On average, houses sold by realtors sell for 10-20% more than houses for sale by owner. However, there are some realtors that are better than others. There are those that will work their tails off to get a sale, and those that are lazy and just wait for your contract to expire. When realtor shopping, there are some tips you should keep in mind to get the best bang for your buck.
Of course everyone has to start with little or no experience. However, don’t let this person be your realtor. You want a proven track record of success from a broker. If you want to help a realtor get experience, insist he/she works hand in hand with another experienced agent. The more heads working on your house, the better.
When looking for a real estate agent, make sure you choose one that is affiliated with a nationally known organization, or a well known local organization. For instance, it is better to go with a realtor from Coldwell Banker, than an unknown person from your hometown. The reason for this is maximum exposure for your listing. A realtor that is affiliated with a well known company will more than likely have a website, television program, or special section in the newspaper for listings. You want as many potential buyers viewing your property as possible.
Many realtors will try to convince you to sign a 6 month contract. Do everything you can to avoid a contract this long. Instead, ask for a 90 day contract to see what he/she can do for you. If you are happy with the realtor after 90 days is up, you can renew the contract, if not, search for another agent.
Same Buyer’s Agent as Seller’s Agent
There are only a few states that allow the seller’s agent to be the same as the buyer’s agent. Beware of this situation. If your realtor really wants to get double commission on a property, he/she may tell you anything to complete the sale. For instance, the realtor might tell you exactly what you want to hear about the potential buyers just to close the deal. If you are in a state that allows double representation, tell your realtor you will not allow it.
A lot of people don’t know this, but realtor commission is negotiable. If a realtor gives you an estimate of what your house should bring and what he/she charges for services, try to negotiate a lower commission fee. For instance, if you know the area you live in usually gets 6% commission, but your realtor wants to charge 7%, there is no reason you need to pay that extra percent. Let the agent know you will go with another broker unless he/she drops down to 6% commission.
Realtors save you a lot of hassle when it comes to selling your house. However, finding a realtor is just as important as finding new property to buy. The better your realtor choice, the more lucrative the sale of your house will be.