Is your Real Estate Agent Telling you Everything?
Today most home sellers as well as home buyers work with a real estate agent
to assist them in listing or a buying a home. Real estate agents provide
a wealth of services including advising sellers as to the market value
of their home, helping them to improve a home for showing, locating
homes for sale as soon as they come on the market and even tipping
buyers off as to when they should turn down an offer. There are some
details that real estate agents may not be quite so forthcoming with;
First, it is important to understand that while the agent you are
working with may be quite well-qualified, that does not mean that there
might not be another agent in the local area who is better qualified and
would be able to help you negotiate a better price whether you are a
seller or a buyer.
Both buyers and sellers should also understand that real estate agents typically
work with several clients at a time. If an agent is working with a
client who has the ability to bring in a higher commission, it goes
without saying that this is the client who is going to get the lion's
share of your agent's attention.
Real estate agents who are experienced always seem to know which homes on the local
market will be the biggest competition as well as which improvements and
repairs should be made to make a home more appealing to buyers. Never
assume that you need to make expensive improvements in the hopes of
drawing in buyers. Such improvements could make a home more visually
appealing, but there are also other options that you could utilize as
well, including lowering the selling price or offering a financial
allowance at the time of contract that would allow buyers to make
changes on their own.
Buyers are also often unaware that they do not have to work with the
contractors that are recommended to them by their agents, including
repairmen, appraisers and inspectors. While your agent may have an
established relationship with certain contractors, they may not
necessarily be the best or the least expensive. Since you are ultimately
the one who is going to be responsible for the final bill you should
know that you have the right to choose and hire such contractors on your
In some instances, real estate agents are reluctant to tell sellers that the problem
is really not their home but instead the neighborhood in which it is
located. Even if you have made every improvement and repair recommended
by your agent, if your home is still languishing on the market, the
fault could be due to the neighborhood itself.
When it comes to the amount that you have agreed to pay your agent for
their sales commission, you should also know that there is some room for
flexibility. The general rule of thumb in most areas is that an agent's
commission will fall somewhere between 5% and 7%, but like everything
else, even this has changed in light of the current housing market.
There are some agents and real estate companies that will charge clients
a flat fee or by the hour rather than by commission. Others are willing
to offer a rebate if the seller locates a buyer on their own. Before you
hire an agent, always make sure you discuss whether they are open to the
idea of a discount on their fees. You can use the
service to find an agent who would be flexible on their commission.
If you are selling your home, be sure that your real estate agent is completely
familiar with your market. Regardless of how much experience they may
have, they could be useless to you if they are not familiar with the
market where your home is for sale.
If you are buying a home, be sure they are showing you all of the
properties that are on the market, including those that are for sale by
owner (FSBO). Unfortunately, some agents opt not to show FSBOs because it means
less money for them.
The bottom line is that no matter how helpful a real estate agent can be, they are
still in business and their main objective is to make a profit.
Understanding these crucial keys before you make any assumptions while
also asking questions can help you to get the most of your relationship
with your real estate agent.