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Time to Sign a Listing Agreement

Ok, you’re ready to sell. It’s time to sign a listing agreement.

Once you have chosen a REALTOR® to sell your home, you will need to sign a listing agreement. This is a contractual agreement that authorizes your REALTOR® and his/her brokerage to represent you in the marketing and selling of your home. It also stipulates the period of time for which they will offer their services. The most common form of a listing agreement is an agreement that allows your REALTOR® to use the Multiple Listing Service® to sell your property. Alternatively, a listing agreement may relate to an exclusive listing, which does not include the usage of the Multiple Listing Service® and does not require the listing brokerage to share the information with other REALTORS®.

Before you sign the agreement, your REALTOR® will provide you with information about the Agency Relationship via the “Working with a REALTOR®” brochure. This brochure provides you with legal and professional guidelines that will define the working relationship you have with your REALTOR®. It also explains the collection, use and disclosure of personal information under Privacy guidelines.

Designated Agency
When a brokerage designates a REALTOR® to work solely on your behalf in real estate transactions, the REALTOR® and brokerage are bound by ethics and the law to be honest and thorough in representing you. The brokerage must account for all money and property placed in its hands while acting for you.

The REALTOR® must:

  1. Obey all lawful instructions
  2. Maintain the confidentiality of your information
  3. Use reasonable care and skill in performing all assigned duties as your agent.

Buyer’s Agent
The Buyer’s Agent is ethically bound to work only for the Buyer, and to find the suited property for that Buyer at the best price. It is the Buyer Agent’s duty to relay back any information that he/she finds out from all Sellers or Seller’s agents.

Seller’s Agent
The Seller’s agent is legally and ethically bound to work solely on behalf of the Seller. The Seller’s agent will seek the best terms possible for the Seller, and owes no obligation to the Buyer other than the duty to disclose any defects regarding the condition of the property. As a Seller, you can expect complete confidentiality. As a Buyer, watch what you say in front of the Seller’s agent. The Seller’s agent is obliged to disclose any information that might benefit his client.

Limited Dual Agency
Sometimes an individual REALTOR® (or REALTORS®) from the same company may act on behalf of both the Seller and Buyer in a transaction. In that case, the REALTOR® has to act somewhat impartially in that they cannot disclose to either client any knowledge that they have of the other’s affairs or motivation. Dual Agency must be disclosed to all parties and they must agree, in writing, that this is an acceptable mode of agency.

The “Listing Agreement” authorizes your REALTOR® and his/her brokerage to market and sell your home. This agreement serves three purposes:

  1. It defines your relationship, including the limits of your REALTOR®’s authority
  2. It provides detailed information about your home which can be placed on a real estate board’s MLS® system to help potential Buyers find your home
  3. It forms the basis for drafting offers on your home.

This is 4th of 5 Blog posts in Step 6 of a 10 Part series. Go to the next blog post in this series: Listing Agreement Terms & Conditions

by Faith Wilson

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