I just listed my home, and my real estate agent told me we had to hire someone to professionally measure my home. The measurement was done, and now my agent sent me the bill. What should I do?
The first thing you need to do is check your Seller Representation Agreement (listing agreement). That agreement outlines your responsibilities and the responsibilities of your real estate professional, including who is responsible for costs that may be arise during the listing. If the agreement you signed states the seller is responsible for additional costs, or it states the seller is responsible for paying third-party services, such as measurement companies or photographers, you’re going to have to pay that bill.
More and more residential real estate professionals are hiring professional measurement companies to measure their listings, but it’s not a requirement. There is a requirement to measure residential properties before listing them, but real estate professionals are allowed to do the measuring themselves.
If, for whatever reason, your real estate professional doesn’t want to do the measurement themselves, that’s fine. There are services out there that will do property measuring according to the required standards, but those professional measurement services come with a cost. Some real estate professionals may pass the cost on to their seller clients and set that out in the listing agreement, while others will see it as a business expense, for which they will eventually be compensated through the commissions they earn on the sale.
If your agreement doesn’t specifically indicate you, as the seller, will have to pay for or otherwise reimburse your real estate professional for third-party services, your real estate professional cannot require you to pay for such a service.
If your real estate professional continues to request payment or otherwise attempt to force you to pay, please discuss it with their broker.
“Ask Charles” is a question and answer column by Charles Stevenson, Director of Professional Standards with the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA), www.reca.ca. RECA is the independent, non-government agency responsible for the regulation of Alberta’s real estate industry. We license, govern, and set the standards of practice for all real estate, mortgage brokerage, and real estate appraisal professionals in Alberta. To submit a question, email firstname.lastname@example.org.