Sleeve and Exclusive Listings

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Sleeve and Exclusive Listings of Whistler Real Estate

What is the difference between a sleeve listing and an exclusive listing? These two terms get bandied around quite a bit, and usually with a lot of authority. Let’s explore the difference.

There are some owners who want to sell their property; however, they may not want the hassle of preparing the property to list on the MLS. In addition, some property owners just don’t want neighbours, family or friends to know their business. Therefore, telling their realtor to bring an offer covers these bases. The moment the owner mentions this to their realtor, the realtor will refer to this property as his sleeve listing. At this stage no documentation has been signed, it is all verbal. Therefore, the sleeve listing which is a verbal agreement, that may not stand up in court, comes before the exclusive listing.

BCFSA Interpretation

Simply stated, The British Columbia Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) is the governing body for realtors in BC. Here is their interpretation of exclusive listings:

Exclusive listing gives the seller’s brokerage the sole right to sell the home. This means that even if you sell the home to a prospect of your own during the term of the listing, you must pay the agreed commission to the seller’s brokerage unless that prospect was specifically excluded from the listing agreement.

“An exclusive listing gives the seller more control over who views the property for sale: Exclusive listings are more suitable for sellers who want to control who and how many people are going in and out of their homes during the sale of property.”

When Does a Sleeve Listing Become an Exclusive Listing?

The BC Government banned dual agency in June 2018; this ban included Whistler. In fact, within the majority of BC, the agent with knowledge of the sleeve listing has two options. Firstly, the agent can try and find a buyer who is willing to be unrepresented. This is a complex route and one not many experienced agents would now attempt. Secondly, the agent can contact his trustworthy colleague and inform that agent of the sleeve listing. This would be done with the hopes or the knowledge that the colleague has buyers who are seriously looking to purchase. Let’s look further at this second option.

Exclusive Listings From the Buyer’s Perspective

Pursuing an exclusive listing arises because a buyer narrows down the location of where they want to own in Whistler. When a client makes this decision, the buyer and their Whistler realtor should take a bow, as it is not easy to get to this stage. By focusing on a ski-in/out niche, I am more than halfway there with my clients. This is where my relationship with other realtors comes into play. By representing a ski-in ski-out niche, it is pretty much understood by my colleagues that there is a good chance at all times, I have someone looking for a ski-in ski-out property. In addition, I am constantly asking other agents if they know of any sleeve listings in the ski-in ski-out areas/developments in Whistler.

The Next Step

When I have a client looking for a property that is not listed, a Buyer’s Agency Agreement is the next step to search for a sleeve listing. Please note – another way to refer to a sleeve listing is by calling it an unlisted property. This form covers the purpose of the agreement and the agent’s compensation. More importantly, it is an essential document as it proves that the buyer is seriously looking to purchase Whistler real estate. As a buyer’s agent, I have more clout by telling a realtor that my client has already signed a Buyer’s Agency Agreement and they will cover my compensation. In other words, it speaks volumes about the credibility of the buyer.

Final Step

At this point the buyer’s agent prepares the offer. In the meantime, the other agent has contacted the seller who owns the sleeve listing and tells them that in order to bring in this offer, an Exclusive Listing Agreement (ELA) will need to be signed. Once the ELA has been signed, the Sleeve listing is now an Exclusive Listing and there is a contractual agreement between the owner of the property and the agent who will be representing them.

If you think I would be a good fit to work with you and your family, and you are not already working with a Whistler realtor, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

It’s a Good Life in Whistler!


Marion Anderson Personal Real Estate Corporation (604) 938-3885