factA new Real Estate Council survey reveals 41 per cent of homeowners and 45 per cent of first-time homebuyers wish they had done something differently when buying or selling their home.

Among things buyers/sellers reported wishing they had approached differently when purchasing or selling their home was having a better grasp of the process (buying process: 26%; selling process 12%), seeing more houses (buying process: 21%), having a home inspection (buying process: 15%), spending more time researching and interviewing real estate professionals before selecting one (selling process: 9%), and understanding the contracts involved better (buying process: 14%; selling process: 9%).

Real Estate Fact or Fiction?
The survey reveals that a surprising number of homeowners don’t know the facts when it comes to undertaking one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives, regardless of their age or previous experience buying or selling a home.

Contract confusion

  • 52 per cent of those surveyed incorrectly think buyer and seller representation agreements are standardized, when many terms and conditions in real estate contracts, such as how long they will remain in effect, are actually to be discussed between the brokerage and the client.
  • 43 per cent report there were sections of the real estate contract when they bought or sold a home that they did not fully understand.
  • More than one-third of Ontario homeowners (36 per cent) mistakenly think that after a real estate contract is signed, a buyer or seller has a trial period during which they can cancel it, and an additional 33 per cent said they do not know.
  • 26 per cent incorrectly believe that signing a representation agreement to buy or sell a home with one brokerage doesn’t limit a buyer or seller from working with representatives from another brokerage (21 per cent did not know).

Multiple representation

  • A majority of respondents (58 per cent) could not identify the conditions under which a real estate professional could represent both a buyer and a seller in a transaction.
  • Only 42 per cent correctly know that real estate professionals may represent both sides in a deal only if the parties agree to “multiple representation” in writing. (Nineteen per cent incorrectly think real estate professionals are able to act for only one party.)


  • 55 per cent incorrectly believe that if you place a conditional offer on a home and the deal doesn’t proceed, you automatically get your deposit back. In fact, a deposit—which is held in trust by a brokerage—can only be released if both buyer and seller agree, or by court order.

Every home is unique and so is the contract to buy it or sell it. Signing your name on the dotted line is not something to be taken lightly when you’re dealing with binding contracts for significant values, so be comfortable with the details before they sign anything.

More importantly, make sure you’re working with a  GREAT REAL ESTATE AGENT.

Call me if you need a Great Referral.

Read more: Real Estate Council

Source: Real Estate Council

Mark Fidgett is a Vancouver mortgage broker and the driver behind


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