Most of the real estate agents people meet during the course of selling their house will be just like everyone else – decent people who are trying to make a living in their chosen profession.
Unfortunately, just as there are unscrupulous people in other places, some have found their way to real estate. Keep the following in mind when dealing with real estate agents, just in case they don’t have your best interests at heart.
1. I’m selling myself as much as your house.
The housing market has recently managed to return to the level it was at before the recession happened, recent surveys suggest, with the potential for the buyer’s market to be changing to a seller’s one in the near future.
Not only is this good news for everyone trying to sell their house, it is also good news for the people who sell them – the real estate agents.
The same surveys which have been suggesting the shift back into the seller’s market have also shown that the income of the average real estate agent (which depends heavily on commissions from their customers) is returning to its pre-recession levels.
The real estate agent who is using your business to market themselves will make massive promises of marketing your house in the best publications and in the most flattering ways possible, while also drumming up as much business as possible in the surrounding areas to bring would-be buyers into the house.
What they won’t tell you is that these methods sell themselves as much as they sell the houses in question; using mailing lists brings attention to the overall neighbourhood, rather than specific houses, so it is an ideal method for real estate agents to get their name out.
2. Commissions aren’t fixed rate.
Commission itself is something which raises a lot of controversy throughout the real estate business – some people think it is fine to add an additional fee onto the original price, whereas others think it is an unnecessary addition. While not everyone in the real estate business works on commission, close to eighty percent do.
Most estate agents work on the basis of a six percent commission fee, with it being split fifty\fifty between the real estate agent and the business he is attached to, but what not many know is that commission and other things is variable. The reason estate agents don’t tell you this is that having a sliding commission may have an effect on their own abilities in the future.
3. Your home isn’t worth as much as you think.
Most real estate agents will help their clients be realistic about the state of the market, and about their chances on it, but some will try to prolong the selling time (and therefore fatten their commission) by building up client expectations.
Normally, this will take the form of allowing their client to think that their house is worth much more than it actually is, leaving it to sit on the market for much longer than it would before the price is brought down to reasonable levels.