to both buyer and seller. An AOPS is almost always drawn up by an agent for a buyer client. Thus it’s crucial that the listing agent carefully scrutinize a contract that they have had no part in writing.

I can’t stress enough how important the AOPS is. Once signed it’s a binding contract between buyer and seller. It’s one of the key documents your Real Estate Lawyer works with. The AOPS is also forwarded to your lender..

I can write an agreement of purchase and sale in a half hour or so. But it often takes me just as long to explain the details of the contract to my clients. There are no shortcuts to the process and I never pressure my clients to hurry through the AOPS. After all there are 28 separate clauses and Schedule A to contend with as well as data such as names and price.

In today’s post I’ve shared a YouTube video taking you through the AOPS from start to finish. Just a warning, it’s long! But 15 minutes would be almost unacceptably quick if I was actually reviewing the document with real clients.

I’ve also included the 7 pages I used to make the video which you can review while watching.


agreement of purchase and sale

agreement of purchase and sale

agreement of purchase and sale

Continue reading

TREB, Zillow And Home Sales Data

Zillow’s partnership with Century 21 and the Toronto Real Estate Board’s recent loss to the Supreme Court clearly show which way the wind is blowing with regard to real estate home sales data.

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is being forced to share data on buyer agent commission rates, prior listings, previous sold prices and transactions that haven’t closed.

Zillow’s entry into the Canadian marketplace is sure to raise some eyebrows in Canadian real estate circles. The juggernaut has data on 110 million homes south of the border. Our market is a drop in the bucket by comparison.

But the news about Zillow and TREB won’t change what I do with the exception of providing data to the public at large.

I’m not afraid of greater transparency in my business, in fact I embrace it. I’ve been running a no sign-in-required listings feed since my first days and I publish local monthly housing statistics too. Data certainly helps me do my job but doesn’t play a huge role in getting me business. A consumer armed with the same data I have will hire me for reasons that have nothing at all to do with pricing.

I’m hired for my skill in

  • Marketing
  • Negotiating
  • Writing contracts
  • Communication
  • Collaboration

and knowledge of

  • The local real estate market
  • The listing process
  • The buying process
  • Housing of all types

and because I am

  • Responsive to my clients’ needs
  • Likeable
  • Trustworthy
  • Honest

This is truly the information age and it’s no surprise that greater transparency is coming. The Supreme Court has sided with the Competition Bureau against TREB. Zillow is here now. The public will absolutely benefit and I’m fine with that. Change? Bring it on….

How Do Real Estate Commissions Work?

How Real Estate Commissions Are Paid


On the surface a commission arrangement on a real estate transaction seems pretty simple. But each transaction is unique and like many things the devil is in the details.

So how do real estate commissions work and how do we get paid?

I’ll start with the easy stuff first.

Commission Agreements Between Agents, The Seller And Buyer

The seller pays a commission to the listing agent, who works for the listing brokerage, and to the buying agent and brokerage that buys the property for their client. This commission is determined prior to listing the property.

Because of this arrangement a home buyer typically pays no out of pocket expense for using an agent to buy properties.

Here in Kitchener-Waterloo a buying agent usually gets paid between 2 and 2 ½ percent of the sale price of the property + HST.

The listing agent gets paid anywhere from 1 to 3 percent of the sale price + HST.

An agent working with both buyer and seller is engaging in multiple representation, or double ending as it’s known in the industry. A double ending agent will usually offer a discount on commission in an attempt to make the buyer and seller happy.

Some agents and brokerages will list your property for as little as 1% + HST but these offers more often than not include caveats and exceptions that end up costing you more.

To each his own, but I’m a firm believer in the saying you get what you pay for…

Anyways, the total commission that’s ultimately agreed to is paid out to the listing brokerage upon closing by the seller’s lawyer. The listing brokerage then pays out the buying agent’s commission to the buyer brokerage.

Commission Agreements Between Agents and Their Brokerages

The commissions are further divided depending on the individual arrangements of each brokerage and the agents involved. This is known in the industry as the split…

This is also the complicated bit where the devil is in the details…

At many brokerages the split percentage changes at set intervals based on the volume of business the agent generates, and resets at the end of each year. Depending on where an agent is in the fiscal year they may pay as little as 5% to the brokerage or as much as 35% or more.

Some brokerages only ever take 5% from the agent but have sky high desk fees of over $1,000 a month that the agent pays instead. There are also brokerages with very low splits that have no brick and mortar offices and thus lower business expenses.

If an agent is on a team or got the sale from a referral the commission is divided up even further. The standard referral fee from another agent is 25%, and teams often charge the agent 50% or more.

As an example, a referral that was early in the year netted me only $3,900 on a sale price in the mid 500,000’s. But another more recent transaction at the same price brought me $9,200. And both properties paid my brokerage a 2% commission.

Anyway, that’s how it works. Simple eh?

Real estate sales are cratering around the GTA?

Real estate sales are cratering around the GTA. Is this a crash in the making?

Prices in Richmond Hill…..have dropped a whopping 43 per cent from the peak

The experience of York is a microcosm of what a wider housing crash in Canada might look like

If I wasn’t a Realtor with access to the statistics I’d be quaking in my boots!

This kind of writing is pure unadulterated hyperbole. Journalists and publishers desperate for website traffic will write anything it seems.

Is working people into a panic good for the economy in any way? This is irresponsible on so many levels.

I’m a numbers guy plain and simple, and the devil is always in the details.

Cherry picking data to generate traffic is not journalism. Macleans should do better.

Of course values are lower than the peak prices seen last spring, both here and in the GTA. We’ve had a government induced correction after all.

Wouldn’t it be better to consider the prices month over month since the Wynne Government’s Foreign Buyers Tax? Are prices falling? Are they going up? Are they stable? What is the trend?

The GTA data for the last half of 2017 and into this year shows relatively flat pricing. Average prices for all housing types have run in a band between $725,000 and $775,000 since June. Importantly the numbers are at the high end of the band right now. GTA prices have risen steadily over the last 3 months. They are higher than last August and are roughly on par with the September through November figures. Continue reading

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all

It’s Christmas time again and the brink of a new year. Many of us are free from the responsibilities of work and in need of food, cheer and relaxation. Some are reunited with loved ones from distant locales, while others themselves are traveling to reconnect.

It is a time of high stress too, so take a breath and a pause and understand that the holidays mean being good to everyone, including yourself.

While I am not a religious person I am sitting here writing about Christmas and getting ready for the holidays myself. It would be remiss of me not to mention that Jesus died to provide absolution for those who sin and choose to accept him as their saviour.

Christmas is a celebration of the Saviour’s birth, but conducting one’s life in the pursuit of good is virtuous on any day of the year.

Let us not forget this. Being good is something we can all understand, but our day to day conduct is what really matters. Look in your heart for guidance. Is your heart guiding you with hate and prejudice?

Goodness is about love, compassion, empathy, tolerance and of course one’s conduct here on earth.

Luke 6:31 ‘do to others as you would have them do to you.’ is truly a good place to start.

We only get one kick at the can before we ‘shuffle off this mortal coil’, so make the best of your life and your relationships!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year