Conspicuously Missing Term:  Asking Price

One of the more confusing contracts in residential real estate is what’s called a “One Time Showing Contract.”

As you might guess, unlike a Listing Contract, which allows the Realtor to market a home to the world, a One Time Showing Contract contemplates a deal with exactly one prospective Buyer.

Key Terms

In addition to naming the Buyer, the contract typically lists the agent and broker coordinating the one-time showing; the contract term (one year is standard); the commission the Seller will pay if a deal results; and who the Seller will use for closing.

Notably missing?

An asking price.

Non-Binding on Seller

The explanation is that the asking price ” along with other key terms like the closing date, earnest money, and inspection scope and timetable ” are governed by the Purchase Agreement and Addenda.

If the prospective Buyer ultimately makes an offer, and the Seller doesn’t like the terms (and can’t negotiate better ones), their recourse is clear:  they simply don’t sign.

No Seller’s signatures  . . . no deal.

Bottom line:  nothing in a One Time Showing Contract obligates the Seller to sell if they and the Buyer can’t agree on terms ” a concern that frequently comes up for many owners approached about one-time showings (concern #2:  the commission owed if there’s no deal.  Answer:  $0).

P.S.:  Notwithstanding any of the above, the Buyer and Seller are well-advised to at least have a tentative price in mind, to avoid wasting everyone’s time if one party or the other has unrealistic expectations.

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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