Details of a Listing Contract
Obviously the name of the seller and the property address will be included in the listing contract. There are many other things that are included, too, and you should be aware of them.
Price and Terms of Sale
When setting the terms of sale, the main thing you are concerned with is the price. You should have a basic idea of what your home is worth by keeping track of other sales in the neighborhood. Plus, you have probably interviewed at least two real estate agents and they have given you their own ideas. Exercise great care in determining your asking price, making sure not to set it too high or too low.
In addition to the price, you will disclose what personal property, if any, goes with the house when you sell it. Personal property is anything that is not attached or fixed to the home, such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, and so on.
There may be some item that is considered "real property" that you do not intend to include in the sale. Real property is anything that is attached to the home. For example, you may have a chandelier that has been in your family for generations and you take it from home to home when you move. Since the chandelier is attached to the house, it is considered "real property" and a reasonable buyer would normally expect it to go with the house.
Lockbox - Yes or No?
A lockbox is a basically a padlock with a cavity inside where a key to your home can be placed. Only someone with an electronic key or the combination can get into the lockbox and access the key. Having a lockbox available at your house makes it easy for other agents to get access to your house.The listing specifies whether you will allow a lockbox or not.
The lockbox is locked into place, usually on the front door and cannot be removed. Only other agents can access the key that is located within the lockbox. The listing specifies what an agent must do to set up an appointment to view or show the house, such as call for an appointment.
Without a lockbox, agents would have to set appointments to meet you or your agent at the house, which is inconvenient, so they may simply show other properties that offer the the convenience of a lockbox and not show your property. You will miss out on lots of potential buyers.
Real Estate Commission
In some areas of the country there is a certain percentage that real estate agents expect to earn as a commission. This commission amount is a certain percent of the sales price. Or, some companies will charge a set fee for their services. However, just like anything else in real estate, this amount is negotiable. When completing the listing agreement, you and your agent will agree on the amount of the real estate commission.
Multiple Listing Service
Your listing contract should specify whether or not the house will be listed on the local MLS (multiple listing service). It is definitely in your interest to have the house listed because your sales force is automatically multiplied by however many agents are members of the local MLS. If your house is not listed, then you only have one agent working for you instead of many