Richards Real Estate

AGENCY

Q. I have a listing that has expired, but a buyer that came around when the listing was active has now expressed interest in buying. I want to make sure I don’t have any obligation to my Realtor. V.S. Rio Vista

A. At the listing initiation, Agency (who represents you) is defined on the listing agreement and on the separate Agency disclosure form. A Realtor is bound to the confidential aspects of that Agency even after the listing expires! On that same listing agreement is a start and termination date, and on page 1

(On residential) is a “carry over” period that defaults to 30 days. In my office we write in 180 days for that carry over. Business listings show that date as 180 days on page 3. If you have gone beyond the carry over date, and both the listing and the carry over date have expired, then you owe your Realtor no commission.

Before you sell, you might want to contact your Realtor to insure you are clear to proceed. Before you call, read the entire paragraph and pay attention to the wording: that if, at the end of the expiration of the listing agreement, your Realtor has not provided a list of names that could return as buyers, then the carry over does not apply. The 180 day carry over would only be legitimate if the names are presented to you, if not, no commission.

At that point, your Realtor might argue ethics, that they advertised and delivered a buyer and should be compensated. If your Realtor threatened to sue you, in most cases it would be small claims court or arbitration. On either one the ruling would be made by the document you both signed, and to collect your Realtor would have to be clearly within the agreement.

In my office we’ve had this happen twice, once to me! Not only are the commissions lost, but the time spent and the advertising and printing costs. Most Realtors don’t thoroughly read the contracts they present nor do their clients; that is, until there is a money dispute. Contract law is covered in advanced training classes for Realtors, but many don’t go to that trouble, they just muddle along! If your Realtor has a GRI (Graduate Realty Institute) designation, then they have that education.

All good reasons to read the listing agreement carefully.

Q. I called you Mr. Richards the other day and you were quick to say “Sam, just call me Sam”. I’m curious why you would be offended by a more formal salutation? G.B. Rio Vista

A. Can’t say I’m offended; my mother had a soft soothing voice, unless she was upset with my shenanigans, then she would say “Mr. Richards, come here this minute”! Maybe my reactions go to that, I don’t know. I would think mostly that I prefer that people be at ease and there is more comfort in using first names.

I suppose, at my age, I should look at a more formal greeting as a sign of respect. I certainly appreciate respect, but I tend to lean toward informality.

When I first opened a Real Estate office, I decided to use my last name to identify the business. I felt that as sales grew the name identity would grow as well, which it has. With all the forms of advertising I use, though, people still call to talk to “Richard” or “Rich”, not Sam. I guess I should’ve named it Sam’s Homes or something of that ilk, then they’d call for Mr. Sam!

I’m not offended by any greeting, even the wrong name. My only rule is that I be called something you would say in front of kids and ladies!

But, at the end of the day, just call me Sam!

Posted on January 16, 2019 at 10:49 am by Sam Richards

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