KASS: A good real estate agent

By: Benny Kass//August 29, 2018//

KASS: A good real estate agent

By: Benny Kass//August 29, 2018//

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Q:     We’ve been ripped off badly by realtors in the past. Consequently, we don’t trust them. I’m wondering if it’s possible to have an estate attorney draw up a contract wherein the realtor (and agency) we hire is required to sign and then is held liable to sell the house to our expectations? A contract which, if in question, supersedes the realtor contracts.

What we would want in our contract:

  1. No inspections. Realtor is to inform potential buyers that the house will not be inspected by professional inspectors and is an “as is” sale. Buyer(s) will be informed they take any and all risk of disrepair, depreciation, and wear and tear. Take it or leave it as it is! The buyer(s) relinquish any legal recourse against the seller(s).
  2. No counter offers. The price we set is non-negotiable to realtors and buyers.
  3. A flat 5% commission is all we’re willing to pay to the realtor and if s/he is “sharing” the commission with another agent, the agent that signed the seller’s contract must “work out” the 5% with any and all other agents. We have set and included the 5% commission in the sales price and it can not be changed under any circumstances. This includes any part of a commission or other fees demanded by the agency.
  4. Points, title company fees, title insurance fees, appraiser fees, recording fees, and or any and all other expenses must be added to the selling price and become part of the sales price. No fees, commissions, taxes, or any other additional expenses of any kind can be deducted from the seller’s payoff, i.e., any additional costs must be added on to the selling price and increase the buyer’s costs. All fees and expenses must be calculated, agreed upon, and included in the final sales price before contracts are signed, wherein all parties are bound and thereafter cannot legally be altered. Mike.


A:     Mike, first, while I understand your concerns, I must point out that in my experience, the great majority of real estate agents are honest, hard working and professional.

The answer to your question is a conditional yes. You certainly can have your attorney draw up a modified listing agreement spelling out the terms and conditions you want any real estate agent to follow; but you may have trouble getting any agents to go along with all of your requirements. And you may also find potential buyer’s balking at your demands. Again, from my experience, everything in real estate is –or should be negotiable.

And I got a little confused; I did a little editing of your question, but some of your requirements seemed to favor buyers, and not you as seller.

Responding to some of your concerns:(1) no inspections. I cannot recommend such a prohibition for either a buyer or a seller. Some of my buyer clients have been so anxious to buy that particular house that they waived the inspection contingency. In one case, after closing, my clients learned that a new roof was required and it cost them almost $100,000 to correct (it was a big house). And representing sellers where the buyer starts complaining after closing, I take the position: “buyer, you had an inspection. If your inspector missed things, that’s his problem so sue him and leave my seller client alone; (2) you want points, title fees added to the sales price? Why? That increases the possible taxes you may have to pay, whether capital gains tax or recording and transfer taxes. What you really want is for the buyer to pay all such costs.

Good luck.


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