Once you’ve decided on the agent you want to work with, the next step is signing a listing agreement with them. The listing agreement commits you to an exclusive arrangement with the agent for a set period of time. The typical time period is three months, but in sluggish housing markets or in the luxury home market, six-month or one-year agreements are the norm.
During your meeting to sign the listing agreement, or shortly thereafter, your agent will assist you in fulfilling your disclosure obligations (as mandated in California) by having you answer a series of forms and questionnaires. Your agent will also order reports on your behalf:
- Property Inspection Report – A licensed property inspector will go over your home’s structure and systems to check for functionality, operability and code compliance. A written report will be issued based on the inspector’s findings, detailing basic information and recommendations for repair, replacement, or maintenance.
- Pest Inspection Report – A licensed pest inspector will check your home for termite or other pest infestation that could affect your home, as well as dry rot, wet rot, and fungus damage. If any of these are found, recommendations and estimates are then provided in a written report.
These reports are part of the buyer’s due diligence process, and the inspections could be performed by the buyers at their own costs. However, it is highly recommended that you have the inspections done before marketing your house to best anticipate problems, determine list price, and minimize buyer issues that could cause them to back out of the purchase.