Negotiate The Agency Agreement (or Listing Contract) with Your Real Estate Agent

Both the buyer agency agreement and the seller's listing contract that your real estate agent may ask you to sign have a significant impact on your rights and should be negotiated or at least reviewed by a lawyer. While the contracts are usually presented to consumers as standard forms, many terms can be negotiated. Real estate agents compete for your business and may often be willing to accept concessions in negotiations (consider that a 1% reduction in commission on the sale of a $100,000.00 home is a $1,000.00 savings). Terms you and your lawyer can negotiate include:

a)       the duration of the agency agreement or listing contract;

b)       duties that your agent will owe you (e.g., loyalty, full disclosure and obedience);

c)       the amount you will pay to your broker;

d)       the amount that cooperating brokers should be paid;

e)       disclosure of any referral fees being paid by your broker;

f)       when the broker's commission is and is not earned (e.g., earned upon successful closing or when the broker finds a suitable buyer or not earned if the sale is to one of your relatives or neighbors); and

g)       The number of open houses  that your agent will hold at your home.

                                                                             Thomas A. Leggette, J.D., Author:

                                                                             Consumer Contracts in Virginia

                                                                             Virginia Continuing Legal Education

This article is not provided for use or reliance by you or any third parties and does not purport to be exhaustive or to render legal advice for your particular situation or any other specific case. It is meant merely to assist you in sharpening the questions you might ask of your legal advisor in your particular case. Please give me a call should you have any questions. (See: Disclaimer)