If I hire a real estate agent, what should I do? | Freilich Law | Michael Freilich | freilichlaw.com | (410) 321-0040
Consult a real estate attorney first before you sign anything. When you meet with the real estate agent, they will ask you to sign what is referred to as a listing agreement. It’ll say listing agreement, and then it will also typically say authorization to sell. You’re not authorizing them to sell. You’re authorizing them to show. There’s a big difference between an authorization to show real estate as opposed to sell real estate. Then you need to go through and limit some of the other terms in the standard form listing agreement.
The listing agreement protects the broker, not you the seller. In my view, in many ways, it’s overreaching. For example, if there’s a lawsuit, you end up indemnifying the realtor. That means that if the realtor is out attorney’s fees, and he wins, you have to pay his attorney’s fees, but if you’re out attorney’s fees, and you win, he doesn’t have to pay yours. There are a lot of ways to limit and equalize the negotiating powers, but you need a real estate attorney who knows what they’re doing in the listing agreement field to make those decisions for you.