Congratulations, you've decided to sell your home! Perhaps you're moving up, or maybe you're downsizing or moving to another city. Now comes the time to pick a REALTOR to start the process along. If you don't already have an agent you've worked with before, it's always recommended to interview two or three people to find the best fit for you. Once you've chosen someone, you'll start seeing a lot of paperwork.
One of the pieces you'll sign is an agency form called "Working With a REALTOR". This basically outlines the relationship you'll have with your REALTOR in very simple terms.
The listing agreement is the main document you'll sign in order to put your home on the market. If this is the first time you're selling a home, this can be the scariest contract before the offer comes in! Before you sign anything, go over the entire contract with your REALTOR. This way, you can ask any questions you have before the pen is in your hand. Most of the clauses (ie the numbered paragraphs) are very wordy, and have what may seem to be run-on sentences. Ask your REALTOR to explain each of them in layman's terms.
The clauses that will probably be of most interest to you - and are the questions we most often get - are the commission clause and the length of the listing term. Remember that both of these are negotiable with your REALTOR. The commission should be based on the level of service you'll get, so make sure you're getting everything you want. This may mean you pay a bit more, but this is probably the biggest deal of your life. Do you always buy the cheapest winter tires, or the low-efficiency furnace? You know that paying a bit more for a better quality product, so don't skimp here.
The length of your listing is dependent on many different factors. Pricing your home properly should ensure your house sells in a reasonable amount of time. Ask your REALTOR what that length of time is with respect to the current market conditions, what has recently happened in your neighbourhood, and the condition of your house. 90 days is reasonable for a listing period under normal conditions, but make sure you and your REALTOR discuss all the options.
A listing agreement is a very serious contract. Do not take it lightly, but there is no reason to be scared of it. It's all part of the process on this home-selling and -buying journey! Good luck!