Property off the market, termination of contract and property temporarily unavailable: Concepts not to be confused
Property off the market and termination
Sometimes the seller may no longer wish to sell his immovable. If this is your case during the term of an irrevocable brokerage contract, your broker may, after agreement, put an end to the contract (termination). If there is no contract termination agreement, he must take the property off the market after explaining to you the consequences of this decision.
When the brokerage contract is revocable, the seller who wishes to terminate it may simply do so by sending a written notice to that effect to the agency.
Unlike termination that puts an end to the brokerage contract and by the same token the obligations of seller and his broker, taking a property off the market is rather an agreement between the seller’s broker and his client in which some of the broker’s obligations are suspended until the expiration of the brokerage contract.
Although the contract remains in force until its end date, the broker can no longer take any action to sell the immovable, or enter into an agreement to sell, lease or exchange it. As the contract is not terminated, the seller, for his part, is not released of his contract obligations towards the broker. This means, among other things, that in the case of an exclusive brokerage contract sale, the seller cannot offer the immovable for sale without the broker’s intervention nor list the property with another broker, until the end date indicated on the contract. Otherwise, the compensation indicated in the exclusive brokerage contract would become payable.
Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, there should be no fees for taking the property off the market.
Immovable not available for visits
If, as a seller, you do not want your immovable to be visited for a certain period, an amendment must be made to the brokerage contract using the mandatory form “Amendments” to specify the period during which the property cannot be visited. In this case, it is not about a property off the market because the property will continue to be offered for sale. Accordingly, broker’s obligations will not be suspended.
The information must be sent immediately to the information dissemination service indicated in the brokerage contract in order to notify all potential buyers’ brokers, if applicable. The latter can then delay the visits of their clients or, if the promising buyer wants to make a promise to purchase, brokers should draft one which will be conditional upon the visit to the immovable.
Please read the following articles:
- Brokerage contract: The right to change one's mind
- Termination of a brokerage contract
- The real estate broker’s right to compensation after the expiry of the brokerage contract