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How are the up front fees for pre-approval? We are never even sure what state we will be buying in, or what time frame, so it makes little sense for us to pursue it, but I am curious. I am also not sure it gives you much extra time. 21 days vs 30? Amerisave assured us they could do a purchase loan in 30 days, particularly since they have many of our docs on file from our refi.

The R.E. agents I work will request a 90 day listing, which includes a written agreement that the relationship may be cancelled with 24 hours notice. Essentially agents are agreeing to take on a listing with no commitment from the seller.

Reality is it has always pretty much been this way. Even if you sign on for a 12 month contract, it is easy enough to get out of if you are not pleased. A broker would rather release you from that contract than keep you tied to it. The risk of being labeled as uncooperative is too expensive. On the other hand, it still is easier if you have a shorter contract. If it is the agent you don't like, the broker might try to talk you into using someone else in their office, and you would have to be more firm if they have the contract. And of course if you have simply lined up a FSBO while on their time, they may fight you on that and rightly so.

Heck, I've even fired customers. I showed one guy a house he wanted to put a bid on, but the things he wanted to do would have reflected so poorly on me that I released him from any obligation of continuing to work with me. He told me he would represent himself in that case, and I wished him luck. He did not get the house.

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