Your Obligations

As a seller, you have a number of obligations—both to your real estate agent, and to consumers who may want to buy your home.

Review the obligations below and check out our Home Seller’s Guide for more information on selling a home in Alberta.

At the beginning of your working relationship with your real estate professional, they will ask you to sign a written service agreement outlining the services they will provide, how they will be paid, and so on, but the agreement will also outline your obligations as a client.

You must:

  • give the agent any information or facts that could affect the transaction or their ability to act as your agent.
  • pay the fees you’ve agreed to pay your agent. Your written agreement will list these fees.
  • pay the agent’s expenses as outlined in your agreement.

The first obligation is extremely important. Your professional will attempt to sell your property to the best of their ability, but if they don’t have all the facts, they’re hampered from the start.

A material latent defect is a physical defect that is not visible and makes a property:

  • dangerous or potentially dangerous
  • unfit to live in
  • unfit for a buyer’s purpose

These are defects that may not be discoverable during a visual inspection of the property, even by a professional home inspector.

Material latent defects may also include:

  • defects that would be very expensive to repair
  • when a seller has received a notice from a local government or authority that something about the property must be fixed
  • when the seller does not have appropriate building or other permits for the property

These are things your professional will not know unless you tell them. If defects are discovered by a buyer during an inspection, or by their own real estate professional or lawyer when they review permits, real property reports, or title, it could put the transaction in jeopardy.

Examples of material latent defects
  • a seller finished the basement of their house and in the process covered a large crack in the basement wall that affects the structure
  • a seller finished the basement of their house, or built an addition or a garage, without the appropriate permits
  • a seller knows that whenever it rains, water enters the house
  • large amounts of cannabis were previously grown in the home and the property hasn’t been remediated. The growing conditions for cannabis create an ideal environment for potentially dangerous mould and mould spores and these may linger and continue to make the property unfit to live in if it hasn’t been remediated

Sellers cannot hide defects or mislead buyers about the property’s condition or other attributes. You must disclose all material latent defects that you know about.

Your real estate professional must also disclose to buyers any material latent defects they know about. Real estate professionals cannot help hide or disguise material latent defects.

In Alberta, if you are married, but your spouse isn’t a registered owner on your property title, you may need their consent in order to sell the property. The seller representation agreement refers to spousal consent, and your real estate professional can provide you with more information. Dower rights originate from the Dower Act.

You must tell your real estate professional if you have a spouse who is not on title, and they can help you obtain written spousal consent to sell the property.

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