In my continuing series of tips to share, I'd like to offer some ideas to include in your listing agreement.
1) Have the start date read: This agreement begins when it is signed by the Seller
2) Have the expiration date pre-printed as "This agreement expires after "X" months, ending on the last day of that month. This way, having it pre-printed gives it the appearance that the length of the agreement is not negotiable. Also, ending the listing on the last day of the month, gives you extra time and makes it easy to keep track of when your listings expire.
3) Include "This listing shall be extended by "X" days for every price adjustment. I explain this to my seller that I shouldn't be penalized for time that I tried to get you the highest and most money. If we were both wrong by selecting a higher price, I want to recoup this time.
4) Also include "The term of this listing shall be extended by an amount of days equal to the time it was removed from the market for an offer that was excepted but didn't close". This way I'm not penalized for deals that go bad!
5) After the place to write in the price, I add one of the following clauses (depending on which listing agreement I use that month-I experiment with different ones) "reduced to __________ after 10 days, reduced to _________ after 20 days, reduced to __________ after 30 days" or I use "Seller agrees to reduce the price by 5% every 10 days for a total of ______ reductions". This way I don't need to call for a price reduction, it's already agreed to at the listing appointment.
6) Where you would put the commission amount, I have pre-printed 6.5%, 7.0%, 7.5%, 8.0% (circle one). This way the client sees what my minimum commission amount is. It shows that my commission is negotiable but from the amounts that I choose!
7) Processing fee disclosure, broker relationship & affiliated business disclosures are printed on the listing agreement so there is less paperwork to get signed. The more you pull out & show the prospective listing client, the more intimidating it is, the more they will say "I need to read it over" & the harder it is to get it signed!
8) Any other terms that would ordinarily be filled in by hand are already pre-printed. As an example, our listing says we get 50% of any deposit retained for default by a buyer. The 50% is already pre-printed. Again, the seller is less likely to want to negotiate it if it's pre-printed on the form.