Brokerage contract: The right to change one's mind

Signing a brokerage contract is an act that should be taken seriously. However, we all have the right to change our mind. This is why you may – within a certain time period and under certain conditions – terminate any contract signed between you and a real estate broker to sell, buy, lease or exchange a residential property. This is called the right of withdrawal.

What contract is it?

The right of withdrawal applies when you have signed a contract with a broker to enable him to act as an exclusive intermediary for the purchase, sale, lease or exchange of a residential property, i.e. a portion or the whole of an immovable containing less than five dwellings, or a fraction of an immovable held in co-ownership.

Conditions to be met

To avail yourself of the right of withdrawal, you must notify the broker in writing within three days of receipt of a duplicate of contract signed by you and the broker. See the explanations below in the "How to calculate the three-day period” section.

Although you may submit, from hand to hand, the notice stating that you are terminating the brokerage contract, it is recommended to send the notice by registered mail in order to keep a transmission proof in due time. The contract shall be terminated once the notice is sent or submitted to the broker or to the broker’s agency. 

Does it cost something?

The broker who receives such a notice on time may not claim any remuneration, except in the case where a real estate transaction takes place within 180 days following the end of the brokerage contract with a person who showed interest in the property during the term of the exclusive brokerage contract, unless a new exclusive brokerage contract was given in good faith to another licence holder.

How to calculate the three-day period

To determine the maximum time period within which the right of withdrawal must be exercised, the following principles needs to be taken into account:

  • The day marking the starting point is not counted, but the last day is;
  • The non-juridical days (see the list below) are counted;
  • If the last day falls on a non-juridical day, the deadline is extended to the next juridical day.

The non-juridical days are:

  • a Saturday (it is considered as a non-juridical day);
  • a Sunday;
  • January 1 and 2;
  • Good Friday;
  • Easter Monday;
  • Monday before May 25, Patriots Day (Victoria Day);
  • June 24, Quebec’s National Holiday (St-John Baptist);
  • July 1, Canada Day (Anniversary of Confederation), or July 2 if the 1st falls on a Sunday;
  • 1st Monday in September, Labour Day;
  • 2nd Monday in October, Thanksgiving Day;
  • December 25, Christmas Day;
  • December 26.

Example

JUNE
S M T W T F S
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30            


If a brokerage contract is signed on June 3, the client has until June 6 inclusively to send a written notice to the broker or agency stating that he wishes to terminate the contract. If the contract is signed on June 21, the client has until June 25 inclusively to send the termination notice.

Questions? 

An agent from the information centre Info OACIQ will be glad to answer them.

Last updated on: September 25, 2019
Article number: 206879