Although owners are more involved in the home selling process than they were in the past - thanks mostly to the Internet - about 90 percent of them still hire a realtor to handle the heavy lifting. Because the process can take many months, it is important to find a real estate agent you respect, trust, and even like. You will, after all, be spending a lot of time with this person. Before you agree to anything, there are several things you should understand about this professional relationship. Let us take a moment to discuss them. |
Agents Work On Commission
Unlike most employees, realtors typically do not receive a fixed salary. Because results are everything in the real estate industry, they are only paid when one of their listings sells. In other words, they aren't paid a penny for the hundreds, even thousands of hours they might put into a project until the money changes hands. Although commission rates do vary, they are generally paid between three and five percent of the total sale price of the home. As the seller, it is important you understand that this fee is non-negotiable. That means that you cannot offer an agent more or less than their commission based on their performance or the amount of work they did to sell your abode. You must pay them their full commission when the property sells.
They Expect Exclusivity
Although it is not illegal to work with more than one realtor at a time, it is considered highly irregular. If you do decide to hire multiple agents, however, you should inform them that they are competing against each other. Because they work on commission, most agents will not be willing to accept a project when there's a chance they won't be paid a dime for their services. It is for this reason that we strongly suggest that you only hire one real estate professional.
You Must Sign A Listing Agreement
For a realtor to represent a homeowner, he must have a legally binding agreement that explains their relationship. The exclusive-right-to-sell listing is the most common listing agreement because it gives the realtor more control and virtually guarantees him a commission. As such, the service professional will often work a lot harder if he has this type of agreement with the homeowner.
You Can Request A Short Contract
Even though listing contracts are required, there's nothing that says you can't ask for a short-term contract, say 30 or 60 days. Why? A short-term listing agreement will give you the time you need to evaluate the realtor's performance. Is he a real go-getter or does he seem like a slacker? Maybe you think he priced the home too high or too low or hasn't done enough to properly market it. Whatever the issue, there are many reasons why buyers and sellers go their separate ways before the listing sells. Therefore, we recommend that you demand a short-term contract to give you an opportunity to weigh your options after a month or two.
Use this simple advice to set the ground rules before you agree to anything with your real estate agent.
To learn more about Salisbury real estate, visit http://www.newburyportareahomes.com/salisbury-ma-real-estate.
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