You may have heard statements about Realtors regarding commissions, how real estate agents work, etc. Some of what you have heard might be correct but in today’s article 5 Myths about Realtors we’re going to set some records straight. Buyer and sellers often begin the process of buying or selling a home with misconceptions about the process. Unless you’re working along side a real estate agent daily you might not know all the ins and outs of how the processes work. Then just when you get that figured out we can talk about agency which is the fiduciary relationship between an agent and their client.
To begin we’ll talk about 5 common misconceptions buyers and sellers may perceive;
Does the Agent really get 6% when my house sells? It’s common for buyers and sellers to think that the agent gets the full commission but that’s simply not the case. It would be great to make the full 6% commission but that’s just not typical. The truth is the commission is paid for by the seller and it’s most often split 4 ways between the buyers agent and listing agent and their two employing brokers. Lastly, commissions are not set in stone so as a seller feel free to try and negotiate if you feel 6% is not typical for your area.
I’m not happy with my current agent selling my home, am I stuck? Here is our number two item in our 5 Myths about Realtors. As a seller you should’ve signed a Listing Agreement with the agent representing you who in turn has the authority to sign on behalf of the brokerage. The typical listing term is six months and sometimes can be as long as a year depending on the type of property. Once an agreement is reached and the listing contract is signed you are contractual obligated, but to whom? If you’re not happy with your current agent you can actually call the brokerage company they work for and ask to have your listing assigned to another agent. The brokerage is who holds your listing contract not the agent. In the event you want out of the listing contract with the agent and agency they’re employed with then simply ask to cancel the agreement. Most times the agency will not have a problem cancelling the contract because they don’t want any bad press.
5 Myths about Realtors You Should Know
As a buyer selecting an agent to represent you there are things you can do to better prepare yourself before spending to much time with the wrong agent. Before scheduling a tour of properties reach out to the agent you’d like to work with and have a sit down meeting. Ask the agent questions about their business and try to get to know them a bit before jumping in their car and looking at a bunch of properties. Ask for some testimonials or look the agent up online on some popular review sites like Yelp! Zillow.com or Realtor.com. Popular sites like these can give you more insight on how the agent will assist you and the level of service they provide.
As a buyer can I get a better deal if I use the listing agent? It’s so easy to contact the listing agent on the property, after all the information is right at your fingertips online. Think about this though; if you were getting sued would you hire the same attorney as the party that’s suing you? Absolutely not so why would you entrust your offer to the listing agent that’s representing the seller? The listing agent does have an obligation to protect the parties he or she is representing but that’s a very hard line to walk on both sides. As an agent I try not to represent both parties that’s why I employ a buyers agent on my team. I like to keep representation with the seller exclusive and buyers calling on my listings go to my buyers agent. This way each party is fully protected. Just remember this article about 5 Myths about Realtors when you drive by a home and are tempted to call the listing agent!
Are all agent created equal? Definitely not! Having a great agent can make a huge difference in your experience as a buyer or seller. For instance, as a listing agent if you list a home to high to please your clients then you’ve done them an injustice because the home wont sell. A huge misconception is sellers that are attracted to a big name franchise and think they’ll be better represented because of the name. Another common misconception in our article about 5 Myths about Realtors is that big brand names matter. In today’s real estate market franchises mean nothing expect for branding notoriety and a buyer is not going to buy a home just because it’s listed by ABC Company. Additionally, with the internet and over 90% of buyers shopping online the marketing the agent provides at ABC Company will be exactly the same as an agent that works for a non-franchised company. Often times, agents at non-franchised companies will be more tech savvy than the agents at larger franchised companies because they don’t need the additional support the franchised company offers. With that being said you might even get better online marketing exposure from the non-franchised company with the tech savvy agent. The good thing about a non-franchised company is that they do not have the restrictions that a franchised company has meaning the company has more flexibility to do what needs to be done in order to sell your home quickly for the most money. If you’re looking to see the difference of what a great agent makes, contact me and I’ll guarantee you top-notch service!
Can I buy a for sale by owner home if I have an agent? You absolutely can and this is again where the internet has changed things. As previously mentioned, over 90% of buyers shop online via Zillow, Realtor.com and other major online sites looking at homes for sale. The Zillow.com site has approximately 190 million visitors per month! Some sellers elect not to use an agent and represent themselves, of course this is not recommended because of all the pitfalls that can be encountered when selling a home but some choose that route anyway. Those sellers have the option to list their property on Zillow.com and when buyers are shopping online they’ll come across the sellers home for sale which is classified as a for sale by owner or FSBO. Now, as a buyer you definitely do not want to contact the seller yourself. At that time you can let your agent know this is a property you’re interested in seeing and they can reach out to the seller to make the appointment. This way you as the buyer have proper representation even if the seller is not represented by an agent. This will ensure you as buyer are protected through the entire real estate process.