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Get It in Writing When You List Your Crofton Home

When you list your home for sale in the greater Crofton area, chances are that your listing agent will make some promises – or at least allude to the fact that he/she will perform certain services.  Often, this conversation also includes the notion that you can cancel the listing any time you’re dissatisfied.

Sign papersIf that’s not in writing, however, it’s pretty hard to hold your agent’s feet to the fire.

The standard verbiage of the listing contract used by most companies belonging to the Anne Arundel County Association of REALTORS does have a cancellation clause, but it’s negotiable between the property owner and broker how much notice is required.  I’m not aware of any real estate company in this area that enforces a specific cancellation period in all cases. 

My recommendation:  Ask for 24 hours and accept no more than seven days right to cancel the listing.  In most cases, agents can have a sign removed, notify any agents who showed your home, and take down online advertising in about three business days.

As to that list of services the agent tells you about…  Those items are rarely included in the standard listing contract used in this area, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask the agent to sign the marketing plan they give you.  If they don’t have a written proposal that lists services they will perform, ask for one and condition your listing contract on receiving one within 24 hours.

How long should you agree to list with the agent you choose?  I asked this question of agents around the country and had about 70 replies.  Needless to say, the answer varied by market and type of property, but most agents felt that short sales in any area require up to a year because of delays in gaining bank approval.  Not so with your average subdivision house, however. 

In the end, the length of any listing contract is not as important as the cancellation clause.  Whether it is a 3–month, 6–month, or year-long contract, the ability for either party (seller or broker/agent) to cancel the agreement is probably a more important consideration.   But don’t take anyone’s word on this matter – If the agents says you can cancel with 24 hours notice, but your listing contract says 30 days and only after you are listed for six months, the paperwork is the only thing that’s enforceable.

The bottom line is this… Get it in writing when you list your Crofton home.  Most agents in the greater Crofton area are highly professional and won’t object to this request.

__________________________ is your one-stop source for information about Crofton, Maryland, and the surrounding area.  It’s my way of keeping current residents informed about their community and real estate matters while also attracting relocating home buyers to the Crofton area (including Bowie, Crownsville, Davidsonville, Fort Meade, Gambrills, Millersville and Odenton).  Please feel free to contact me any time for more information about these communities.

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