Look before you leap! Know the terms before you sign!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

Last Friday I got a phone call from a stranger wanting some advice.  I really felt I couldn't be of much help to of her because she really needed legal advice, so I told her to take her Broker / Agent agreement and first read it and then to seek help from her Board of Realtors or an attorney.

She was in a situation where she was changing agencies and wanted to know if she was going to be getting the commission on transactions that were pending.  Well I can't know what the terms of her contract are, so I really couldn't offer any help. I just knew she better find out what was in the agreement she had signed.  And I know as a matter of law what is supposed to be covered in said agreement. 

My point in talking about this is YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE TERMS OF THE AGREEMENT YOU ARE SIGNING.  I can not imagine signing a contract with a broker and not being aware of the terms.  Yes that includes the terms upon ending the relationship.

And my same advice goes to both buyers and sellers alike.  Every person who is a party to the contract should know exactly what it is they are signing. 

In Georgia we have for the past few years had new purchase and sale agreements every January.  Each year I have taken the class on the new contracts as part of my continuing education hours.  As did each agent in my office.  It pays to have a well educated agent who is educated on the document you are signing when listing or selling or making an offer to purchase a home.  After all it's a huge investment. 

So do your homework people, make sure the agent you hire is keeping up with the latest market trends in your area, but also ask what contract they use and if they have been educated on the actual form itself.

I know some areas may not have had the changes that Georgia has experienced over the past 3 years so taking a contracts class each year is not needed, but for me with the changes over the past 3 years I felt to service my clients I needed to take this class.

It's an absolute MUST to know what your legal obligations are when you sign a contract.  Therefore I believe it's an absolute must to have an agent who who knows the contract, backwards, forwards and inside out.  I still don't give legal advice to anyone.  I refer them to a good attorney.  But when it comes to the blanks I fill out for clients on the GAR contracts I do it correctly because like any good professional I have studied and learned what I need to know to assist clients.

Know the terms of anything you sign!

Tammy Lankford/Broker (Lane Realty) Lake Sinclair : Real Estate Brokerage in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia706-485-9668

Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner

Call me today for all your Lake Sinclair real estate needs.


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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Great tip Tammy, that we can't give legal advice, as that is not our area.

Jan 27, 2009 06:22 AM #1
Dinah Lee Griffey
Windermere Peninsula Properties - Allyn, WA
Managing Broker Windermere Peninsula Properties

We all need to keep that in mind. before Real Estate I just counted on the loan officer to tell me what was going on, and I was *&%%$ over. Now I read contracts All the way through, every time. I know I am boring, but it just takes one time to get trained-Dinah Lee

Jan 27, 2009 10:35 AM #2
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

Our legal contracts are soooooooooo long out here that it takes a thousands of dollars and many months to understand all the fine print.

Jan 27, 2009 10:57 AM #3
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

Tammy, great points here.  When I left my former agency, I finally read that contract.  My former broker had been one of my best friends for years, so I never actually looked at it as I trusted her.  When the friendship ended, she didn't exactly take me to the cleaners, but it wasn't pleasant.  xxoo

Jan 27, 2009 10:02 PM #4
Virginia (Ginger) Schott
Century 21 Geba Realty Assoc. - Port Jervis, NY
Assoc. Broker, CBR, CHMS

I'm  sticking around for two months to make sure I get what I earned.  If I leave before they close I don't earn a commission.


Jul 27, 2012 01:18 AM #5
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Tammy Lankford,

Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville
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