Listing Agreement Walkthrough for Tallahassee Sellers.

For copyright reasons, we are not going to post a copy of the contract, but below you will find a quick walkthrough of the Tallahassee Board of Realtor’s Listing Agreement.  You agent should provide you with a copy of the signed listing agreement contract within 48 hours.  Please contact an attorney if you have any questions!!!!! Pay special attention to clauses 5 and 12 (and maybe 13), because these are the ones mostly likely to hide hidden fees and costs. Please remember that most terms and conditions are negotiable on any contract.

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1.     Date of Agreement.

This is important because there are deadlines and timelines in this contract that start on this date.

2.     Parties.

This will include your legal name(s).  We like to stick with what is on your identification card.  At the closing table, the title agent is going to ask for your photo identification.

In Florida, the designated broker of a company is the one responsible for all the sales agents at their agency, it is the designated broker whose name is placed here.

3.     Legal description.

This is the property identification number your house is assigned by the property appraiser and tax assessor.  It will also identify the subdivision if there is one.  If your house is in the county or is considered rural, you may have a “metes and bounds” description to attach.

4.     Price.

Picked by the Seller, judged by the Buyer.

5.     Term of agreement.

This is when the contract will end (terminate) and defines exactly how much time you are going to give this agent to sell your house. We normally ask for a 90-day listing.  If we have not sold it in that time, it is time to regroup and figure out what is missing.

  1. This is the seller’s termination clause and is one of those places where agents can hide fees.  Per the language, if you terminate the listing agreement early, you agree to reimburse the marketing expenses to the listing agent.  There is also a space for an additional fee. Dirty Trick #1 – Agents that make it unreasonable to terminate the listing agreement.
  2. If the broker decides to terminate the listing agreement, they will give you ___ days of notice. This is fill in the blank and can be negotiated.

6.     Personal property.

This is list of common items that usually go with the house and become the buyer’s property after closing.  If there is anything you want to KEEP after the sale, please consider removing it from the property before photos are taken.

7.     Seller’s representations.

Here you agree to provide the broker with all relevant details about the house.  If you are not honest, this clause is also an agreement to hold the broker harmless if we get sued for damages due to this sale.

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8.     Seller’s responsibilities.

You agree to provide the broker with a set of keys and allow opportunities for buyer to see the house.  You agree to send all inquiries to the broker.  You also agree to not encumber the house – including lease it without updating the broker.

9.     Broker’s responsibilities.

This is where you agree when the house will be put in the multiple listing service (MLS) within ___ (fill in the blank) days.  Give yourself enough time for quality photos and marketing.  Broker also agrees to work with other brokers to find a buyer for your home.

Seller will acknowledge selling before an active listing in the MLS may reduce market exposure and sale price.

10. Seller’s costs.

In this clause, you agree that if the broker must order something to get you to the closing table, you will pay this expense, even if the house does not end up closing.

11. Prorations.

At closing, some costs will be prorated.  If you are collecting rent, you will be required to pay the buyer the prorated rent you have collected (and the entire deposit).  The taxes will also be prorated with the day of closing belonging to the buyer.

12. Brokerage fee.

  1. A. This is where you agree to pay the broker for finding a ready, willing, and able buyer for your home. PLEASE NOTE: there is language here that states that the home does not have to close for the commission to have been earned. Also, you agree that if you sell to a buyer that your broker submitted marketing to, even if another broker showed the property, within ___ (fill in the blank) months you will compensate the broker unless you sign a listing agreement with a new broker.

The commission amount on the contract is fill in the blank and can be a fixed price or a percentage of the sale price (not listing price unless that is what you negotiate).  There is also a fill in the blank for a transaction fee.  We see this fee more often in the big brokerages who charge their agents a monthly fee and/or a transaction fee.  Dirty Trick #2 – Agents that charge additional business fees.

  1. B. Seller agrees that broker can also earn a commission from the buyer. Under Florida law, the broker is not allowed to receive kickbacks from lenders, inspectors, surveyors, etc.
  2. C. Broker’s representation is defined here. Under Florida law, brokers are assumed to be transaction brokers. If you choose single agent representation, other agents in the same brokerage will not be able to submit offers to you unless you sign another form agreeing to allow your agent to transition to a transaction broker. This is because dual agency is not allowed under Florida law for residential transactions.
  3. D. This part deals with how your agent is going to play in the sandbox with other agents. Some agents do not evenly split the commission you agree to pay. There are a lot of ways agents can overtly and subtly influence a buyer through the closing process, and if a buyer’s agent feels treated unfairly by a listing agent, it could result in a negative outcome for the seller. Dirty Trick #4 – Agents who do not treat others fairly.

13. Deposits.

If the buyer is not able to close the loan and defaults on the offer to purchase your house, they will most likely lose their earnest money deposit.  This clause determines who receives this money, you, or your listing agent.  Dirty Trick #5 – Agents that keep any of the deposit money.

14. No verbal agreements.

Here the seller affirms that they have no other agreements in the works, including any verbal offers.  The broker is not promising to sell the house and seller has not promised to sell the house to anyone.

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15. Non-discrimination.

Brokers are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, handicap, or familial status, or any other federally protected class.

16. Authorizations.

This clause deals with marketing, lockboxes, and what will be going out into cyberspace about your house.  If you choose not to syndicate your listing, it will not show up on the secondary listing services like Zillow and Trulia.

  1. It is likely you agent will place a Bluetooth activated lockbox near your front door.
  2. Seller is authorizing the agent to place a sign in the yard.
  3. Use of seller’s name in marketing.
  4. Seller agrees to allow the broker to market the property as they see fit. This also notifies seller that allowing buyers through your house is an opportunity for theft.
  5. Seller says that broker can put the details of the transaction in the MLS after closing.
  6. There are several options here for displaying your house on the internet and they are worth discussing with your agent.

17. Special clauses.

Fill in the blank with anything that has not been addressed above.

18. Legal matters.

This is a binding contract if you are not clear on the terms and conditions, please contact an attorney to explain the terms.

19. Copy of agreement.

This states that the sales agent can sign for the broker and that the broker will provide a copy of this agreement to the seller.  The contract also has a place for your address, phone number and email.  Make sure this is filled out in case anything happens to your agent and their partner needs to get in contact with you.