COVID-19 seems to have brought on a Seller’s Market in New Hampshire. Homes are flying out of Multiple Listings as soon as they’re listed; some are even sold before they’re listed. Multiple offers are not unusual and some homes are even selling for more than the listing price.

At the same time, the Listing Agreements you sign with Realtors have gone from simple one-page documents to 3-, 4-, and 5-page contracts.

Hasty real estate transactions without professional advice can be costly.

For example: A client recently had to sell a home owned by a Probate estate. The client agreed to take out an old, potentially leaky gas tank. Unbeknownst to the client, the tank was buried under the porch and it turned from a few hundred dollar-problem to a $7000 problem.

Moral:

  1. Be careful what you agree to fix-up or replace in your home before the sale. It may be more cost effective and timely to agree to a reduction in price and let the new owner handle the problem the way they would like.
  1. Read the Listing Agreement carefully and make sure you understand it. Make sure you agree to what is stated. You have the ability to negotiate the terms of the agreement, and you should do so where appropriate.
  1. You can negotiate your real estate agent’s percentage fee. You do not have to agree to the first percentage offered.
  1. Beware of “Exclusive Look” or “Exclusive Period” agreements that give your Realtor time to sell your home before placing it in Multiple Listings.

Be careful of the “Seller’s Disclosure.” Be truthful about what you say.  Don’t be pushed by a real estate agent or prospective Buyer to “disclose” anything more than you actually know.  Don’t be afraid to use the phrase, “To the best of my knowledge, …”

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