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Details of a Listing Contract

Feb 4, 2008
So you've decided to put your house on the market and you are about to draw up the listing contract. But what is the most important information that it should contain? There is so much you want to say about your house and that contract is looking awfully small. Below are some key points that should be stated in every listing contract.

The first thing you want to include is of course, the price you will ask for the home. Asking too much will keep your house on the market for a long time and by asking too little you put yourself in a position that you could end up not getting what the home is worth. To get a fair idea of what's reasonable, look into what homes in the area are selling for and ask your real estate agent who will be able to give you a good idea of what to ask.

Next you need to decide what will be included in the sale. This includes appliances such as a refrigerator, dishwasher, and washer and dryer. Any items that are attached to the house, such as certain light fixtures, are considered real property and are automatically assumed that they will be included. So if you have something such as a chandelier that you do not want included in the price of the sale, make sure that the listing contract states that.

The next important detail is the real estate agent's commission. Most areas will have an amount that is generally accepted but this can be discussed with you and the agent if you don't feel comfortable with that amount. After deciding on the amount of commission, the listing will also state at what time that commission has been earned. So if you're selling your home and a buyer agrees to your price and terms, it is at that time that the agent has earned their commission. That is important to remember because even if you end up deciding not to sell, you are still responsible for paying that commission.

The listing then needs to state whether or not the house will be advertised on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS.) It is generally in the seller's best interest to advertise on this website, as that's how the majority of homes are sold. This is also when having a real estate agent comes in especially handy as selling privately does not allow for this advertising.

Although listing contracts include many more details than these, these are the main points to concern yourself with when you are initially drawing up the contract. They provide a good foundation to move further with the listing and eventual sale of the property.
About the Author
Paige Martin is award winning Houston realtor. Her website features 500+ pages of data and lists all Houston MLS homes for sale. Get free tips and search for Houston Rent Houses. Paige is a member of the Houston, Texas, and National Assoc of Realtors. Paige Martin, Realtor, Martha Turner Properties.
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