Listing Agreement

写的长了些,这里最重要的是搞明白 Listing agreements,然后你就能明白其他了。


1. Listing agreements


When a seller wants to sell the house in the MLS market, the seller needs sign a listing agreement with the listing broker/agent (there is no exception). Nationwide, there are 4 type listing agreements. In WA, there are 3 type listing agreements:
1. Open listing
2. Exclusive agency listing
3. Exclusive right to sell listing

#1 "Open listing" is allowed in WA but almost no one use it now. It is usually informal and verbal. Whenever it is used, it is very likely to create lawsuit.
#2 "Exclusive agency listing". For this type listing, the seller is obligated to pay the broker a commission if the property sells, regardless of who actually sells the property. The seller, however, still retains the right to sell the property himself and save the buyer agent's commission.
#3 "Exclusive right to sell listing". The seller is contracted to pay the commission (listing part, and buy agent part) no matter what. If there is a buyer comes without an agent, the buyer agent commission will go to the listing broker (not the listing agent). The money (if more than $25) simply can't go to anyone else (Include seller or buyer).

In WA, most of the listing agreements are "Exclusive right to sell listing". After seller signs the listing agreement, the seller needs to pay the commission (listing part, and buy agent part) no matter what. Suppose a buyer makes a deal with the seller to buy a house for 60W without agent, the cost for buyer is 60w. Suppose a buyer has a discount buyer agent, the cost to buyer is less: it is "60W minus commission back (someone are willing to give 2% of house price)" Most listing agreements also have a clause for the following: Within a few months AFTER the listing agreement expires, if the seller sell the house himself, the seller still needs pay the full commission to listing broker. (So there is no use to ask the seller to quit the listing agreement and make a deal with you. The cost to seller is same; for buyer, you still lost the
commission back) If you have a chance to try to make a deal with a person (for sell by owner, use the listing agreement #1 or #2), you still have a chance to save some money. This requires you have the RE knowledge and skills to make the correct deal. 如果你有足够knowledge and skills,你可以不用医生而给自己看病,你可以不用律师而自己出庭给自己辩护。Same logic for agents and all other services.

For person sell by owner & use the listing agreement #1 or #2, those people are usually very strict about money, it really depends on your bargain skills to get a good deal. And needless to say it again, these people only count a very small percentage of the houses for sell in the market.

Another special case is New construction, let me know if you have any questions, there are lot of tricks and tips here.


#2, Buyer Agent历史, Duty


Before 1994, although buyer agents drive the buyer to tour the houses, buyer agent is legally represent the seller. The confusion is getting bigger and bigger so there is a change around 1994 (nationwide). King county, Snohomish county, Pierce county… implemented the change on 1/1/1994, a few other counties did the change a few month later. With the new change, buyer agent should represent buyer only and be loyal to buyer. If the buyer agent didn’ t, then you should fire him/her.

By law, the current Buyer Agent’s duty is http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=18.86.050.

It is true there are 害群之马agents,不顾买方的利益,就想把把房子卖出去,卖 的价格越高越好。As a buyer, you can fire the agent IMMEDIATELY and interview more to find a good one.


#3 Agent 的收入


Someone thinks an agent will earn a big $$$, this is totally misunderstanding. I think the real number will surprise most people who reads this document.
Nationwide, the average income for licensed agent is 7000 per year. That’s $600 per month, much less than your babysitter. Yes, the reason is most agents never made a single transaction in a whole year. A lot of people know the house price is high in California, one thing you don't know is there are many more agents than the houses sold in Ca yearly. In WA, excluding the part-time agents, the full time agent's average income is about 3w yearly, less than half of most people here.

It is true there are some successful agents earn much more, but the percentage is small. A lot of agents很辛苦,收入相对低,压力很大,患 depression病的很多,你可以想象agent 赚了18,000 after sold a 600,000 house, but the TRUTH is a big part of the money will go to the buyer, then the agent will split the rest with the broker, paying a lot of fee for each transaction. 写了这么多,只是希望大家能互相理解。


#4 未来的展望


In the future, 或许买方agent不是必需的,卖方也不是必需的。In the future, 或 许每个人都无需交税,这样每个人每年都会省很多钱。。。也许我太老了,now I dream this less often. Instead I think it is smart to think about how to save the money under the current system: like read the tax code to learn how to省税,learn investment to earn more, and how to take advantage of the commission back.

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