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Real Estate Advice 2: Working with your Sellers Agent


Posted: January 02, 2019 by Cori Seraydarian

A Seller’s agent or "listing agent" is a person who represents the interests of the seller in a real estate transaction. The property owner -- or seller -- is the client. The agent’s duties to the seller are: undivided loyalty, obedience, diligence, disclosure, confidentiality, accounting and reasonable skill and care.

Choosing a Seller’s Agent
Choosing your Seller’s Agent is an important decision. You and she will be in close and nearly constant contact. At times you will be speaking to your agent more than anyone else!

  • Ask for recommendations from people that you know. Usually the folks that you are close to share your interests. If they had a good experience with an agent you may also. 
  • Visit a few real estate offices. The office itself can tell a lot about the agents you may end up working with. Is the office attractive and organized? Is there someone at the front desk to answer your questions and give you a tour? You would be surprised how many offices have no one to greet customers when they walk in the front door. 
  • Put together an information sheet that lists your opinion of your home's features and best qualities. Give this to the agent at your first meeting at your home. 
  • Interview several prospective agents.  Compare their price analyses and get a realistic range for your selling price. Don’t fall for overenthusiastic, inflated estimates. 
  • Choose the agent who can offer you the services you need, and with whom you feel comfortable. In general, the more experienced the agent is, the better knowledge and tools they’ll have to sell your house.

Important Things to know While Working with a Seller’s Agent

·         Every real estate agent’s commission is negotiable. There is no set percentage or commission to which an agent is entitled. 

·         The duration of your agreement with the agent is also negotiable.

·         Before signing with an agent, get answers to all your questions. Be sure you're comfortable with the agent and that you understand and agree with all the terms of your contract agreement. If you expect an open house every weekend now is the time to bring that up!

·         IMPORTANT! A contract signed between you and the agent is legal and binding on all parties. There is no cancellation of the contract once it is signed.

·         The contract must be in writing, have a beginning date and an ending date, be signed by all parties to the contract, and you must receive a signed copy. 

·         Don't sign any blank documents or papers that you don't understand. Instead, contact an attorney for assistance.

·         Your real estate agency may indicate that they also represent a client who might be interested in buying your home. Before proceeding, the agency is obligated to provide both you and the buyer with a "Dual Agency Consent Agreement" form for you to sign.  By signing this form, you agree that your agency is free to represent both you AND the buyer in the deal. The form outlines the process to be followed to ensure that the sale is completely fair to both seller and buyer. 

·         If you feel it is necessary you should invest in an attorney who can oversee your paperwork and advise you on all legal aspects of the deal. Real estate agents and brokers are prohibited from engaging in the practice of law and must not give legal advice.

·         If English is your second language and you are unclear about the terms of the contract, have an interpreter assist you before signing. 

Important Things to know While Working with a Seller’s Agent

  • ·         You MUST show your house to every qualified buyer that makes an appointment. Fair housing law prohibits you and your agent from declining an appointment for any reason other than scheduling. Don’t put your agent in the awkward position of having to tell you that they cannot decline a showing because the potential buyer has children, for example.
  • ·         In fact – please don’t decline showings. It often happens that a declined Buyers Agent will not reschedule and that’s an opportunity missed.
  • ·         Make sure your house is ship-shape for every showing. Even if that means shoving the pizza box under the couch.  
  • ·        Take the dog(s) with you and crate the cats. Every agent has had the nightmare of a frightened pet and equally frightened buyers. If a Buyer isn’t comfortable in your house they will not purchase it.
  • ·        Disclose, disclose, disclose. If you have any question about whether to disclose it – tell your agent. It’s just that simple. Don’t blindside your agent with information that should have been disclosed up front!
  • ·        Assume your agent is working from 8am to 9pm. Those are long “office hours”! Before or after that time, if at all possible, hold the conversation for “office hours”.

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