Selling a Home; Choosing a Brokerage (Agents and Sellers)
Protecting sellers; I spend a good amount of time talking to agents and I must say that what I've been told during these conversations about the unfriendly agent and client policies that some brokerages have in place is truly outrageous. Agents don't always realize that the fine print on their independent contractor agreement, or in their brokerages policy and procedures, might come back to haunt them. But, who ever thought that the fine print might also (unknowingly) haunt their clients? The average person moves every 7 years, so it's safe to assume that not everybody is an expert at understanding how the real estate industry operates.
Lesson One: Whose Listing is it Anyway?
Consider this Lesson #1 in how an agent and their brokerage's policies might work against you the client and your agent in the sale of your home.
Did you know that when you signed that listing agreement with your agent, the listing actually belongs to the brokerage? Who cares? You should. Consider this scenario: The agent you have chosen to work with has sold you every house you ever bought or sold....you consider them a friend and you're thrilled with their work. With 60 days left on your listing agreement, during the spring selling season, your agent informs you that they will be changing brokerages. OK, no problem, they'll just pop out the old firm's yard sign and insert the new one.
Wherever they go, you go, right? Unfortunately no, your listing still "belongs" to the brokerage and their company policy dictates whether or not they are willing to release you from your agreement and under what terms. There are some brokerages that will not let their clients out of a listing contract....period.
Or, they release it with stipulations that make it nearly impossible for you to move forward, including forcing you to pay commissions to both them and a new firm that you hire (I'll explain more in another lesson). If they don't release your listing they will assign another one of their agents to sell your home, whom you may not know, and you may or may not be comfortable with. How would you feel about that?
Sellers - Be Smart, Agents - Protect Your Clients!
There's an easy way to prevent this from happening to you. Sellers, ask your agent before you sign the listing agreement what the policy is should you want to terminate your listing prior to the end of the contract date. And, most importantly, get them to put something in writing that gives you a way to cancel your listing if you are not satisfied or if another special circumstance were to arise, and make sure it is signed by the agent and their manager or broker. Agents - be smart when you're negotiating your contract and make sure you have future protections in place, like having an arrangement to take your listings with you, should you change brokerages. There are ways to structure your agreement so that neither you nor the brokerage gets damaged in the event you leave.
Berkshire Hathaway Ohio Realtors - Honesty, Integrity and Service
I'm proud to say that the company policy of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty is both consumer and agent friendly and that we don't use strong arm tactics to keep our clients engaged with us. If a client wants out of a listing agreement because they are unsatisfied or because of other special circumstances, we release them. We don't use legal loopholes to keep our clients under contract, we do something much more simple, we keep them happy, and in the event that cirumstances change, we do what is in their best interest and release them from their listing if they request it.
Looking for a rewarding Realtor Career in Ohio or other state? Contact Kim Luckow, Director of Operations for a confidential interview. You can also visit our Realtor Careers page to learn a little more.
Align yourself with a brand name you recognize and trust "Come Home to Quality" with Berkshire Hathaway.
Up next: Lesson Two: Commissions 101 (Agents and Sellers)