As a real estate brokerage, we can list properties for sale on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This is a website that realtors, appraisers, and other real estate professionals use that costs approximately $1,000.00 - $1,500.00 per year to have access to. With the press of a button, your property is made available to over 7,000 real estate agents.When the property is entered into the MLS system (listing) the information on the property and pictures propagate to Zillow.com, Realtor.com, Trulia.com, Homes.com, and Redfin.com. As a result of propagation, the listing information and pictures of the property provided by the agent in the MLS is made available to non-agent buyers that do not have access to the MLS system but can access the pictures and property information through these other websites. MLS listings provide the most comprehensive supply of buyers and buyers agents.
A realtor listing property on the MLS (listing agent) is typically considered a FULL-SERVICE LISTING. This means the listing agent takes responsibility for every aspect of the sale from taking pictures, to showing the property to interested non-represented buyers, accepting and discussing offers with the seller, assisting through inspections, and otherwise working with the seller through closing. It is possible for a listing agent to also represent the buyer if the buyer is otherwise unrepresented.
In that case the listing agent becomes a Transaction Agent, or Disclosed Dual Agent, and in this capacity does not advocate for the individual interests of either the buyer or seller. The agent’s responsibility is to do the paperwork only and answer whatever questions the buyer and seller may have. Transaction Agency or Disclosed Dual Agency is not something to be recommended because you pay all the fees of a full-service listing, but do not end up being represented at all. It is highly encouraged that you have a selling agent and buying agent involved in every sale with each agent advocating the individual interests of their client. This is going to provide the best representation to both the seller and buyer and result in the best overall outcome. Agents love to represent both the buyer and seller because they get double the commission. Do not let it happen. Have your own agent!
Typically, the property is listed by a real estate agent (listing agent), a buyer finds the property online, the buyer then calls a real estate agent (buyer’s agent) to gain access to the property if listed on the MLS. It is possible to get your property listed on the MLS for a minimal fee (limited service listing) wherein a real estate agent enters the property information into the MLS and it is up to the seller to take pictures and show their own property. The realtor only does the paperwork. Although this may appear on the surface to give most of the advantages of having a real estate agent without the cost, it is not something that our office does (limited service listings) and not something that should be encouraged.
Very often non-attorney clients are in the process of drafting or signing a lease or purchase/sale agreement and at the very last minute realize it would be wise to have an attorney review the contract for anything they may have missed, or it becomes obvious that there are matters in the contract or lease that are problematic either because they cannot be understood or are in conflict with other areas of the sale contract or lease.
When a sale contract is presented it is normally accompanied by what is called in the real estate business an “earnest money check”. In an ideal world, if you found the home of your dreams, you and the owner would sign a purchase contract, followed by a handshake, and later, your
down payment. In the real world, to prove your offer to purchase a property is “earnest,” or “in good faith,” you need to put money on the table as soon as the ink of your signature dries on the purchase contract. It’s important to know that this earnest money deposit is not an extra cost of buying a home. It will be credited to you towards the down payment at closing.