Do I Need a Real Estate Agent?
Though the Internet has made it easier to sell your home without an agent, about 93 percent of home sales are still done with some type of real estate agent. An agent can work independently or for a company that acts as the broker. The broker signs the agreement with the seller. Top agents receive 100 percent of the commission and pay a fee to the broker while less experienced agents get 30 percent to 40 percent of the commission. The Orange County market has shown to be consistently one of the most competitive markets in the Nation with prices averaging in the top 1% of the United States. For this reason many Realtors have started to work as a team creating a business structure that brings unsurpassed value to the home owner and each team member.
There are many reasons why hiring an agent can be helpful:
- Education and experience – A good realtor understands the complex procedure and paperwork involved in selling a home.
- Saves time and energy – You won’t have to spend time scheduling and conducting tours of your home, which cut into your work and weekends.
- Gauging offers – An agent can help discern serious buyers from those who are simply looking
- The market – A good realtor knows the market and understands trends, which can help your bottom line. The Orange County market is experiencing low inventory levels and buyers are extremely motivated right now. A good Realtor will help you take advantage of this and utilize the current market to get you a price you probably did not think you could.
- Negotiation – An agent has the negotiating skills to help you get a good price.
- Professional contacts – Your agent’s contacts with other realtors and with contractors, inspectors, landscapers and the like can help you find a solution for any problem you may encounter.
- Sale price – A good realtor will get you top dollar and the end figure after the commission will more times than not exceed the figure that you could have gotten on your own. In some cases, buyers will offer less money to someone who’s not using an agent, believing the seller is trying to save money by not paying commission.
A key tool for real estate agents is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a massive online database, which 900,000 agents subscribe to, that contains listings of 90 percent of properties for sale across the United States. Buyers can access the service for free at realtor.com however the information is not updated and can be inaccurate and misleading.
With all of the benefits that come with using an agent, there are some drawbacks.
- Most importantly, it’s very expensive. Commissions can run up to 6 percent of the house’s sale price, though many agents are willing to negotiate commission, especially in a good housing market
- Working with an agent also requires a certain degree of trust, a willingness to place your most valuable possession in a stranger’s
- That, along with letting go of any sentimental attachments you may have to your house, is part of a home sale
processSilverman, Jacob. “How Selling a House Works” 06 December 2006. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://home.howstuffworks.com/real-estate/house-selling.htm> 28 March 2013.
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