Listing your home for sale can be an amazing experience or a total nightmare, but unfortunately you won’t know how you’ll feel until after you’ve signed on the dotted line.  No matter your motivation or price range and regardless of whether you list your home with us or another real estate company, we believe there are certain inalienable rights that every home seller should have.

1. Right to exclusive representation

Sellers expect that the real estate agent they hire works for them. But in transactions where your agent also represents a buyer, your agent’s effectiveness may severely be reduced by a little understood real estate term called “dual agency”.

And it doesn’t even have to be your agent; if another agent from the same company represents a buyer for your home this may also create a dual agency relationship.

Dual agency is bad because your agent can no longer be your advocate, and there’s a pretty good chance that confidential information you’ve shared about your property or your motivation to sell will affect the buyer’s negotiations.

In many states, dual agency is outlawed due to the risk it places on the parties in a transaction. It’s considered a conflict of interest.

You’d never allow your attorney to represent an opposing party in a lawsuit, and your agent shouldn’t represent anyone but you. Period.

2. Right to understand the market

The real estate market is dynamic and changes constantly. Even two sides of the same street can have different marketability.

A seller should expect their agent to share every bit of market information, not a sanitized version of the facts that might compel you to believe that your home is worth more – or less – than it really is.

3. Right to reasonable costs or commissions

For decades most home sellers have been told that real estate commissions are a “standard” when in fact, it’s against the law for agents or companies to get together and even suggest a standard commission.  And most would agree that 6% is too much to pay.

Even worse, many companies in the industry are charging their clients junk fees on top of their commission, disguised with clever names like “broker compliance fee”, “record retention fee”, or “technology fee”.  They sound legitimate, but no seller should ever pay a fee over and above the commission.

4. Right to consider every offer

Not just the first offer. Not just the highest offer. And certainly not just the offer prepared by the listing agent herself.

Every offer. Even after you’re already under contract.

Because it’s never okay for an agent to determine which offer gets highest priority.  And it’s against the law for an agent to not present every offer.

A seller has the right to know about every interested party, period.

5. Right to ethical treatment

No matter your race, religion, sexual orientation or family status, every human being deserves to be treated honestly and with respect.   But it doesn’t stop there.

Ethics has to do with how a person conducts business and conducts themselves.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) goes as far as requiring their Realtor members to uphold a comprehensive Code of Ethics, which spells out in 17 Articles exactly what behavior is expected of them.  Further, NAR provides a venue for members of the public to file complaints against agents who violate the Code, which could result in fines, suspensions, education requirements or other reprimands.

To learn more about the Realtor Code of Ethics, click here.

6. Right to express themselves

When selling your home many different emotions can come into play, and your agent should be keenly aware of your thoughts and feelings throughout the sales process.

A seller should feel comfortable expressing their needs and concerns to their agent at all times.

Selling real estate requires expertise in marketing, negotiations, data-mining and more, but no skill is more important than simply understanding the seller and listening to what they have to say.  In fact, our best new ideas come right from our sellers.

7. Right to reasonable listing term

There’s never a problem when things go as planned but if the agent you hire isn’t effective or you’re no longer seeing eye-to-eye, getting out of your listing contract can be difficult or impossible.

Lengthy listing contracts are designed for the broker’s protection and are never in the seller’s best interest.

It’s quite common for listing agreements to last 6 months or longer, but it’s up to you to decide how much time you’re willing to give your agent to get the job done.