You want to list your home for sale and move to another home. You have to find someone who can sell the home quickly for you give you the money you need. You contact a realtor or an agent to proceed with the task. In that case here is what may happen.
But ever thought about it the person handling your most important asset can be incompetent, making high promises, deceitful and never delivers ? How would you know that? Time only tells how people behave. Will the agent preform with utmost due diligence in selling your house? Is this the only listing they have and if they don’t sell the listing can they still survive and move on?
What about you ? Can you survive financially if you cannot sell your home in a reasonable time? How would you protect yourself against promises made and rogue agents, sheer incompetence, and simple lack of knowledge, once the listing period begins ? Agents don’t come with a sticker on the forehead and yet they are the most difficult to spot when it comes to listing your home.
What are your option ? Can your enforce your terms of agreement on the listing agent if they don’t perform in a reasonable manner? Can you get out of the agreement if its not performed right? For example the CAR listing agreement in California simply implies you will owe a commission if the listing is withdrawn before expiration, canceled or made unmarketable by the acts of sellers. You will owe a whopping 5% to 6% commission of the purchase price, if that is what your agreements calls for on the first page and if you agreed to it.
If your agent performed horribly and your dissatisfaction reached unbearable levels what would you do? That all takes time and many people just simply cannot wait for weeks. You would be very lucky if the same agent who came by your house asking for a listing, lets you out without a scratch. Sometimes they do, just to avoid a complaint to the Department of Real Estate or the governing authority, and that too takes a long time and is a frustrating experience. Some agents just don’t care and you will be stuck with them.
Here is what a friend of mine asked me the other day. He wanted to list his retirement condo in Miami and he has seen me go through all these trials and tribulations while listing properties. Here is what I sent him via email. This is by no means a comprehensive language you can write, its simple and basic and does not speaks of legal jargon. This is something you can model on your own and attach to the listing agreements or any agreements you make. You can have an attorney devise a far more devastating language, but that takes more money doesn’t it ? I am not dispensing legal advice here. I use common sense, and easily understood intent of the contract, and you should too.
Have this written in your listing agreement under additional conditions or as attachment and have the agent sign it.
1. The Sellers at their own, sole discretion, can cancel this listing agreement anytime prior to the expiration date of this contract without any monetary compensation to the listing broker/agents.
If the listing agreement is canceled brokers/ agents shall cancel the listing immediately from multiple listing service and remove it from online sites within 1 business day.
2. Brokers will perform with due diligence in all matters relating to the sale of this property and exercise utmost care.
3. Broker/agent shall provide a weekly status report, once a week showing activity, offers etc and other data related to sale.
4. Brokers/ agents will return all phones calls, emails,text messages same business day or next morning before 12:00 pm if the communication is placed after normal business hours.
5. Brokers/agents will advertise this listing on online real estate sites like Zillow.com, trulia.com, realtor.com, Redfin.com and maintain the accuracy of information on these sites and have their cell phones or sales numbers appear on the listings. This is to insure that seller gets maximum exposure to the real estate market during the listing period.
The number one complaint I have found in my experience and I have gone through myself, that once the listing agreement is signed, brokers/agents don’t return phone calls.
They just go back doing what they do actually- not returning phone calls and harvesting another listing like yours. The more listings they harvest, the better the odds that some other broker in the multiple listings will bring a buyer and they can coin in a 2.5% commission. It is a numbers game, throw everything on the wall some will stick. I have been at the mercy of text messages and voice mails, that are never answered, phones calls never returned, and unable to get any feedback on open houses and activity, and not knowing what to expect in the immediate future. You may need to talk to the agent/ broker about that first ( if you can get hold them ) and remind them about this listing clause in the contract.
Personally I always sign my agreements for 90 days, keeping the listing period as short as possible. If the realtor asks 6 months I ask the question “ Why do you need 6 months to sell the property when homes like mine are selling in 30 days? You have to be reasonable here though.
As experience has shown, if it is a single family home and in good condition and under $500,000 and not a commercial property and if the markets are strong, and the economy on the upward slope it should not take more than 3 months to sell the property. There are however exceptions here and you should know about them in your local area.
A well written contract should have outs for both parties and not just one side. IF you balance the contract you have a decent listing and something you will control as time will pass on you. Therefore its important to know how to proceed with real estate contracts and have trusted people work for you.
For further information click below