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Savvy Ways to Save on Real Estate Fees When Selling your Home


Reduced prices have become a reality for many sellers, but even so there are some ways you can slash real estate fees when selling your home and still be able to keep more money in your pocket. One of the most important things sellers today must understand about the current market is the importance of appropriately pricing their home. Price it too low and buyers will wonder what's wrong with it. Price it too high and they'll steer away from it as well. Although hitting the right price is important, sellers also need to focus less on the price they ask for their home and look more at the net profit they receive when selling.

Most home sellers pay real estate commissions to agents that are involved in both sides of the real estate transaction. Although real estate commissions do vary according to location and agency, in most cases they range between 5% and 6% of the total sales price. This means that most offices usually earn about 2.5% of the sale once the commission is split. If the agent must split the commission for their side of the deal with the office or broker, which is common, they earn even less.

One of the best methods sellers can save on real estate fees and retain more of the profit when their home sales is to find ways in which they can pay less in fees. Negotiating the realtor's commission is one way to do this. Ideally, it is always a good idea for sellers to interview a minimum of three real estate agents before making a decision. Don't shy away from asking about discounts on the commission when interviewing prospective agents. Keep in mind that some agents will be agreeable to the idea while others will not. Whether they are agreeable to a reduced commission can depend upon how quickly they think your home may sell and also the price range of the home.

Another option that can allow you to save on real estate fees when selling your home is to work with what is known as a reduced-fee agent. There are now many brokerages that have opened that charged lower fees for sellers while keeping a buyer's agent commission in place. Overall, this can save sellers about 25% of the typical overall commission. When your home does sell, this can potentially save you hundreds of dollars; if not more in commission fees. At the same time, you are still able to benefit from the full range of services offered by having an agent represent your home.

You can also save on real estate fees by negotiating a flat-fee listing with the agent in advance. A flat-fee listing service allows you to have your home listed in the Multiple Listing Service or MLS. This will provide exposure for your home to other realtors in the area. Beyond the fee that you pay for the flat-fee service, which might be a few hundred dollars, the only other fee you would need to pay would be that of the commission for the buyer's agent.

Of course, if you really want to save on real estate fees when selling your home would be to sell it on your own without a real estate agent. Known as For Sale by Owner or FSBO, this is an option that many sellers first consider when they decide to put their home on the market. Keep in mind that when you do sell your home without an agent, you will be responsible for obtaining all of your own marketing items as well as the advertising and showing the home; all of which can involve some expense. You can always take advantage of different services to assist you, such as a flat-fee MLS listing. Remember as well that if you end up selling the home with the assistance of a buyer's agent, you will be responsible for paying the commission to that agent. Even so, if you do not mind handling the advertising and marketing for your home and you have the time to show it to prospective buyers, this can be a good way to save a lot in fees.

Ultimately, it is important to make sure you carefully choose the way in which you will sell your home so that you can save the most money possible while still receiving the services you need. Saving money is important, but not if it means that your home sits on the market for months on end.


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