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Seller, Be Suspicious of Long Contracts

Frankly, we’ve always been a little suspicious of anyone who seeks to tie up another through the use of long contracts. Things change and what might have been a good idea at the beginning can morph into a completely different environment six months later. There’s no polite way to say this. The one-sided, long contract your traditional real estate agent is going to ask you to sign is a bad idea. As a matter of practice, you’ll find it skewed decidedly in his favor but, until now, unless you wanted to go the ‘for sale by owner’ route, you had no choice but to sign it and hope for the best.

In case you aren’t aware, most agents solicit you to sign what is called a listing agreement, which gives him complete right to control the listing, marketing, and promotion of your house for a set period of time that usually runs anywhere from six months to one year. Even better (or worse, as the case may be) he wants you to sign this piece of paper on the basis of having talked to him once or twice for a few minutes. In addition, you receive no assurances that he will do anything at all to get your house sold.

You might be thinking: Of course he’ll work his butt off. His commission depends upon it. Yes, he is worried about his commission, all right, but that will come in due time. First he wants to use a series of showings and open houses over the course of the coming weeks and months to network with people coming through your house in the event they ever want to sell their house. For those events, consider your house a sort of de facto office away from the office for your agent.

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While this practice might not fall under the strict definition of criminal behavior, it is somewhat duplicitous, in our opinion, and another example of how dysfunctional the old-fashioned real estate industry has come to be. You actually don’t need to sign a long contract to sell your house. Give Open Door Auctions two weeks and we’ll move it at the same price your agent would have gotten, except we do it in only 14 days.

Take that, long term contracts.

The Open Door Auctions Team

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