‘Twas the Free Friday before Christmas…

‘Twas the Free Friday before Christmas and all through the blog not a creature was stilling, not even the dog. Yes, I know this is the time of year when every advertiser and every commercial feel obliged to sing their message to the tune of The Twelfth Day of Christmas, so I will try to make this post as non-irritating as possible!


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I do come, however bearing three gifts- a free report, a free ebook, and a free kindle book.

How does one get these Free Friday freebies?

The free report, “Five CRITICAL Real Estate Mistakes to Avoid When it’s time to move”. is available here…eepurl.com/bxB-vv

The FREE eBOOK about the basics of Flipping Houses! is available here…eepurl.com/bJUU3X

The free kindle, “Now What… is available Friday and Saturday at amazon here…https://t.co/whFlukdyuF

And, of course all of this pales in comparison to the benefits you receive when you subscribe to TheReasonableRealtor right here.

Well, that’s it for now,  I will talk to you soon!


profileBroker Don Martin, founder and CEO of Martin Properties, besides helping hundreds of FSBOs save thousands of dollars, also delivers seminars, keynotes and motivational messages to real estate and sales professionals. His 30+ years of experience in sales, marketing, real estate, promotion, management and technology has empowered thousands to expand their knowledge and achieve their goals. Connect with Martin Properties on Facebook, TheReasonableRealtor.com, MLS-TODAY.com or Amazon.com.

 

Listing Contracts

Types of Listing Contracts

A listing contract is an agreement between a seller and a licensed real estate broker that authorizes the broker to represent the seller in the process of selling his home. There are several different types of listing contracts, but very few of them are used. The most common one used is the “Exclusive Right to Sell” listing. But you will find that there are a lot more types, allowing you to choose the level of services authorization to give to your agent. Here are some of them:


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One-Time Showing

This type of listing contract is  in effect for one showing to one prospect.  Otherwise the owner is free to sell the house themselves and pay no commission.  This relationship only makes sense if the house is not listed, and not in the MLS.   The listing contract identifies the potential buyer and guarantees the agent a commission if that buyer buys the home. Just like open listings and some exclusive agency listings, this type may lack  marketing efforts on the part of the agent.

The commission the seller will spend is negotiable, with negation made prior to the showing, and may cost as much as the buying and selling side of a traditional listing, payable at closing- transactionally funded.

Exclusive Agency Listing

This one involves a broker, who, therefore makes it possible to have the house in the MLS for the exposure. An exclusive agency listing will give sellers the right to sell their own home, without paying  commission unless the house is sold through a licensed real estate professional. Should the house be sold without any help of agents, the contract allows homeowners to pay no commission at all. The reason why this type of listing contract is widely used is the temptation of not having to pay a broker.

The expense to the seller may be that of the buyer’s agent side of a traditional sale, payable at closing, and a smaller, flat-fee to the agent who gets the house in the MLS, usually payable in advance.

Exclusive Right to Sell Listing

The most popular type of listing with some sellers and all brokers, this contract gives the full right for your broker to do whatever it takes to sell your house. For obvious reasons, this is probably the type of contract where you can expect the most incentive from the agent – a good marketing effort can take place here, and the homeowners’ work is much reduced.

The cost to the seller is the most of these three, but it is usually paid out of the proceeds at closing.

Any of these listing relationships can involve different levels of service.  Before you choose your contract, always make sure you know every type of listing available to you. Take in mind how much effort you would like to contribute to the home selling – this is often what distinguishes the types. Discuss the possibilities and disadvantages of each type. Remember, a listing contract is your first legal step in selling your house – take that step carefully and have it in writing exactly what you are expecting from the agent.  The best surprise is NO surprise!


profileBroker Don Martin, founder and CEO of Martin Properties, besides helping hundreds of FSBOs save thousands of dollars, also delivers seminars, keynotes and motivational messages to real estate and sales professionals. His 30+ years of experience in sales, marketing, real estate, promotion, management and technology has empowered thousands to expand their knowledge and achieve their goals. Connect with Martin Properties on Facebook, TheReasonableRealtor.com, MLS-TODAY.com or Amazon.com.

 

Earnest Money

In a real estate transaction and negotiation, an important issue is how much trust the seller has in a buyer and how “strong” the offer is. The existence and size of an earnest money deposit can help put a seller at ease to some extent.


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Good Faith Deposit

If you are selling your home, you should always require a buyer to make an earnest money or good faith deposit. The deposit simply establishes that the buyer is serious and, to some extent, has the financial capacity to complete the purchase.

The amount of the deposit is often dependent upon the agreed sale price of the real estate. Although percentages vary from state to state, a cash deposit equal to three percent of the sales price is typical. For instance, the deposit would be $3,000 for home selling at a price of $100,000. As with most transactions, this percentage is negotiable.   The size of the deposit somehow reflects the “strength” of the offer by some yardsticks, as though a low offer may be offset somewhat by a high earnest money deposit.  I have, over the years seen $500 and $1000 earnest money deposits, and once I saw a rather nice wristwatch used as an indicator of good faith.

Once the buyer and seller agree to the amount of the good faith deposit, you have to decide what to do with the deposit. Importantly, the seller should not hold the deposit as doing so could make the buyer uncomfortable. Instead, the money should be held in an escrow account of a third party.  Potential third parties include escrow and title insurance companies, an attorney, as well as your agent’s company or your buyer’s agent’s company if there is one.  It should be somewhere safely protected from buyer and seller, because if the transaction falls through, and the disposition of the deposit is contested, the matter may eventually go to a legal interpleader hearing.

A good faith deposit can act like insurance for a seller.  A transaction can take 30 to 60 days, during which the property is off the market. The earnest money essentially compensates the seller for this time in the event the buyer is unable to complete the purchase of the property.

Depending on the laws in your state, a buyer who can’t close will forfeit his earnest money. Typically, the only exception to this is when the contract language indicates the deposit will be returned if the buyer can’t get a home loan. Of course, including such language can open the seller up to repeated frustration when bad credit buyers fail to get funding.

Earnest money deposits are just a fundamental part of a real estate transaction. Buyers should expect to pay them and sellers should demand them.


profileBroker Don Martin, founder and CEO of Martin Properties, besides helping hundreds of FSBOs save thousands of dollars, also delivers seminars, keynotes and motivational messages to real estate and sales professionals. His 30+ years of experience in sales, marketing, real estate, promotion, management and technology has empowered thousands to expand their knowledge and achieve their goals. Connect with Martin Properties on Facebook, TheReasonableRealtor.com, MLS-TODAY.com or Amazon.com.

 

Staging your home like a “Boss.”

 

 

Are you considering putting your house up for sale, but not even sure where to start? Maybe it will take too long to sell, or maybe you won’t get the price you want? Think about “staging” your home, or in other words,  making it easy for a prospect to imagine owning your house.


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To be really effective, you need to look at both the outside and inside of your home. Here are three tips to get you started with the inside:

1. De-clutter. This is one of the most important things you can do.  It may be easier to think of de-cluttering like this you are just getting a headstart on moving!

Pack up everything you don’t need and store the boxes out of sight in the garage (or consider temporarily renting a small storage locker or what is called a “pod.”)

2. Organize your closets – put similar colors together, pants together, skirts together, and shirts together.  It will make the closets look bigger.  An organized closet appears bigger, and you want your closets to look as spacious as possible.  Have the shelves almost empty if you can.

3. Make your home look more like a model. You want to remove as much of your “stuff” as much as possible so potential buyers can imagine themselves and their own belongings occupying that space in your house. That means minimizing – putting away everything you won’t  use while on the market. Clear off the kitchen counters as much as possible – stash unused appliances, and small clutter in a few attractive baskets or boxes or hide it away.

And the biggest tip of all? Imagine yourself as a potential buyer looking at your house for the first time. What first and second impressions are you getting? Would YOU buy this house? What would you like to see different before you put an offer on your house?

And don’t worry about spending some bucks to get your house ready to sell – you’ll get it all back when your house sells. Don’t ever spend a dollar unless it will make you a dollar, but the correct staging will help you sell your home in a shorter time and at the price you want.


profileSpeaker Don Martin, founder and CEO of Martin Properties, besides helping hundreds of FSBOs save thousands of dollars,  delivers seminars, keynotes and motivational messages to real estate and sales professionals. His experience in sales, marketing, real estate, promotion, management and technology has empowered thousands to expand their knowledge and achieve their goals. Connect with Martin Properties on Facebook, TheReasonableRealtor.com,   MLS-TODAY.com or Amazon.com.