Corinne Jara…, Real Estate Pro in Boca Raton, FL

Listing Agreement Question

Asked by Corinne Jaracz, Boca Raton, FL Sat Jun 28, 2014

My Agent wants a 9 month contract. When they state they can sell my home quickly. Anyone hear of that before? Also, if things do not work out between us and I decide to cancel during the contract, they want me to pay them $1000 plus all of their marketing expenses. What say you?

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Randy and Vi…, Agent, Punta Gorda, FL
Wed Jul 2, 2014

It may very well take up to 9 months to sell your home, it all depends of your asking price, homes condition and easy of showing the home. I personally do not take listings for less than 9 months because believe it or not there is a lot of time and expense that goes into a listing if it's done properly.

As far as the $1,000 goes must Brokerages do not charge that fee. But if they think you're going to be unreasonable about your pricing making it nearly impossible to sell your home, they might be trying to save them from all the expenses when they're pretty sure that they will not make a dime in commission for all the work involved.
1 vote
Sean Seckar, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Sat Jun 28, 2014

Depending on the area, 9 months may be the standard agreement. Personally, unless the home is one that due to various factors such as high list price, location, condition….. I will normally require a 6 month contract. With that being said, I will have thoroughly outlined what I will do to market and sell the home. As long as I am performing to what I have advised, and all parties have agreed to, there is no justifiable reason to terminate the agreement.

In the event that the seller still insists on cancelling, I do believe it is fair to have the seller pay any costs incurred, within reason. In the unlikely event that this occurs, I would also place the home in a withdrawn status until the end of the contract so the seller not be able to then relist with another agent until the original contract expires. Keep in mind that the realtor does not get paid unless they sell your home. So to expect the performing agent to allow someone out of a contract for no justifiable reason is not a fair expectation.

I believe the best advise is to make sure you have interview several agents, clearly spell out your expectations, ask what they will do to market your home, ask for recommendations and clarify up front what they will do for you if they do not perform as agreed. A good, confident agent will be happy to answer any and all questions up front to make sure there are no issues in the future.

Best of luck in your home search,

Sean Seckar – Realtor
RE/MAX of Santa Clarita
BRE License # 1336429
1 vote
Henry L Kapl…, Agent, Boynton Beach, FL
Sat Jun 28, 2014
As a manager of a very successful Real Estate office, we know all too well we have the balancing act of getting the seller to price their home competitively, so it doesn't sit on the market for an over extended period of time (average days on market varies greatly but typically ranges from 90-180 days, depending on many, many factors), and invest a lot of time many dollars for marketing and advertising, virtual tours, open houses, etc. up-front on the hope (and sometimes prayer) that we'll get our investment back and a pay check at the end. What I think is fair is price your home within 3-5% either above or below the Realtors Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) with some predetermined price reductions written into the Listing agreement so that everyone is on the same page about getting the list price close to market value as possible during the initial term of the agreement so that a successful sale occurs. A good rule of thumb is, the higher the price (above market) the longer the listing agreement! We've done them as long as 1 year, to as short as 1 day! It's all negotiable. The cancellation fee is also negotiable, true. What's the Realtors time and effort worth? I'd like to think that there's a compromise (depending on the situation), and we've re-negotiated the cancellation fee many times "after the fact" once we hear all the facts. Yes, reimbursing for direct expenses is fair, but again, can be a negotiating point as well. The most important advise I can give is make sure you "connect" with your agent up front, get to know each other. You'll be working closely (on the same team) and partnered percentage wise in the end result. If synergy exists, go for it, and work out the kinks along the way because they're hard to avoid.
PS: Our company offers a "Sellers Service Pledge" which allows a seller to cancel within 10 days written notice, as long as the seller allows us an opportunity to remedy. Ask your agent if they have a similar written guarantee.
Henry L Kaplan, GRI, SRES
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson - Florida
Serving all of the South Florida Market
CENTURY 21 Tenace Realty - An award winning office!
561-427-4888 text me for fast answers!
"24, not an hour more"
1 vote
Sergio Lucena…, Agent, BOCA RATON, FL
Fri Jul 10, 2015
Everything is negotiable in a listing agreement. I do not charge any cancellation fee in all my contracts.
0 votes
Jason Nazzaro, Agent, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Sat Jun 20, 2015
Give yourself the Seller's Advantage! Our company policy is only 3.5% and our listing period is only 3 months.
0 votes
Dorina Lipov…, Agent, Aventura, FL
Tue Feb 24, 2015
????????? It is ussully 6 months listing contract. 6% commission and a flat fee at closing, which might be different from one company to another.-$ 295 for ex.
0 votes
Gary Geer, Agent, Antioch, IL
Tue Dec 16, 2014
Pay a $1000 marketing fee? Not so much. Check with other agents in your area and see what they have to offer.
0 votes
Mark Doring, Agent, Coconut Creek, FL
Tue Dec 16, 2014
Everything is a negotiable point but as an agent with 11 years experience having sold tens of millions of dollars of inventory over the years I can say that those are very aggressive listing terms.

Most listing agents take the cost of marketing the property as part of their expenses in justifying the commission. To charge above that amount to have their client pay for their marketing expenses is not something that I do.

My listing agreements are 6 month terms with a $250.00 cancelation at will for the seller and I never charge Trulia customers a processing or transaction fee.

Mark Doring
Re/Max Complete Solutions
0 votes
Judi Monday,…, Agent, Green Valley, AZ
Sun Nov 23, 2014
Everything you've questioned is negotiable. Sit down with the agent and see if you can negotiate the terms you want-- if not, I'm sure there is an agent out there that will accept your terms.
0 votes
Michael Jose…, Home Owner, Gulf Breeze, FL
Sun Nov 23, 2014
I would never give an agent a listing agreement contract that locks you in with them. Remember they can hold you liable in a civil case if you cancel without paying the expenses they claim. You can say all day they haven't done enough or lived up to expectations they claim they would but it would be difficult to prove otherwise. It's not difficult to sell a home if it's priced right and they are costing you time and money if your stuck with a horrible agent for 9 months. The longer a home sits on the market it decreases the chance of you getting what you want and most buyers will look at that info themselves. I would find a different agent if you feel that you need to use one to sell.
0 votes
Cheri F Rosen, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Sun Nov 23, 2014
Listing your home necessitates extreme trust between you and your agent. An agent does incur many expenses if they are properly marketing a home for sale, and that is why they look for a listing period of at least 6 months. However, as part of the listing agreement, they make promises to you concerning the effort they will extend on your behalf, if they don't keep their end of the bargain, they have broken the contract, not you, and therefore, you owe them nothing.
0 votes
Kevin Richey, Agent, St George, UT
Mon Aug 25, 2014
Like anything, the agreement between you and the Broker is negotiable. The contract is binding, so make sure you understand it before you sign. You may even want to involve your attorney. It is a good idea to talk to some past and current clients of the agent that you are considering listing with. Some agents will say anything to get a listing.
0 votes
Jina Humphri…, Agent, Ocala, FL
Mon Aug 25, 2014
Hello Corinne,
Yes, most Brokers require a 1 year listing agreement and require a cancellation fee, but you can negotiate a lesser term of your listing and of course a lower cancel fee ...

It should be based on how much advertising will be required to find a buyer for your home, some homes are very expensive and require costly magazine ads and some homes are unique and take a while to find that certain type of buyer.

Good Luck !
0 votes
Jennifer Sus…, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Mon Aug 25, 2014
Dear Corinne,

If you don't feel comfortable about any part of the agreement, then you should speak with your REALTOR and negotiate the terms you feel most comfortable with.

Now you have to remember that a Realtor will not make any money until your home sells. They invest in advertisements, online placement, photography, open houses, etc, so requesting a partial refund if you want to cancel early is not unreasonable..

Wish you the best of luck with your home sale.

Good luck!

Jennifer Susanne Sommers
Luxury Real Estate Specialist and Fine Home Management
Nestler Poletto Sotheby's International Realty
Mob./Text- 786/390/9299
Web Reference:
0 votes
John P Perki…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Sat Aug 16, 2014
Hi Corinne:

I think what James means is that the length of the listing agreement is NEGOTIABLE, not nonnegotiable. I can do whatever length of listing agreement you prefer with a $0 cancellation fee! I am that confident of my service to you.

John Perkins
United Realty Group, Inc.
0 votes
Jennifer Kil…, Agent, Delray Beach, FL
Wed Jul 30, 2014
Dear Corinne,
You have received some very thoughtful and thorough answers, so I will not retread those answers. However, you are smart to seek advice on what the normal practices are in your area. A nine month contract is not unusual if you are being optimistic on the market and your asking price, especially this time of year. The reason for this is that the highest months for sales in Boca Raton are "high season" typically - January - February. If your home is perfect for a second home, that may very well be the reason for this time frame. I will often look at the prime time to get top dollar on a home that is seasonal.

Listing in July, you will be going through typically slower months of August and September, as well.
So the 9 months is not an unusual request. The $1000 request is very unusual. With luxury listings, I invest deeply in my sellers properties with glossy ads and print materials, as well as other marketing cost like open houses, etc. Out of pocket expenses are a fair request as the first several months of a listing are the highest expenses.

Neither of these issues should be an issue if you establish a strong communication and relationship with your agent. Ask for and expect to be a team, evaluate the market and the market response together. If you are unhappy, it is fair to communicate that to the person you hired, and give them an opportunity to respond. In this business, communication and customer service are key. And every realtor will offer to be better than the next. Use your instincts and build a relationship - that's the best way to happily get through the inevitable ups and downs of listing your home for sale!

Best of luck,
Jennifer Kilpatrick
Waterfront & Luxury Specialist
Corcoran Group
0 votes
Amy Givoni, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Sun Jun 29, 2014
Hi Corinne,

All agents work differently. I'm sure I can accommodate your terms. Feel free to give me a call. I charge a $0 cancellation fee and I don't need a nine month contract. I look forward to hearing from you.

At the very least, I would be happy to email you a Market Analysis, with a list of recent sales activity in your neighborhood. This will help give you some idea of value for your home. Feel free to call or just email me your address and I'll send the Market Analysis right over.

Amy Givoni
Givoni Realty Corp.
Phone: 561-361-8555
Efax: 786-345-5806
0 votes
Nick Somervi…, Agent, Pompano Beach, FL
Sun Jun 29, 2014

Nine months seems excessive for the area if your property is priced properly. The average time on the market for the Boca Raton area is less than six months. I wouldn't agree to a cancellation fee of $1000 as well. Here at Somerville Real Estate, we charge no such fee as it is a part of doing business. Sometimes things don't work out and we have to pay the marketing fees without a sale, that is the risk you run with practicing real estate

I was born and raised in Boca Raton and know all the areas of the city very well and would love to consult with you before you decide on which Broker to list your property. For a free, no strings attached, valuation of your home and how I think my company may be a proper fit for you, please contact me at your convenience. Thanks and If I don't hear from you, good luck either way!

Nick Someville
Broker / Owner
Somerville Real Estate, Inc.
0 votes
Marsha Umans…, Agent, Tamarac, FL
Sat Jun 28, 2014
Does not sound right, unless your house is vallued in the millions and you insist on a set price regardless of the market value. Please, e-mail/call me for a confidential consultation.

Marsha Umansky
Prag Realtors, Inc
954 - 673 - 1624
0 votes
Ann Ryan, Agent, Doral, FL
Sat Jun 28, 2014
I say that I would never charge a homeowner if I couldn't get the job done and sell your home. If the home is priced correctly, you should be able to get a contract within weeks. If this is about the townhome in Blue Lake (you have an uncommon name!) there have only been 2 sold through real estate agents - one took 40 days and the other 63 days.
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sat Jun 28, 2014
"We" say............. all listings are negotiable by each agent/company and the seller - there are no standard or set terms, whether it comes to the listing percentage, listing length of time, company policies..... or other fees and terms.

If you are not comfortable with the terms this agent presented, then interview another agent (or 2) and see how they will handle it, and what they will do to market your home.

Just as a point of information - I will tell you that (usually) once a listing contract is signed (barring an extreme problem or issue) - the seller will be held to it - after all, it's a binding contract - and cannot just arbitrarily be cancelled if "things do not work out" (whatever that means).

So, allowing you to cancel and asking, if you do, to pay a fee for reimbursement for their marketing expenses doesn't seem (to me) to be an unfair request or term.
My company (up here in NJ) wouldn't offer an "out" like that - even for a fee.

best wishes.........
0 votes
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