Obviously the name of the seller, the municipal address and the legal address of the property will be included in the listing contract. The only way to ensure the seller is properly described in the agreement and to identify any potential dower issue is to conduct a title search. All of the registered owners of the property must be named. The brokerage must also record its name, address, e-mail address, phone and fax numbers. The signature section of the form identifies the name of the associate, associate broker or broker authorized to represent the seller's brokerage. There are many other things that are also included and you should be aware of them.
Price and Terms of Sale
When setting the terms of sale, the main thing you are concerned with is the price. You should have a basic idea of what your house is worth by keeping track of other sales in the neighbourhood. You can go to our online home evaluation site and request a home evaluation. Great care is a must in determining your asking price, making sure not to set it too high or too low. To determine an accurate price range for your property The Team must visit your property to establish the property details and observe the condition of the property. Then considering the market conditions and by comparing your property to similar properties in the same area that have recently sold, making adjustments for differences in condition and features we will provide you a written professional market evaluation.
In addition to the price, you will disclose what personal property, if any, goes with the house when you sell it. Personal property is anything that is not attached or fixed to the house, such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, and so on.
There may be some item that is considered "real property" that you do not intend to include in the sale. Real property is anything that is attached to the house. For example, you may have a unique light fixture that has been in your family for generations and you take it from home to home when you move. Since the light fixture is attached to the house, it is considered "real property" and a reasonable buyer would normally expect it to go with the house. The listing contract should make clear that it does not, and your agent should also enter this information with the Multiple Listing Service®.
Real Estate Commission
In most areas there is a "customary" percentage that real estate agents and companies expect to earn as a commission. The percentage varies from region to region, and depending upon whether it is residential real estate or commercial real estate. However, just like anything else in real estate, this amount is negotiable. When completing the listing agreement, you and your agent will agree on the amount of the real estate commission.
The listing contract also specifies when the commission is earned. This is important and you should pay close attention:
If a ready, willing and able buyer presents an unconditional offer that meets your listing price and terms, the agent has effectively earned the commission at that time.
If a buyer presents a conditional offer and you reach agreement on price and terms through counter-offers, when that offer becomes an unconditional offer the agent has also earned his or her commission.
Sellers occasionally get seller's remorse, just like buyers do. If this is going to happen to you – make sure you consider it before you sign the purchase agreement. Once you have an unconditional purchase contract, you have incurred two contractual obligations. One is to the buyer and the other is to your agent. If you should decide to cancel just because you've changed your mind about selling – the agent has earned the commission according to the terms of the contracts and the buyer could sue for damages.
Multiple Listing Service
Your listing contract should specify whether or not the house will be listed with the local MLS®. It is definitely in your interest to have the house listed MLS®. This is because your sales force is automatically multiplied by however many agents are members of the local MLS®. If your house is not listed MLS®, then you only have one agent working to find a buyer instead of many. This is where selling "by owner" generally fails.
Owners see that an agent puts a sign in the yard, prepares brochures, holds open houses, advertises in the paper and on the internet, and they think this is how houses are sold. It is easy to understand why owners believe that, but it just isn't so. Listing agents do these things for three main reasons:
First, because the owners expect them to.
Second, because it shows other sellers how much they do to market a house, and it gets more listings.
Third, because it brings in clients who want to buy "some" house – though it probably will not be yours. Very few houses sell because of an open house.
Practically no one buys the house in the ad or a house they visit during an open house. Think about your own experiences when you bought the house you are now selling. How did you find it? You probably bought it through your agent, who found it in the MLS®.
The MLS® is a huge network and practically every local agent is a member – and those agents have clients looking to buy a house. That network is what sells your house.
It has been suggested that 80% of home buyers look on the internet before they call an agent. As a result internet marketing has become a very important marketing tool. How your property is presented on the internet will determine how much time the potential buyer will spend looking at it. The longer they look at it, the more likely they are to buy it.
Agency Duties of a Listing Agent
Many people think of the real estate agent as a salesperson. Many agents (perhaps most agents) would jump at the chance to be "just" a salesperson. But they are not just a salesperson. The Real Estate Act makes it very clear that a real estate agent is also – an agent bound by Agency Law.
Under Agency Law an agent is "responsible" to their clients. They have a duties, called a the "fiduciary duties". This means the agent is responsible and act in the best interests of their client. This involves a lot of liability, which is one reason for all the disclosures and the pages and pages in the listing and purchase contracts, and why they want to be paid for being more than "just" a salesman.
The listing contract will specify that your agent is acting as a "seller's agent". This means that, in the sale of your house, they are working for you and only you – and looking out for your best interests.
However, there may be times when your listing agent has a client who wants to buy your property. In this case the seller and the buyer must sign a Transaction Brokerage Agreement which sets out the obligation of the agent. Such concurrent representation is only permitted by law with the fully informed and voluntary consent of both the buyer and the seller.
The contract also provides permission for your listing agent to act as an agent for others on other transactions. They can continue to list other properties, and represent buyers looking at other houses besides yours.
A lockbox is a basically a padlock with a cavity inside where a key to your house can be placed. Only someone with a key (electronic or mechanical) or the combination can get into the lockbox and access the key to your house. Having a lockbox available at your house makes it possible for other agents to get access to your house.
Without the lockbox, agents representing buyers would have to set appointments to meet you or your agent at the house so they could gain access and view the house. This would be inconvenient. Since almost every other house does have a lockbox available, if you do not allow one most agents will simply not show your property. You will miss out on many potential buyers.
The listing contract specifies whether you allow a lockbox or not. It is locked into place, usually on the front door and cannot be removed. Only other agents can access the key that is located within the lockbox. The lockbox we use records the serial of the electronic key that opens the lockbox. Every electronic key used to open the lockbox has a private code that has to be entered each time it is used. If you suspect that anyone was in your house without an appointment we can determine who opened the lockbox. This way your property is secure.
Ending the Contract
A listing contract is a legally enforceable agreement between a property owner and a real estate brokerage, which authorizes the brokerage to represent the owner's interests in the sale of a property. The listing contract will end when the expiry day arrives, the sale successfully completes, the parties mutually agree to end the relationship, because of events beyond the control of the parties and the contract cannot be completed, or a contract is breached.
What is your biggest fear you have when you sign a listing agreement with a real estate agent? It's simple! You worry about being locked into a lengthy listing agreement with a less than competent real estate agent, costing your property valuable time and exposure on the market. TheTeam has strong opinions about real estate service. We believe that if you are unhappy with the service you receive, you should have the right to terminate your listing agreement. That's why we have an EASY EXIT Listing Policy. When you list your property with TheTeam, you can cancel your listing agreement at any time. No hassles. It's easy! It takes a strong belief in the quality of one's service to take this kind of stand, but we are never satisfied with less than the highest professional standards. We are confident you will be happy with our service and the results. That's the simple truth! TheTeam always stands behind its service!