Listing Agreement Basics in Tallahassee Florida

Besides paying off the mortgage lien on your house, the Realtor commission is likely going to be a big part of your seller’s closing costs in Florida.  Many sellers do not realize that their listing agent is also negotiating for the buyer’s agent when they sign the listing agreement. Also, in Florida the commission belongs to the broker. And brokers are paid by the closing agent. Most sellers end up paying somewhere between 6-10% of their house’s sales price in closing costs. Remember, all things are negotiable in real estate, including commissions. Besides, the answer is always no if you do not ask.  Negotiating the listing agreement is one of the first steps to selling your home.  Here are some negotiating tips and ways to save money in closing costs.

Person signing a Listing Agreement Contract.
#1 – How Long Do Listing Agreements Last?

Contracts can last longer than a year but it is not recommended or necessary in Tallahassee’s real estate market.  Ask the agent for the average time houses spend on the market in your neighborhood.  If the house takes longer than average to sell, it is time to reconsider your options with the listing agent.  It is a seller’s market right now and most homes in Tallahassee sell within 60 days on the market.  If your neighborhood is typical, a 90-day listing is plenty of time to sell your house.  According to peer-reviewed journal articles, if you spend longer than average on the market, you are going to cost yourself money.

#2 – How Do You Terminate the Listing Agreement?

Every contract has a clause that explains how a listing agreement can be cancelled.  Some agents may require that you pay a percentage of the list price and/or the costs of marketing before firing them.  The agent may have a very good reason to make it difficult to terminate the listing agreement. This conversation will show you how they negotiate with others to sell your house.

#3 – How Much Are the Transaction/Brokerage/MLS Fees?

Some agents try to increase their profits by having the seller pay a transaction fee.  It may be called many things, including a brokerage fee, or MLS fee. Many teams in town will hire a transaction coordinator that processes the paperwork that gets you to closing.  This does not mean it is an expense that the seller is required to cover.  Many agents consider handling the paperwork part of their professional duties.

#4 – What Will You Pay the Buyer’s Agent?

The listing agent you select is negotiating for the buyer’s agent commission as well as their own on Tallahassee’s listing agreement. Let’s say you have a co-worker who always takes the biggest portion of food at the company potlucks and makes sure their piece of the cake is bigger than everyone else’s. That co-worker earns a negative reputation, right? There are Realtors in our community who have the same reputation.  How do you know if the agent asking to list your house has this reputation?  Check the commission clause to see how the commissions are split with other agents.

#5 – What Are the Liquidated Damages?

Most contracts have a clause for damages if one party fails to perform under the agreement. For example, you accepted a buyer’s offer, but for some reason the sale does not close, and the buyer forfeits their deposit. The listing agreement will state who pockets this money. Some agents will ask you to split this amount with them to help them cover their marketing costs.

There’s lots of ways a seller can increase the sales price of their home.  If you are considering selling your Tallahassee home, we would love to hear from you!  Check out our webpage for tips on pricing your home to sell for the highest price possible: