Finding The Right Real Estate Agent: 3 Contract Terms That Gives You More Leeway In Terms Of Exclusivity

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After renting a place for prolonged periods of time, you might finally be ready to find a place to call your own. Hunting for the perfect home usually takes anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks, and you'll have much better luck with the expertise and experience of a real estate agent. Before becoming your realtor and putting in effort to find a place, most real estate agents will require you to sign a contract with them for their services. More often than not, these contracts require exclusivity. If you're not ready to commit to one real estate agent just yet, here are 3 contract terms that can really help you out.

Terms that Specify the Length of the Contract

If you really don't want to be stuck with just one real estate agent, make sure that you sign a short-term contract. While the realtor will provide you with a standard contract, the terms and conditions are actually negotiable. You don't necessarily have to agree to the standard contract length, which can be as long as several months at times. Instead, let the realtor know ahead of time you'll need a custom contract. Then, negotiate a contract length that you are comfortable with. Keep in mind that some popular realtors who are in high demand may not be as open to negotiations.

Clause that Allows You to Spend Some Time Getting to Know the Realtor Before Getting Locked In

Don't be afraid to ask for a trial period. In most cases, you might have to pay a penalty if you decide to cancel the contract between you and your realtor prematurely. To ensure that you won't find yourself in that type of situation, look for a contract that will give you a trial period, so to speak. The clause should specify that you are allowed to cancel within a certain period of time. During that period of time, make sure that you try to get to know your realtor as much as possible to determine whether they are a good fit for your needs and expectations.

Terms Specifying the Location or Price Range for the Realtor

If you don't want to be stuck with just one real estate agent at a time, you can also get away with specifying the location or price range of which the realtor will be responsible for. You can then hire another realtor for a different neighborhood or to look at listings of a different price range if you'd like.


Any contract that you sign is legally binding, and can be upheld in a court of law. Before adding your signature to the contract, read over it carefully to ensure that you fully understand all of the terms and conditions that are outlined within.