What do you need know about selling your house with a Realtor?

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Also, how much money usually comes out of your pocket before you close? Do you have to get an appraisal or anything else?

7 Comments
  1. Reply
    Mke guy
    August 9, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Nine out of ten home buyers use a real estate agent in the search process. 77% of the buyers also used the internet to search for a home. Realtors have invested a lot of time and money in building information technology, and because of these efforts, more consumers are using the internet in their home search. Realtor.com was the most popular internet resource, used by 54% of buyers, followed by MLS websites and real estate company websites. The most important factor in choosing an agent was reputation, according to 41% of home buyers. In terms of desired qualities in an agent, three categories were rated as very important by more than nine out of ten buyers: Knowledge of the purchase process, responsiveness and knowledge of the market. Satisfaction with real estate agents is very high, with 85% of buyers saying they were likely to use the agent again.

  2. Reply
    angela
    August 9, 2011 at 2:06 am

    When you list with a Realtor you sign a contract saying that company can try to sell your house. Usually contracts are for 6 months. You agree to pay a certain percentage of the selling price to the listing broker if they sell your house. If your house doesn’t sell then you don’t owe them anything. If they sell the house the commission is paid at closing. Usually the buyer’s mortgage company orders the appraisal and it is paid for by the buyer. You shouldn’t have to pay anything out of pocket to list your house. Anything you would owe would be paid at closing.

  3. Reply
    evilindependent
    August 9, 2011 at 2:16 am

    Realtor usually charge 3% of the selling price. The buyers realtor will also have a charge, so total could be as high as 6%. Seller usually does not usually have any up front expenses, unless repairs are needed.

    Buyer will pay for appraisal if needed.

  4. Reply
    glenn
    August 9, 2011 at 2:19 am

    I am a Realtor in Texas.

    I don’t get paid anything if I am not successful. The money for the ads I run, the signs i install, the fliers I print, the photos I take, the hours i spend putting together information about recent sales so we will know what is the most you can expect to get for your house, the expertise that allows you to negotiate the best you can and allows you to stage your home to attract the best buyers, the electronic keybox, the listing in the MLS, the directional signs I put up and take down each week, and more-all come out of my pocket. I don’t get any compensation for that except that when I am successful, I get a part (usually one fourth) of the commission.

    I don’t suggest that a seller get an inspection or an appraisal before they sell. I think that the buyer should select those people and pay for them.

    The only cost you pay for before closing is any repairs needed on your house to complete your sale and often you can arrange to pay for those at closing also.

    Other agents may have other commission plans- they may ask you to pay for advertising or other things in exchange for a lower commission. I have always felt that the money is a carrot and I will work harder to sell your house if all the up front costs are mine.

  5. Reply
    backdoc
    August 9, 2011 at 2:27 am

    Selling your house with a Realtor is a good idea if you are in a slow market. If you are in a hot market you may be able to sell on your own. A Realtor will charge you 5-7% of the sale price of your house, so if your house sells for $ 200,000 then you will end up paying 12,000 in commisions. Some of this goes to your realtor, some to the buyers realtor. So you need to make sure your house sells for enough that you don’t have to pay out of pocket to meet those fees. You will need your house appraised but the buy has to pay for that. Your realtor will do a fair market analysis which will get you an idea of what to ask for your house. It is a compairison of other homes that have sold in your area (usually a square mile or two, depending on the size of your city). To sum it up, you pay 5-6% of the selling price of your home, but that is covered in the selling price of your home. That is all you pay. Your realtor will pay for advertising and should be there for your open houses. I would recommend Keller Williams or Coldwell Banker. My wife has worked for both.

  6. Reply
    felixthecat
    August 9, 2011 at 3:02 am

    First things first — Realtors typically charge 6% of the selling price for their commission. Since homes in many areas have gone up in price significantly since a few years ago (although that trend has now been adjusting down for several months) it is not unusual for the commission to be negotiated down to 5%. So the first thing to know is that you CAN negotiate the commission by at least 1%. In any event, THAT IS A LOT OF MONEY! As a seller, there is little money that comes out of your pocket prior to the sale. Most of the costs involved are incurred by the buyer. In some states there are certificates of occupancy or water tests for private wells that the seller must provide, but aside from having an attorney (in some states you won’t even need one), you will only have to be at the closing to receive your check. Also, unless you are in arrears on taxes or dues or utilities, you will receive back pro-rated monies you have already paid prior to closing. Your realtor will help you to decide on a price using current market analysis in your area. As far as an appraisal — the buyer will need to have that done if he is mortgaging the property. That can only be a problem for you if you have overpriced your property and it will not appraise for the amount the buyer wants to mortgage. My best advice without going into too much detail (that train already left!) is to be very savvy when reading your listing contract — remember, this is your property — not the agent’s. In spite of the form that they bring for the listing — EVERYTHING in the listing contract is negotiable, from the length of the listing (they will try for six months to one year – you should push for just 3 months so that you are not married to a bad agency through a binding contract — you can always renew if they turn out to be good). Also, don’t be afraid to call a few different agencies and ask for a current market analysis — you will be able to make a more intelligent decision about who to list with after meeting a few agents. But don’t always assume that the agent who will work for the least commission is the one to go with! If they are discount agents of 2% to 3% commission, NO AGENTS WILL SHOW YOUR HOME — why should they show your home when they can show a home where they stand to make twice the commission — pay peanuts, get monkeys! I could go on and on — and I am NOT a sales person so you’re getting the real scoop from an insider, without my having any incentive to deceive you…Remember that agencies do spend a lot of money on advertising (you would be blown away at how expensive it is–I’ve seen the bills) and they spend a lot of money to be licensed and to be members of multiple listing services, etc. So paying a decent commission will help to sell your home more expeditiously; also, realtors can typically get more money for your house, so unless you are an awesome sales person — leave it up to very competent realtors. I know, everybody loves to hate the realtors–both buyers and sellers; but there is no better way to sell a home and all of us expect to be paid for our work. There are some real stinkers out there, but do the research and list with a realtor that you get a good feeling about. Interview a few!

  7. Reply
    Sarah
    August 9, 2011 at 3:08 am

    Good Question, I am a Realtor in Florida and I agree very much with the another one of the answers here. The Realtor/Broker pays for all of the upfront cost to sell your home.. everything!! You only are responsible to make nesssaary repairs/replacements to your home. A good Realtor will evaulate your property and make suggestions on what needs to be fixed ASAP to make your home showable. The appraisal is usually ordered by the buyers lender to determine the vaule of the property in order to secure the buyers loan and is paid for by the buyer at closing. All the sellers cost (closing cost, survey etc..) are paid at the time of closing and is paid out of your equity and you walk away with the difference if there is any. Your Realtor will also be able to supply you with a break down of the expenses at closing.

    Another thing you need to know when working with a Realor is that it is very important to set the right expectations up front. For example how often do you expect your agent to contact you, I call my sellers at least weekly with an update. Make sure you are aware of all the marketing efforts your Realtor will be doing and if you want more done you will need to negoiate that prior to signing your listing agreement. Also all commision and terms of the listing agreement are negioatable and ther is NO set amount of commision. There are actually anti-trust laws in place to prohibit Real Estate compaines from setting commision rates.

    Best of luck!

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