I’ve been in this industry for over a decade now and I’ve seen and heard plenty of horror stories over the years. It’s such a big decision, selling your house. It’s highly emotional and that alone can amplify small discomforts to major problems. By the same token, there are also some horrible agents out there who make make money at anyone’s expense. After analysing all the encounters that people have been through, I’ve noticed that the owners who were unaware that they locked themselves in with an agent for longer then they should or thought are the saltiest of the lot.
Always be aware of how many days you are exclusively listing for when signing an authority with an agent. Unless you have a unique property or vast amounts of land, in today’s market, agents only need thirty to sixty days to get a property sold. Anything over that I would be questioning the agents belief in getting the property sold. The only times agents want to sign you up for a longer period is when they don’t believe in the price they’re trying to achieve. Whether they gave you the price or you chose it, they are going to need as much time as they can get to ‘condition’ you to a price where the property will sell.
One of the most disgusting things I’ve seen recently was toward an elderly couple who knew they signed a sixty day authority. But after signing, the agent took the authority with them and sent out another a different one in a package mixed in with a range of other documents. This new authority was only signed by the agent and had six months exclusivity. This was definitely one of the most unethical things I had seen and is very much in line with the stigma about agents and dishonesty.
I personally prefer working thirty to sixty day authorities. It helps me focus on my service, knowing my owners can leave very shortly after I have gone to market with their property. What I’ve learnt is that if I just do my job and service my clients, whether I have exclusivity or not, the owners that appoint me their agent don’t go anywhere.
On a final note, make sure you receive a copy of the authority upon signing. This way you know what you’ve signed and the agents cannot manipulate the authority. Also another thing to remember is that if you do not receive the carbon copy or second copy of your signed authority, you do not have to pay the agent fees.