The Listing Agreement is a contract between an Agent/Broker and a Seller that outlines the the terms under which the Seller and Agent/Broker shall sell the property (asking price, length of listing, broker fee, who pays for marketing expenses, duties of Seller and Agent/Broker, etc.), as well as formally and legally hires the Agent/Broker to represent the Seller and work on their behalf. The Listing Agreement (or some form of it) is required for any property that is listed and/or marketed for sale or rent by a licensed Agent/Broker in PA. REMEMBER, without a Listing Agreement (or Seller Representation Agreement in the case of a "For Sale By Owner"), an Agent/Broker does not represent or work for a seller, so in the case of a "For Sale By Owner" property, if an Agent brings a Buyer, Seller must assume that the Agent only represents the Buyer's interests and not the Seller's unless a Listing Agreement or Seller Representation Agreement are signed.
The Buyer Agency Agreement is a contract between a Buyer and Agent/Broker that outlines the terms under which an Agent/Broker will represent and work for Buyer in searching for and buying a property. The Buyer Agency Agreement or some form of it is required in order for an Agent/Broker to formally and legally represent a Buyer and protect their interests in searching for and buying a property. REMEMBER, if you do not have a Buyer Agency Agreement with an Agent/Broker, then the Agent/Broker does not represent you, you must have one in place to protect your interests and have a professional on your side when buying a property. ALSO, if the only agent involved with the sale of a property is the Listing Agent, then either the Buyer is not represented at all, or the agent represents both parties, in either case, it might be a good idea for the Buyer to hire their own Buyer Agent and have someone looking out for and negotiating on behalf of only them (and typically Buyer Agents are paid by the Listing Broker for bringing a Buyer, so Buyer Agent services are most times at no or minimal cost to the Buyer, it's really a no brainer to have a Buyer Agent).
A Sales Agreement is a contract between Buyer and Seller that outlines the terms under which a sale will take place (price, inspections elected, settlement date, proposed financing, etc.) as well as states if any Agents/Brokers are representing Buyer and/or Seller in the sale. Every property sale should have some form of a Sales Agreement executed by both parties to ensure that both Buyer and Seller perform all the duties necessary and the terms agreed to are clear and adhered to in order to ensure a smooth sale process. REMEMBER, if there is no Sales Agreement in place, then there is nothing ensuring that both Buyer and Seller do what they say they will do, and both parties could be at risk. Many times, the Buyer's bank will also require a Sales Agreement be in place.
The Consumer Notice explains what a PA Real Estate Agent does and the different ways agents can represent consumers (Listing Agent, Buyer Agent, Dual-Agent, etc.). Agents are required to provide the consumer with the Consumer Notice at their initial interview. If you have spoken with an agent regarding your home buying or selling needs, you should have received a copy of this notice, if not, you should probably look for another agent. REMEMBER, if the only agent involved with the sale of a property is the Listing Agent, then either the Buyer is not represented at all, or the agent represents both parties, in either case, it might be a good idea for the Buyer to hire their own Buyer Agent and have someone looking out for and negotiating on behalf of only them (and typically Buyer Agents are paid by the Listing Broker for bringing a Buyer, so Buyer Agent services are most times at no or minimal cost to the Buyer, it's really a no brainer to have a Buyer Agent).
The Seller's Property Disclosure (or some form of it) is a form that all sellers in PA are required to fill out and provide to prospective buyers prior to entering into any Sales Agreement. The purpose of the Disclosure is to provide prospective buyers with information regarding any known defects or issues with the property that the Seller(s) is aware of (like getting water in a basement every time it rains, a leaky roof, a broken furnace, etc.). Yes, you will most likely do your own inspections, but some things cannot be seen during inspections, so it is paramount that you get this Disclosure and the Seller is on record. REMEMBER, even "For Sale By Owner" sellers are required to provide some sort of a Seller's Property Disclosure. If you are looking at any home and the seller or seller's agent cannot or will not provide this Disclosure, you must demand it. Do not sign any offers or sales agreements without seeing and understanding the Seller's Property Disclosure first.
in Central PA
Home Listing & Marketing Specialist