When you decide to sell your home or property with a real estate broker, you must complete a listing agreement. This agreement gives the broker the right to advertise your home, show it to potential clients and, most assuredly, receive a commission on the sale. The listing agreement not only protects the broker, but the home seller as well.
Complete the top portion of the listing agreement in it's entirety. This part will include the full legal name of all parties selling the property, the property address and the property's parcel number given by the county.
Fill in the portion that requires a date for the listing to go active. Unless you are completing the forms in the morning, the listing will most likely not go active in the computer database system until the following day. In this section you will also find a place for the length of the agreement. Many listing agreements last six months, but every broker does things differently. Many sellers don't like to commit to an agreement for a lengthy amount of time, but keep in mind that the broker needs that commitment to justify spending money on advertising and expenses.
Read the fineprint with regards to commission. This can sometimes be a little bit tricky. The broker will outline the commission she will receive on the sale of the property, and will also include the commission that another broker may receive if they bring in the buyer. This is a split commission concept, and is widely practiced. Be sure to read what happens after the listing agreement expires. Some brokers have a clause that will entitle them to get paid for up to six months after the expiration of the agreement. If you agree to what is written, place your initials by the paragraph.
Determine dates of possession. Are you willing to give possession to the new buyers immediately after the property transfers, or will you need 30 days? Put this in the agreement so all parties are aware of the situation and misunderstandings can be avoided.
Sign and date the documents. All parties should be present at the signing of the agreement, including the broker. Each party should sign and date documents individually. Make sure you receive copies of the agreement for your records and, if you have questions later, call your broker and ask.
Consult a real estate attorney to review the agreement if you wish.
Don't let the broker read the agreement to you, read it for yourself.