Sellers Guide

Role of the real estate brokerage representatives

Selling real estate requires extensive technical knowledge. This is why we recommend that you use the services of a real estate brokerage professional in order to make sure that all the steps involved in selling real estate are completed according to good trade practices.

The main function of the real estate brokerage representative is to act as intermediary in the purchase, sale or rental of real estate. Thus they play a prospecting role by finding real estate for the buyer and a client for the seller; they play a negotiating role by facilitating communications between the parties involved and, mainly, they play an advisory role and help the parties define their needs and complete their real estate transaction in a satisfactory manner.

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Distinction between real estate broker and brokerage representative

The differences between a real estate broker and brokerage representative have to do with their respective levels of responsibility.

A real estate broker licence may be issued to a person, not a company, and allows the holder to employ or authorize to the act on his behalf a person who holds a real estate brokerage representative licence. A brokerage representative is only authorized to act on behalf of the broker. Under the law, the broker bears full responsibility for the professional actions of the brokerage representative representing the brokerage.

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Compulsory Licencing

All real estate brokerage representatives in Nova Scotia must hold a licence issued by the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission. The consumer who carries out a real estate transaction through a non-licensed person is not protected under the Real Estate Trading Act, since the protection mechanisms only apply when the consumer deals with a professional recognized under the law. Before you do anything, check with the Commission to make sure your broker or brokerage representative is the holder of a licence issued by the Commission.

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Duties and obligations of real estate brokerage representatives

Real estate brokerage is an activity which is regulated and controlled in order to protect the activity which is regulated and controlled in order to protect the public in real estate transactions. The Real Estate Trading Act, the By-Law of the Commission and the Policies and Procedures of the Commission define how the profession should be practiced, so that consumers may be served fairly and competently.

Loyalty to the customer

Real estate brokerage representatives are bound by a strict obligation of loyalty to their clients, whose rights they are bound to promote and protect. They must act equitably toward each party to a real estate transaction.

Obligation to disclose

If your real estate brokerage representative has a personal relationship with the other party or if the brokerage representative is acting on their own behalf, the brokerage representative must inform you prior to the signing of the agreement of purchase and sale.

Similarly, if your real estate brokerage representative is to receive compensation from a financial institution or a professional they recommend, they must also inform you.

Advising and informing objectively and accurately

The brokerage representative must advise and inform the parties to a transaction objectively and must provide them with all the explanations they need to fully understand and appreciate the services being provided. They must also inform the parties of any factor which could negatively impact the transaction.

The brokerage representative must also be able to demonstrate the accuracy of the information they provide using relevant documentation. This information verification principle must be upheld throughout the sales process, as the brokerage representative is responsible for the information they are providing.

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Consumer protection mechanisms

Professional development

The issuance of a licence by the Commission is conditional on the successful completion of the Salesperson Licensing Course. This compulsory training is a prerequisite to take the profession's entrance examination.

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Entrance examination

The profession's entrance examination is a mechanism that ensures that a real estate brokerage representative has the knowledge and competence required to provide adequate service.

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Brokerage audit

The role of the Registrar is to ensure that the work methods of real estate brokerage representatives are in accordance with the rules of the profession. To verify this, the Compliance Officer carries out inspections of brokerages and makes recommendations as necessary.

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Registar

The Registrar is the senior staff person at the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission and is responsible for the administration of the Real Estate Trading Act and the Commission By-Law and policies. The Registrar investigates when there is reason to believe that a brokerage representative has violated the rules that govern the profession. The Registrar has the authority to lay charges with the Commissions' Discipline Committee if necessary.

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Discipline Committee

The Discipline Committee has the authority to impose fines, require further education, and, to suspend or cancel a violator's right to practice if they do not conform with current regulations. It cannot, however, compensate or indemnify victims.

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Professional liability insurance

Real estate brokerage representatives are required to take out errors and omissions insurance.

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Recovery Fund

The Recovery Fund has the authority to compensate consumers in case of fraud or breach of trust where a brokerage representative has caused a customer or client a financial loss.

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Agency

Brokerage representatives may or may not have an agency relationship with you. If you are a client then, there will be an agency relationship, if you are a customer then there is not an agency relationship. As a client, the brokerage representative and brokerage have a much higher level of responsibility to you than if you are a customer. The following sections give an explanation of agency and the obligations brokerage representative have to both clients and customers

Sellers or Buyers Agency - with you as a client

Most sellers and buyers have agency relationship with a brokerage, the brokerage representative has the authority to represent you in dealings with others they are using. When you are in an agency relationship with a brokerage, brokerage representatives has the authority to represent you in dealings with others.

Brokerages and their representatives are legally obligated to protect and promote the interests of their principals (clients). Specifically, the brokerage representative has the following duties:

Undivided loyalty. The brokerage representative must protect the principal's negotiating position at all times, and disclose all known facts which may affect or influence the principal's decision.

  1. To obey all lawful instructions of the principal.
  2. An obligation to keep the confidences of the principal.
  3. The exercise of reasonable care and skill in performing all assigned duties.
  4. The duty to account for all money and property placed in a brokerage representative's hands while acting for the principal.

You can expect competent service from your brokerage representative, knowing that the brokerage is bound by ethics and the law to be honest and thorough in representing a buyer or representing a property listed for sale. Both the buyer and seller can be represented by their own brokerage representatives in a single transaction.

Transaction Brokerage - with both the buyer and seller as a client
Transaction Brokerage occurs when a brokerage representative or brokerage is representing both the buyer and seller in the same transaction. Since the brokerage representative has promised a duty of confidentiality, loyalty and full disclosure to both parties simultaneously, it is necessary to limit these duties in this situation, if both parties consent.

If you find yourself involved in a transaction brokerage relationship, before making or receiving an offer, both you and the other party will be asked to consent in writing to this new limited agency relationship.

This relationship involves the following limitations:

The brokerage representative will deal with the Seller and the Buyer impartially;

  1. The Agent will have a duty of disclosure to both the Seller and the Buyer except that,
    1. the brokerage representative will not disclose that the Buyer is will to pay a price or agree to terms other than those contained in the Offer, or that the Seller is willing to accept a price or terms other than those contained in the Listing;
    2. the brokerage representative will not disclose the motivation of the Buyer to buy or the Seller to sell unless authorized by the Buyer or Seller;
    3. the brokerage representative will not disclose personal information about either the Buyer or the Seller unless authorized in writing;
  2. The brokerage representative will disclose to the buyer defects about the physical condition of the property known to the Agent;
  3. The brokerage representative may disclose all comparable property information to the Buyer and the Seller at any time;
  4. the brokerage representative will not be required to disclose to the Buyer of the Seller confidential information obtained through any other existing or former agency relationship.

No Agency- with you as a customer
You may also choose to use the services of a brokerage representative without having any kind of agency relationship. This might occur, for example, when you are being shown a property by the Seller's representative.

The brokerage representative you choose to work with in this manner has a legal and ethical duty to provide you with accurate, honest answers to your questions and can provide all these services:

Explain real estate terms and practices

  • Provide and explain forms used
  • Assist you in screening and viewing properties
  • Inform you of lenders and their policies
  • Identify and estimate costs involved in a transaction
  • Assist you in establishing your range of affordability
  • Prepare offers or counter offers at your direction
  • Present all offers promptly

A brokerage representative who is not your agent cannot:

Recommend or suggest a price

  • Negotiate on your behalf
  • Inform you of his/her principal's top/bottom line
  • Disclose any confidential information about his/her principal unless otherwise authorized

You should not provide a brokerage representative who is not your agent with any information that you would not provide directly to the other party.

All Buyers and Sellers, whether in an agency relationship with a brokerage representative or not, will be given an agency brochure and asked to sign an acknowledgement that they have been provided this agency information and had an opportunity to review it.

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The listing contract (Seller Brokerage Agreement)

If you entrust the sale of your home to a real estate brokerage, you will be required to sign a listing contract. The listing contract establishes a professional relationship between you and your brokerage for a given period of time. It details the obligations of the brokerage and the seller. It is officially called the "Seller Brokerage Agreement".

Types of listing contracts

Exclusive listing contract
In an exclusive listing contract, the seller agrees not to use the services of another brokerage for the sale of his property. This type of contract guarantees to the brokerage that their efforts to sell the home will be compensated at the time of the sale. The seller can also expect their brokerage to devote maximum time and effort to sell the property. The brokerage will cooperate with other brokerages unless instructed otherwise by the seller.

Non-exclusive listing contract
In a non-exclusive listing contract, the owner retains the right to sell his property through another brokerage of their choice. This type of contract, although it may appear advantageous at first glance, can have a major drawback in that the broker risks losing his compensation to a competing brokerage, regardless of the efforts they may have put in, which could lead to devoting less energy to the sale of your property.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®)
A property can be listed exclusively with the option of placing it on the MLS®, which is a cooperative marketing system of member brokerages. This means the property is marketed through the MLS® where the information on the property will be shared with all members of the MLS® system. The MLS® is operated under licence by the Canadian Real Estate Association.

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Contents of the listing contract

The listing contract specifies the obligations to which the brokerage and the seller have agreed. The following are the main elements of the contract must contain.

Identification of the parties
The listing contract must identify the parties bound by it and should include the following information:

  • Name of the brokerage;
  • Name(s) and address(es) of the owner(s). In the case of a company or an estate, the company name and the name of the person representing it must be indicated. If the seller is acting through a representative, a power of attorney must be provided to the broker.

Note: It is very important that your brokerage representative verify that you are the sole owner of the real estate. If your spouse is also an owner, you do not have the authority to represent him/her without first obtaining a power of attorney drawn up by your lawyer.

Term of contract
The term specifies when the contract will expire.

Description of the real estate
When you want to sell your home, several important details must be collected and verified right from the beginning (lot size, amount of taxes, general condition of the house and its main components, etc.). It is essential that you provide your brokerage representative with all the information pertaining to the real estate, as well as all documents that will allow them to fulfill their role.

The listing contract must contain a detailed description of the real estate, including:

  • address;
  • lot measurements and area;
  • property details and;
  • what does or does not remain.

In the case of a condominium, you also have to specify the number of parking and storage spaces included in the sale and their identification numbers.

Selling price
An essential step in the sale of your home is to set a realistic selling price. To do so, you need to know the current status of the market. Your brokerage representative can give you an idea of the estimated value of your home by comparing it to similar properties currently up for sale, recently sold, or that have failed to sell (expired), in the same area. This will make it easier for you to set a fair competitive price.

You also have to identify the elements that can act positively or negatively on the value of your home:

  • location;
  • size;
  • age and condition of the real estate;
  • number and layout of rooms;
  • construction materials used;
  • landscaping;
  • features specific to the area
  • etc.

This exercise may lead you to reduce the asking price for your property, because a price that is too high compared to the market will drive buyers away and, therefore, have a direct impact on the amount of time it takes to sell you property. Remember, real estate that remains on the market for too long tends to lose value in the eyes of buyers.

Should the owner wish to change the asking price or any other details during the contract, an "Amendment" form must be completed.

Mortgage Repayment Penalty
If the buyer chooses not to take over your mortgage, which is usually the case, you will have to pay back your mortgage loan and have the mortgage cancelled at your expense. The cancellation of your mortgage loan may carry a penalty which you will have to pay at the time of the sale (see Table 2, for the detail of expenses to plan for).

Inclusions and exclusions
The question of included or excluded items must be examined closely before the listing contract is signed. This step of the sale process is too often a cause of dispute between sellers and buyers. This is why we recommend that you specify as many elements as possible. The best is to cover each item which could lead to confusion by specifying those which are included and those which are specifically excluded; such as:

  • furnace;
  • water heater or heat pump
  • air conditioning;
  • curtain rods and blinds;
  • appliances;
  • central vacuum system;
  • electrical fixtures;
  • alarm system;
  • etc.

Note: See definitions in glossary for fixtures and chattels.

Condominiums
The listing contract mentions the reserve and contingency funds when this type of real estate is involved. The expenses related to the maintenance and administration of common areas of the property held by the condominium corporation are paid through this fund, which is set up by the condominium to deal with expenses. It is important to note that the sums invested in the fund are not recoverable at the time of the sale of the condominium property. These sums must be considered the same as property taxes.

Occupancy and signing of the deed transfer
The dates of the occupancy should be specified in the listing contract. The buyer may propose different dates in the offer to purchase, but these are subject to the seller's approval in the same way as the other clauses in the offer to purchase. However, they can be negotiated if necessary.

Promotional activities
When a listing agreement is being reviewed with your brokerage representative, it is a good idea to discuss promotional activities (listing with Multiple Listing Services System®, advertising, open houses, etc.) to promote the sale of the real estate. These activities must be discussed prior to the signing of the brokerage contract so that the owner-seller knows what to expect.

The Multiple Listing Service® (MLS)® is no doubt one of the most frequently used promotional tools, as it informs the brokerage representatives who work in your area that your property is on the market. This service is a central directory listing all the real estate for sale in a given region. Now available on the Internet, the Multiple Listing Service® is an effective promotional tool.

If you wish to use this service, you will have to initial the appropriate section on the listing contract.

Brokerage's compensation
The amount and condition of the brokerage's compensation must be specified in the listing contract. The brokerage's compensation is usually based on a percentage of the real estate's selling price, but it can also be a fixed sum. The compensation is normally paid on the closing of the sale.

Declarations by the seller
The seller must use reasonable means to provide accurate information to the brokerage. The Property Condition Disclose Statement must, therefore, include any factor which might reduce the value of the house. For example, was there ever flooding of the house? Is there a particular feature of the real estate which renders it uninsurable or increases the insurance premium?

Are you a non-resident? If so, you must provide a guarantee that you will pay certain taxes imposed by federal authorities. This is usually accomplished by holding back a percentage of the proceeds at closing until the tax requirements (Capital Gains Tax) are resolved. This is done by your lawyer.

Obligations of the seller
The listing contract clearly states the obligations of the seller. These obligations deal with exclusivity, the contract term and the details describing the real estate.

Obligations of the brokerage
The obligations of the brokerage are also specified in the listing contract. They deal with loyalty, competence, duty to inform and verify information, advertising, obligations to disclose, conflicts of interest, etc.

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Signing of the listing contract
Take the time to read your contract with your brokerage representative before signing it and do not hesitate to ask questions if any clause is unclear.

Verification of information
Your brokerage representative will give you a copy of your home's detailed information sheet so that you can make sure the statement on the listing contract reflects reality. If the sheet contains errors, the brokerage representative must correct them and give you a revised copy. The listing sheet will be used to market the property and will be supplied to any person interested in the property.

Effective date
The listing contract becomes effective from the time you received your duplicate of the contract signed by the seller and the brokerage representative. The term cannot be changed unless the brokerage and seller agree.

Holdover clause
Listing agreements contain a clause to protect the brokerage for the work it did during the listing period. The holdover clause requires the seller to pay the commission to the brokerage should a buyer, that was introduced to the property during the listing, enter into a Purchase and Sale Agreement with the seller during the holdover period, usually 180 days after the listing expires.

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Showing your home to its best advantage
Part of the success in selling your home depends on the impression which potential buyers will have when they view it. Showing it off properly is, therefore, of prime importance. Many elements can help you get the best possible price for your property. Some involve upfront expenses, which can probably be recovered when you sell your house. You will find below a Preparation checklist to help you plan how you will prepare your home.

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First impressions
First impressions have a considerable impact on a person's perception after a visit. Therefore, certain visual aspects must be reviewed. Is the outside of the house in good condition? Do gutters need repairs? Is the garage neat? Have broken windows been replaced? Has the grass been cut and raked? Do the hedges and shrubs need trimming? In winter, has the snow been removed? Does the doorbell work? Are the door trimmings in good condition?

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Indoor aspect
Have cracks been repaired? Are paint touch-ups necessary? Have leaky faucets been repaired? Are there any burnt out bulbs? Do doors need a drop of oil?

Bathrooms
Are the bathrooms shiny? Has the bathtub been recaulked? Are the floors clean?

Kitchen
Is a thorough cleaning required? Are the sink and faucets clean? Are cupboards impeccable both inside and out?

Atmosphere
Have lights been turned on? Is the furnace on if it's cold? Is there a fire in the fireplace when it's cold? Are curtains open during the day? Have you thought of putting on a little soft music? Do your plants and flowers look healthy? Have animals been removed or locked up for the showing? Is ventilation adequate?

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Preparation checklist
Make a list of the work required to show your home to its best advantage. The perception of visitors towards it will be even better. Maybe you can do some of the work yourself to help sell your property without going to too much expense. However, some repairs may require the services of a paid professional. Although these may not guarantee that the selling price will go up to compensate for the cost, they will at least increase your chances of selling your property more quickly.


Preparation checklist
  To Do Cost   To Do Cost
Checking fixtures     Cleaning    
    - heating         - walls    
    - electrical system         - floors    
    - water         - lights    
    - air conditioning         - windows    
    - other         - doors    
            - cupboards    
            - baths    
            - showers    
            - storage spaces    
            - curtains    
            - appliances    
            - garage    
            - garden house    
            - other    
Painting     Repairs & Maintenance    
    - entrance         - siding    
    - kitchen         - roof    
    - living room         - windows    
    - restroom         - doors    
    - bedrooms         - garage    
    - bathrooms         - garden house    
    - basement         - landscaping    
    - outside panellings         - fence    
    - fence         - deck or balcony    
    - terrace or balcony         - paths    
    - pool         - pool    
    - garden house         - parking    
    - other         - other    
             
Total cost:     Total cost:    

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Selling Expenses
Some additional expenses have to be expected when selling real estate, to pay for the operations that are at the seller's expense. Following is a list of the main expenses you may plan for.
Calculating selling expenses
  Mortgage loan balance: $__________
+ Real estate brokerage or agent commission: $__________
+ Appraisal fee (if applicable): $__________
+ Legal Fees: $__________
+ Disbursements: $__________
+ Mortgage payout penalty: $__________
= Property tax adjustment: $__________
  Total selling expenses: $__________

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Net proceeds from the sale

The net proceeds from the sale is the residual amount deriving from the sale once all selling expenses have been deducted, see Table 3.
Calculating the Net Proceeds from the Sale
  Selling price of the real estate: $__________
- Total selling expenses: $__________
= Net proceeds from the sale: $__________

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Agreement of Purchase and Sale
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale is a contract through which a person undertakes to purchase real estate. In return, the document also indicates that the seller undertakes to sell the real estate once the Agreement of Purchase and Sale has been accepted.

It should be noted that the use of the Commission approved Agreement of Purchase and Sale form is a compulsory form for residential real estate when a brokerage representative is providing the documentation.

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Content of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale content is designed to protect both buyers and sellers. It is important to make sure that the information contained therein is in accordance with that of the listing contract.

Identification of the parties
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale must identify the parties bound by contract, i.e. the seller and the buyer. It should also indicate the names and addresses of the seller and buyer.

Object and term of the contract
As its name indicates, the object of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale is the purchase of real estate. The term sets a deadline after which the Agreement of Purchase and Sale becomes null and void.

Description of real estate
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale should contain a detailed description of the real estate (including property identification number(s) [PID]), including street address and items to be included as well as conditions to be met.

If the real estate is a condominium, the contract must specify the number of parking and storage spaces and their identification numbers.

Price and deposit
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale must indicate clearly the purchase price offered by the buyer. The price statement usually indicates that the payment will be made in full upon the closing.

When presenting an Agreement of Purchase and Sale, the buyer may give the listing brokerage a deposit on the purchase of the real estate. There is a section to this effect in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. The deposit must be placed in a brokerage trust account and will be deducted from the balance to be paid upon the closing. Normally the deposit cheque will be deposited into the brokerage's trust account once the offer or counter offer has been accepted.

Declarations and obligations of the buyer
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale contains a clause stipulating that the buyer has examined the real estate and declares that they are satisfied therewith. In the case of a condominium, the agreement specifies that the buyer will examine the declaration of the condominium, including the by-laws of the condominium and the reserve fund, and declares whether or not the buyer is satisfied therewith. It is, therefore, important to read this document.

Delivery of the real estate
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale contains a clause by which the seller promises to deliver the real estate in the condition in which it was when the buyer examined it.

Pre-closing viewing
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale contains a clause that allows the buyer to view the property, before closing, to ensure it is in the same condition as it was when the offer was made.

Costs relating to repayment and cancellation
The costs relating to the repayment and cancellation of any debt secured by a mortgage and not assumed by the buyer must be borne by the seller.

Ownership documents
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale states the obligations of the seller regarding the titles of ownership. Thus, the seller must supply the buyer with a valid title of ownership, free of any debt, charge or other restriction of private or public law other than the usual easements. The seller's lawyer must, therefore, supply authentic copies of the deed.

Defect or irregularity
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale has a mechanism to protect the buyer who finds a defect or irregularity in the property after signing the offer to purchase. This is called an inspection clause.

Declarations and obligations common to the parties
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale contains a number of declarations and obligations which apply to both parties:

  • the adjustments relating to property taxes, general taxes, co-ownership expenses, fuel reserves and income or expenses relating to the real estate;
  • the date of closing;
  • the inclusions and exclusions.

Reference to addendums
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale may contain a reference to addendums and schedules. These are part of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.

Conditions of acceptance
The conditions of acceptance of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale sets a deadlines for two specific aspects of the offer, i.e. acceptance and notification. The acceptance deadline of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale sets a time and date that the offer is open for acceptance by the seller and by which the buyer must be notified that the offer has been accepted. This deadline is important: if not adhered to, the offer is null and void. Once all terms are agreed to by both the buyer and the seller, the offer to purchase becomes an Agreement of Purchase and Sale.

Signatures
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale must include the buyer's and seller's signatures as well as that of their respective spouses, if applicable. Each copy must bear the original signature of each of the parties. In addition, a witness's signature is recommended. Should there be any changes or additions to the wording of the agreement, they must be initialled by all parties.

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Remember!

Make sure you read and understand any offer you receive as this will become a legal contract. Ask your brokerage representative any questions you may have so that no doubt remains in your mind.

Declarations
Your declarations in the listing contract must also appear in the offer. If some elements do not appear, you can add them using a counter offer.

Checking the dates
Make sure the dates for the closing, the conditions and the occupancy are in accordance with your needs and do not turn over the real estate until the closing is complete.

Inclusions and exclusions and conditions
Make sure the included and excluded items are indicated in your consent and that the buyer's conditions are achievable in the time period specified.

Receiving offers
As seller, you have the right to receive all offers presented as a result of the listing of your real estate. You are completely free to reply or not to reply to them.

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The counter-offer
The owner-seller of real estate, you may accept or refuse any offer to them. They may also make a counter-offer. The first purpose of the counter-offer to the buyer is to signify that the offer as written has been rejected, but that the seller would be agreeable to the offer if specific changes or additions are made.

The counter-offer form may also be used to include or exclude certain items, change the selling price or simply to further clarify the offer. The buyer in turn may not accept the counter-offer, and wish to make a new offer.

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Conditions of acceptance
The conditions of acceptance of the counter-offer set a deadline for its acceptance and notification. Therefore, the deadline for accepting the counter offer is a date and time by which the seller cannot withdraw the counter-offer, and by which the acceptance by the buyer is given to the seller in order to be valid.

Any counter-offer should include a reasonable deadline (usually between 12 and 24 hours) by which the counter-offer must be refused or accepted.

If the counter-offer is accepted, the property will be considered sold, although the transaction will only become official upon closing. However, the transaction cannot be completed as long as all of the conditions of the contract have not been fulfilled. Therefore, a maximum deadline must be set for the conditions to be carried out, in order that the closing can be finalized.

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The property transfer
Once the offer or the counter-offer has been accepted, the next step is to make the transaction official. The two main components at this stage are the title examination and the closing. The property transfer requires the services of a lawyer, but your real estate broker or brokerage representative continues to play a central role at this step of the real estate transaction. Among other things, he will make sure that all documents required are available and will bring assistance in case any problem arises.

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Title examination
The lawyer will do the necessary research in order to guarantee marketable title of ownership. The lawyer will verify that the seller is indeed the owner of the real estate, whether they have the right and the ability to sell, if a spouse or other persons must consent to the sale, etc.

All property sales in Nova Scotia are now registered through the new Land Registration Act requirements and the government certifies title. This means all property that changes hands in Nova Scotia must be converted over to the new Land Registry System. Should the property not currently be on the new system, it will be the seller's responsibility, through their lawyer, to take necessary steps to convert the title over to the new system, at the seller's expense.

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The closing
The final step of the transaction is the closing which involves completion of the necessary legal and mortgage documents. This is usually completed after the buyer has completed their pre-closing viewing.

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Registration of rights of ownership
Once the closing is final, the lawyer will register the transaction with the Registry of Deeds. The lawyer may retain the funds until this step has been completed.

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The Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission
Dealing with professionals to ensure first-rate service!
Created by the Real Estate Trading Act, the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission (NSREC) has as its main mission, ensuring the protection of the public by overseeing the activities of all real estate brokerage professionals. Among other things, it ensures that brokerage representatives carry out their activities in accordance with the Act and regulations currently in effect.

Among the bodies contributing to the protection of the public in the field of real estate brokerage, the Registrar of the NSREC, whose role consists of overseeing the activities of the brokerage representatives, including auditing their records, accounts and actions. The Registrar may order an investigation and lay charges if a broker or brokerage representative refuses to follow the Act and Commission By-Law.

The Commission's Compliance Officer investigates if there is reason to believe that a brokerage representative has acted improperly, and may recommend charges to the Registrar if necessary. Any brokerage representative who does not act in accordance with the Act and the regulations governing the profession could be charged and required to appear before the Discipline Committee, which has the authority to impose fines, suspend violators or even revoke their right to practice.

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Do you have a problem?

Are you dealing with a real estate brokerage representative and are unhappy with the service you are getting?
The first thing to do is to discuss the problem with your brokerage representative. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the discussion, contact the broker or manager of the brokerage where your brokerage representative is based. If this yields no results or if you feel you have received no information leading you to believe that everything is being handled properly, contact the Commission's Compliance Officer, who can get the information you need to clarify the situation and find out about your rights.

Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission
7 Scarfe Court
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B3B 1W4
Phone: (902) 468-3511 or 1 (800) 390-1015
Fax: (902) 468-2533 or 1 (800) 390-1016
Email: info@nsrec.ns.ca

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