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Choosing The Right Listing Agreement

When listing your home with a REALTOR?, you will be required to sign an agreement. This document will outline all of the agreed upon terms, including the asking price of the property, the REALTOR''S? commission, length of the agreement, cancellation policy (if any) and other details that will govern how the listing is handled. As a homeowner, it''s important to choose the right listing agreement to fit your needs.

Evaluate Your Options

When you decide to sell your home, talk with several different REALTORS?. Speak with them over the phone, meet with them in person, ask for references or do anything that you can to get a feel for how they do business. In real estate, punctuality is a must. The REALTOR? that you choose should return your calls, answer your questions and should provide a listing agreement that coincides with any verbal agreements that you may have had regarding the listing. For instance, if you tell your REALTOR? that you only want to list your property for six months, make sure the listing agreement reflects six months and not one year or longer. In addition, make sure that your asking price is the same in the agreement as you agreed upon in earlier discussions.

Exclusive Right-To-Sell Real Estate Agreement

This contract is the most common in the real estate industry. With this agreement, the REALTOR? will earn a commission regardless of whether they sell the house or you sell the house yourself. Always make sure you understand what you are signing.   

Read The Fine Print

Before signing any type of contract, homeowners must read over every detail to ensure that it represents the full agreement between themselves and their REALTOR?. Some things to consider include the length of the contract. Some REALTORS? prefer to have a minimum of one year to list a property, but the homeowner will have the option to negotiate. Some owners prefer a shorter term, such as one to six months.

Every real estate contract should outline a cancellation policy, which will provide details surrounding a release and/or fees and penalties. Some agents will offer a cancellation policy that allows the homeowner to cancel the contract by providing a 30-day written notice at any time. 

Interview Several REALTORS?

A REALTOR? is a person who you will enlist to help with the selling of your home. Just like no two homes are alike, no two owners are alike and each has different needs when it comes to real estate. The REALTOR? that you ultimately choose will have access to your home at any time and will be responsible for marketing it to potential buyers. As such, you should choose someone that you feel comfortable with and will do the best job for you. The only way to know which REALTOR? this will be is to speak with more than one, ask plenty of questions and get a feel for how they do business.  

Believe it or not, your schedule could greatly impact the listing price. If you are in a hurry to sell, you may find that a competitive asking price will help you to get the cash you need much quicker. A price that reflects the higher end of a buyer''s budget may take some time to sell, so consider these factors when pricing your home.

Make Time For Updates

Your REALTOR? will offer advice as to what needs updated, repaired or changed in order to maximize the potential of your home. When a buyer looks at a house, they are looking at the cost, needed repairs or upgrades, decor, etc. Once your REALTOR? does a walkthrough and explains what, if anything, needs updated, you will commit to an asking price and sign the listing agreement. If your agent doesn't want to wait on updates before they list it DON"T. You only get one 1st impression.  

Field Offers

As a seller, you are probably already aware that potential buyers will make an offer that could be less than your actual asking price. Most REALTORS? will tell you that if you ask for ''X'' amount of dollars, buyers will probably offer you ''X'' amount instead. That''s the name of the game, and you will need to decide whether or not your asking price is firm or negotiable. If an offer comes your way, you will always have the option of making a counteroffer or simply rejecting the deal altogether.

As a final thought to the negotiation process, keep in mind that buyers typically offer less than they are actually willing to pay initially. Most offers are time sensitive, which means you may have to make some quick decisions. Of course, your REALTOR? will be there to guide you through every step of the process and will likely offer an opinion as to whether or not an offer is fair in the current market.

Close The Deal

When the price is right and you agree to the terms, it''s time to say goodbye to your former home and hello to a brand new life. Letting go is not always easy, but moving forward is a part of life. If you still live in the home, most contracts will require that you move within 30 days. If you no longer live in the home, most buyers will want to move in immediately.

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The Miracle Home® Program, exclusive to RE/MAX LLC., allows a RE/MAX Associate to make a donation on behalf of each transaction to Children's Miracle Network. The partnership underscores Sales Associate involvement in the communities in which they live and serve. RE/MAX Sales Associates are unique in that a majority of the donations received by Children's Miracle Network from RE/MAX are the result of Associates' hard work rather than solicited from customers.

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