According to Statista, more than 5 million homes were sold in the US in 2016. And about nine out of 10 of them were through a real-estate agent. Which brings up an key question: How much do you know about these agents? And more importantly, what about them and the industry as a whole don’t you want to know?
1: Real Estate Agents are Not Always Necessary
You can sell a home yourself, especially when the demand for homes is high. But you must be willing to do the following. First, research the proper value of your house. Otherwise, you’ll overpriced it and never sell it or underprice it and sell it at a loss.
Next, take excellent, high-resolution photos of the house and then list it on Hommati for free or on a Multiple Listing Service at a flat fee. Note, however, that you still pay the buyer’s agent a commission after making a sale. Finally, invest in a yard sign.
2: Agents Sometimes Get the Full Commission Undeservedly
When selling a house through an agent, you expect to pay a commission – usually 6 percent – to be split between your agent and the buyer’s agent. However, the commission is negotiable in most cases if you simply ask.
And it’s avoidable if the buyer had expressed interest before you signed up with the agent. But there’s a catch. You must disclose any interested parties when hiring an agent, or the commission applies.
3: Agents are Not Always after the Highest Price
Although you want to sell your home at the highest possible price, agents may not have a similar goal and here’s why. Contrary to what you might believe, they prefer volume over price. They’d rather sell many houses quickly at a lower price than take ages to sell one or two at a high price.
They earn more this way and avoid the marketing costs associated with keeping a listing on the market for months. So, given half a chance, an agent will sell your home for less than you hope for just to get rid of it.
4: Open House Helps Agents, not You
Who benefits the most when you clean up your home and open it to potential buyers? Is it you or the agent? Agents would like you to believe that it’s you, yet nothing could be further from the truth.
Open houses account for less than 10 percent of home sales because more often than not they attract only casual observers and neighbors. So why do agents insist on hosting them? An open house provides the perfect opportunity to dish out business cards to potential clients.
5: Some Agents Pressure Inspectors to Hide Faults
Before you buy a home, your agent hires or recommends an inspector to comb through the house, looking for potential faults. In most cases, inspectors do just that and then issue a comprehensive report. But if the agent is desperate to make a sale or just unscrupulous, he or she pressures them to overlook glaring faults and issue a favorable report.
Regrettably, they have no choice but to comply, for they want more work in the future. For this reason, hire the inspectors yourself. This way, they’re accountable to you, not to your agent.
If you think you know real-estate agents, think again. You don’t always need them, and they don’t always work in your best interests. So exercise diligence when selling or buying a house.