ForSaleByOwner.com Provides Tips for When a Listing Agreement Expires

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With increasing numbers of homes across the United States unsold, many home sellers are reaching the end of listing agreements with real estate agents. To help them understand the options available as they continue to try to sell their homes, ForSaleByOwner.com (http://www.forsalebyowner.com) offers these tips:

Options for Selling a Home - After A Listing Agreement Expires   1.     Evaluate The Agent's Performance - How has the agent done? Has the agent stayed in regular contact and provided updates on what steps were taken to market the home? Since more than 84% of buyers are going on the Internet to search for homes, pay special attention to how the agent marketed the home online. For example, are the photos featured in the listing new or up to date, and is the pricing and other information fresh and accurate? Did the agent only put the home on the MLS, or take advantage of other online real estate Websites?   2. Don't Feel Obligated to Renew - Consumers are not legally required to extend a listing agreement with the same real estate agent. If a seller chooses to continue working with an agent and doesn't mind paying a 5-6% commission fee, the end of a listing agreement provides an opportunity to either renew the agreement or switch to a different agent or real estate brokerage company. On the other hand, it also gives the seller a chance to begin selling the home him/herself and avoid paying commissions altogether.   3. Consider Other Types of Listing Agreement: Many people don't know there are actually three types of listing agreements a seller can sign with a real estate broker. Here are the basics, and a summary of how the different kinds of contracts can impact the commission and sales process: a. An "exclusive right to sell" is by far the most common, and requires a seller pay a commission to the agent no matter who finds a buyer, even if the seller finds a buyer him/herself.

b. Under an "exclusive agency" agreement, the seller lists the property with just one agency, but the seller does not pay commission if the seller finds the buyer.

c. In an "open agency" listing agreement, the seller can have the home listed with more than one brokerage. No commission is due if the seller finds the buyer him/herself.

  4. Consider Selling For Sale By Owner - With home prices falling nearly 16% in the nation's top 20 markets over the past 12 months, paying commissions further reduces the homeowner's equity. In separate studies, Northwestern University and Stanford University found that "for sale by owner" sellers are as effective as agents in maximizing the sales price of their homes. After commissions are factored into the equation, the studies reported, sellers who sell by owner actually pocket more money and retain more equity than sellers who sell through agents. Consumer Reports magazine also found that FSBO sellers are more likely to get their asking price, while agents deliver, on average, a price that is $5,000 less than the asking price.

  5. Consider Taking the Home Off the Market - Fall is always a slower home selling season, as there are historically fewer buyers in the market during this period. Sellers should ask themselves whether they can take the home off the market until the spring selling season.

About ForSaleByOwner.com

ForSaleByOwner.com is the nation's leading for sale by owner website. Since 1999, ForSaleByOwner.com has saved home sellers more than one billion dollars by providing premium Internet marketing services, MLS listing services, property pricing reports, real estate guidance and information, downloadable legal forms, as well as live customer support, to help customers independently sell their own homes. The company charges a modest fee for its wide range of advertising and real estate resources, priced from $89 to $899. In contrast, a person selling a $300,000 home through a real estate agent would be charged a 6% commission fee and pay approximately $18,000. Prospective homebuyers can browse property database, available at http://www.forsalebyowner.com, at no charge.

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Eric Mangan
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