Selling Your Home and Informed Consent

Dated: September 20 2011

Views: 3637

Informed consent is generally an agreement to do something or to allow something to happen only after all the relevant facts are disclosed.  

So, dear readers, what does this have to do with the listing of your home with a real estate broker?  Simply, there are many components to the listing contract which (and I know you won't believe this) some agents never discuss with the seller.  The particularly murky and often confusing issue of commission compensation is sometimes separated from the marketing presentation, and surprisingly, even from the listing contract itself!  I have heard of agents and even entire firms which maintain the policy of "secrecy" concerning this integral piece.

Of course the total commission is in the listing contract, but the equally important component is the amount, if any, a seller is willing to compensate a cooperating broker.  So you go ahead and list your home with "Wonderful Realty", and you agree that the commission will be x%.  Do you know how that % will be divided among the brokers?  In my firm, we usually offer out 50% of the total commission to a cooperating agency.  In the rare cases where the listing will be excessively difficult to manage, such as a short sale, or foreclosure, we might be inclined to maintain a higher portion.  But most listings do not fall into this category.  

Did you know that your agent may be charging you x%, and keeping the Lion's, no the elephant's share of the commission ?  No, I didn't think you knew that.  This is because in many cases the agent NEVER DISCUSSED THIS IMPORTANT MATERIAL aspect of the listing contract.

I suggest that if you are unaware of how much you are paying cooperating agents, you call your broker immediately and find out! Then ask - WHY?

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Russ Woolley

Russ Woolley, President of Wright Bros. Real Estate, has been a driving force within the Rockland County real estate industry for 28 years. A Rockland native, Russ was the 2002 President of the Rockla....

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