The Brokerage Firm: Be Aware of Your Agreement

Selling your home can be difficult at times, especially if you’ve never done it before. While you could list it in the newspaper or find a website that helps people sell their homes, many will turn to using a brokerage firm in order to help solidify a sale. For a modest fee, these firms use any method they can to help you sell your home. However, there are some aspects to the brokerage firm that you need to be aware of before you sign any contract.

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1. Exclusive Right-to-Sell – Most brokerage contracts, whether they are from a firm or a private broker, will use an Exclusive Right-to-Sell agreement that guarantees that the brokerage firm or private broker is paid when the home is sold regardless of who sells it. This means that if you hire a firm or private broker to sell your home and you find someone to buy it from you yourself, you still owe money to the broker. While some may be offended by this practice, it makes sense if you sit back and think about it.You are hiring someone else to sell your home. This individual puts in a great amount of time in marketing your home to as many people as they can. If you sell it out from under them, they need to be reimbursed somehow for the time and money spent working on selling your home. Otherwise, they lost all of that time working for you without pay.

2. Property Management Agreement – This agreement may differ depending on the location of the property, but the Property Management Agreement will breakdown the responsibilities between the owner of the property and the broker. For the most part, a broker will be able to act on your behalf anything having to deal with the property you are trying to sell. Most of the time, the responsibilities will be divided and the owner will have to maintain the property until a sale is made. In rare cases, the broker will have complete autonomy and may hire maintenance people to work on the property. If you would rather not let others maintain your property, you should make sure that this clause isn’t present in the agreement.

3. Exclusive Right-to-Lease – In the event you would rather lease the home instead of selling it outright, you could enter into an Exclusive Right-to-Lease agreement with the brokerage firm or private broker. Most of the time, this agreement will release the broker from any landscaping or facility maintenance and grant them exclusive rights to lease the property. This means they can lease the property to anyone they wish without your consent. It also establishes that you are responsible for any fees should you lease the property without the broker. It is much like the Exclusive Right-to-Sell agreement in the regards that there is compensation to be accounted for.

The brokerage firm as a whole isn’t an evil entity trying to steal your money. While there have been brokers from firms that have milked every dime out of a homeowner as they can to make money, not all of them are greed mongers. Most of these people are experienced sellers and can help you unload your home when it is time to move on. Just make sure you understand the entire contract before signing your name to any agreement as it may entitle the firm or the broker more than you realize.

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Author Bio:
This is article is contributed by Madoline Hatter. Madoline is a freelance writer and blog junkie from You can reach her at: m.hatter12 @ gmail. com.

Erin Emanuel