Contact any licensed agent and ask them to list the property for you as an "entry only" listing. Most will do this for you for free (as you may give them business down the road) and others may charge you $100 or so. You'll have to sign a listing agreement so that MLS knows that the listing is legit, but in no way would that agreement tie you to the agent. All inquiry information would be emailed to you directly.
If your agent found you a ready, willing and able buyer, then you may be forced to pay her the commission you agreed to. If your agent didn't find you a buyer (a full price offer wasn't submitted) then it would seem that all she is asking for is compensation for her time and marketing costs. You DO NOT have to pay this unless it was outlined in the listing agreement. I guess the question you're asking is whether or not you should feel guilty if you don't pay. How much time did she put in, how much money did she spend and on what?
Answer: Whenever you're ready to list the house at it's market value, and not a penny above. Pricing is 90% of the equation. If it's priced too high it will never sell no matter what time of year. In my opinion, there isn't a selling season - in the Spring there are more buyers AND more sellers. For sellers this means more competition from other listings. In the Winter there are less buyers, but at the same time, there are less sellers. For sellers, there is less competition from other listings. The ratios are always similar.
1. de-clutter2. fresh paint3. sand and refinish hardwood floors4. reface old cabinets (sometimes only half the cost of total replacement)
If your condo hasn't sold in this market then the issue is pricing. It's that simple. If your agent has been responsive and has been showing the unit regularly then there is no need to terminate the arrangement - just make the agency lower the price.
There are two types of situations in which someone would consider a property a "foreclosure" - they are...1. REO property - this stands for Real Estate Owned. This is when a bank has actually foreclosed on a property & taken ownership of it. When this happens the property gets listed on MLS by what's called an "REO Broker." Every single bank/lender has REO brokers that list their properties. They all go on MLS & they all sell for full market value. 2. Pre-foreclosure properties - these are properties that are in default. The current owner has stopped paying their mortgage all together, or is simply a month or two late. If you are trying to purchase a property in this situation, then you need to attempt a "short sale" in most cases. The reason for this is that many homes that recently were, and currently are, in default are underwater. If you are seeking out foreclosures in an attempt to buy a property under market value, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment. The only time you can purchase a property for less than it's worth is when the seller is completely uninformed of the actual value (i.e. doesn't have the internet) and you happen to find the property privately - meaning it can't be on MLS. If the property is listed on MLS by an agent then you are going to pay market value - it doesn't matter if we're in a boom or bust. You will pay market value. Contact me for more info
The only way the seller can keep your deposit would be if your agent hadn't filled out a contingency addendum and checked off the mortgage contingency section.
At the end of the day, your home will only sell for what the buyer's lender appraises it for, and not a penny more. That appraiser is going to use comps - the same information that your agent would use when writing up a CMA. It's not the price you want that is going to determine the selling price, it's the market value that will. A lot of sellers have a misconception that a cash buyer can and will pay more than the property will appraise for - this is simply not true. 90% of the time that a buyer comes to the bargaining table with cash, it is only to offer you more incentive to pick their offer over others. Usually the incentive isn't that they don't need a mortgage, but that they can close within a 2-3 week period. Once you accept the offer, the cash buyer will get their bank on the scene and have the property appraised. Once they close, the bank give them a mortgage, and the cash gets returned.
Always get your comps from an agent and not from the internet. The listing sheets (for comps) that you'll get from an agent will have 3-5 times the amount of property data than this, or any other website. You need that extra information to reach an accurate value for your property.
I have some retail/office space available right on Cambridge St near Inman Sq. Not Somerville proper, but very close and in a high traffic & public transit friendly area. Contact me if you are interested.