Real Estate Lising Agreement – What To Know About The Listing Contract

In selling a home there are hundreds of details that need to be completed for a successful sale to take place. You need to get the house ready for sale, hire a Realtor and organize a move to your next residence. Hiring a Realtor to sell your home may be one of the more nerve-wracking tasks that need to be completed. A realtor will hand you a stack of forms to sign prior to a sign going up in your yard. The one item that usually gives a seller the most confusion is the Listing Agreement. The listing contract is the agreement for the exclusive right to sell your home.

What Are The Components Of An Exclusive Right To Sell Or Listing Agreement?
There are several components to a listing agreement. The first thing that you will have to determine is the length of time that the agent will be granted to get your home sold. There is no set amount of time that you have to agree to. Most agents will probably ask you for at least six month listing to get the home sold. Some realtors may want to ask you for a listing that is longer than six months in a slow real estate market.

What Should I List My House For?
The next phase of the listing process is to select a price to offer the home to the public. Your agent should be able to provide you with a list of comparable sales information so you can guide your way to determining the value of your home. Just be sure to ask your Realtor for a CMA or comparable market analysis. Most agents make this the primary focus of their listing presentation anyway.

Should I Put A Lockbox On My Home?
The next piece of the listing agreement will cover the lockbox. The lockbox is a secure device that goes on the front door of your home. It has a key in it that can only be accessed by a licensed Real Estate Agent. The lockbox will also record the name of the person that opened the box and what time they were in the house. This will give you security in the event there is a problem with theft in the home.
Houses that have lockboxes tend to get shown more and sell faster than homes that do not have lock boxes. It is easier for an agent to show a home with a lockbox since they do not need to have a seller present to be able to get access to the property. As a seller you do not need to be waiting around for an agent to show up either. This should free up your time for other things.

Does Agency Matter On A Listing Agreement?
This is the legal portion of the contract that states that the listing agent represents you and not the buyer. Typically the listing agent will state in the MLS form that the seller will only work with buyer brokers. A buyer broker only represents the buyer in the transaction. The rationale having a buyers agent as well as your listing agent is that you do not want someone you do not know (the buyer’s agent) representing you and your property to a buyer.
If you have a listing that offers sub agency then the agent who brings the buyer actually represents you and not their buyer. This agent could be making representations about your property that are not accurate. You would be responsible for what is coming out of their mouth. In my opinion I would rather not offer sub agency on a listing. I would rather only offer buyer brokers the ability to sell a listed property.

Can I Owe A Commission After The Expiration Of My Listing Agreement?
Just because your listing has expired does not mean that you are out of the woods for owing your agent a commission. There is usually a time period after the expiration of the contract that covers the Realtor in the event a buyer who saw the property during the contracted listing period.
If a buyer who saw the property with your listing agent while the home was listed with your agent comes to you after the expiration and wants to buy your home without the agent, you may still owe the original listing agent a commission. You need to read your listing agreement to see how many days after the expiration of the listing contract that buyers who viewed the home with the listing broker would be owed a commission.
If you have any questions or concerns about the listing agreement you are signing, do not sign it. It is a legally binding document. Be sure that you are clear on the ramifications of what you are signing. Plan for the worst and expect the best from your agent.