You’ve probably heard the adage, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” This statement is often true when it comes to real estate. I guess the same can be said about marketing property. The tools have changed, but the goal is still the same. That goal is to find a ready, willing, and able buyer.
Paragraph 24 of the listing contract starts with the marketing basics, you know, for sale sign, lock box, key in office, open houses and advertising in all media, including print and electronic, photographs and videos. The items listed are at the discretion of the Broker and NOT the seller. This condition is an often overlooked portion of the contract.
It is important that you and your real estate agent agree on the marketing items listed as well as any additional marketing services. Once you are in agreement, these items should be listed in the contract. In the same vein, if you do not want something like a lockbox on your property or open houses, this should also be clearly stated in the contract. Don’t take it for granted that certain things will be done with the marketing of your home because there is a list of things the Broker can do at their discretion. Having a contractual list of marketing duties defines the agreement between you and the broker. If the broker does not complete the list, the listing contract could be voidable by the seller.
The next option given is the right NOT to have the listed property displayed on the Internet. You can also choose to have the property on the internet with no address listed. Not sure how that one would work but it is an option.
The contract does a “U” turn from there and states that if an open house is scheduled (Remember, at the discretion of the broker, unless otherwise agreed) the address can be displayed on the internet.
I, for one, would not want to call my seller who does not want their address on the internet, tell them I am doing an open house at my discretion and put the address on the internet. I value my health too much but alas, that is how the listing contracts are crafted and why I am writing about it.
Now for the complicated stuff. If you do not opt out of the internet for the marketing of your home, it is likely to end up on a “VOW or Virtual Office Website” or “IDX or Internet Data Exchange”. It is at this moment when you will want to understand what Broker Reciprocity means. It is how your home can be listed with one brokerage and agent and show up on thousands of other brokerage and agent websites. Ultimately, this means more exposure for your home which is almost always a good thing, almost. More on this lengthy and interesting subject in a future article.
Last but not least is the MLS or Multi-List Service. Sellers have the right to opt out of the MLS if they choose to do so, and it is agreed to by the broker. You might ask, why would a seller opt out of the MLS? Isn’t that where all the marketing action is? This too is a lengthy and interesting subject for another time. For now, just be aware it is an option in the listing contract to be discussed.
To read parts One, Two, and Three of this series on Understanding the Listing Contract, visit my website at JeffreyHogueRealtor.com.
Knowledge is Power!