Explaining Real Estate Listing Contracts

Unlike what I suspect is the vast majority of Realtors, I actually look forward to walking clients through the particulars of a listing contract and the related addenda.

It certainly helps that, as a former corporate attorney, I know the history, context, and purpose of the various clauses; too, I know what can be lightly skipped over (the vast majority of boilerplate).

The one exception to the foregoing?

The long (and growing) section discussing ancillary services such as home warranties, extended home warranties, and the like.

If I think they’re applicable, I’ll certainly raise the option with my client.

But, I don’t like having to discuss ancillary services when they’re not applicable, and I really don’t like the (confusing) requirement that I get my clients’ signatures affirmatively acknowledging that I’ve explained the option, but that they’re declining (“Yes, I don’t want it”). 

P.S.:  when is a home warranty a good idea?  For a home with multiple dated-but-still-functioning appliances and/or mechanical’s (furnace, a/c, hot water heater).

That’s doubly true if the home is trying to attract first-time Buyers who can’t afford to shell out for big ticket items.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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