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  • Sea to Sky Law

READ and understand BEFORE YOU SIGN !

The recent BC decision on 25 April 2022 enforced the usual clause in a real estate contract that the realtor commission is payable even though the property is not sold because the realtor had fulfilled his obligations thus the Listing Agreement was an enforceable contract. Most of us would be surprised at this result because we assume that we do not have to pay the sales commission if the property had not actually been sold but Listing Agreements are written to protect the realtor from spending many hours and dollars yet never be reimbursed.

At paragraph 76 the BC court approved the 2001 Ontario Court of Appeal decision, appeal refused by the SCC, which at paragraph 31 approved the 2000 BC Court of Appeal decision which confirmed our judicial system emphasizes "individual responsibility and self-reliance" and further at paragraph 32 that: "...the failure to read a contract before signing it is not a legally acceptable basis for refusing to abide by it." It is normal that we assume the best about the future, that any what-ifs will go well. But if a relationship has been confirmed in writing then you need to be careful. Words matter, and the court decision above confirmed that each of us have the responsibility to protect our own legal interests - that there is no duty in the opposing party to protect the other party from themselves.

Always read before you sign. Better yet - have a lawyer read the contract.

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