Listing agents: Do you need one?
What to expect whether you hire an agent or go it alone.
Consider these points when deciding whether or not to work with a listing agent to sell your home. If you're buying a home, think about working with a buyer's agent.
If you work with an agent
- You sign a listing contract, which is a legally binding agreement that typically gives the agent the exclusive right to sell your property within a certain period of time (usually 60 to 90 days).
- The agent researches the market in order to determine your home's market value and reach a sales price in consultation with you.
- The agent prepares a written marketing plan that includes a schedule for listing, showing, and advertising your property.
- The agent advises you on how best to prepare your home for sale and helps arrange for pre-sale tasks such as a home inspection.
- The agent transmits any offers to you, negotiates the purchase based on your recommendations, and moves all the paperwork through the transaction.
- You pay for the listing agent's services, either as a percentage commission (usually 4 to 6 percent) or a flat fee, as specified in your listing contract. The buyer's agent is paid out of that fee.
If you work alone
- You are in charge of the transaction, including marketing your property, negotiating the purchase, and handling the paperwork. Educate yourself on relevant federal laws and state regulations governing real estate sales.
- You do your own market research (including possibly hiring an appraiser) to determine your home's value.
- You create your own marketing plan and decide how you will handle inquiries from prospective buyers or their agents.
- You decide how to prepare your home for sale, including arranging for pre-sale repairs, inspections, or other necessary services.
- You field all buyer inquiries, show the house yourself, handle all negotiations, and move the paperwork through the transaction.
- You pay for the buyer's agent's services, unless the buyer is also working alone or has hired the agent for a set fee. You may also pay for services you require during the transaction, such as legal advice or help negotiating the contract. Discount brokers offer individual services for flat rates.
IMHO, I have yet to find a "real" salesperson in real estate. I have, to date, contracted with 4 agent in the last year and a half. Each agent I hired I did exactly as they suggested with price, staging, renovations, etc..., but to no avail.
First agent 3 showing in 6 months, no offers. Then dropped price and when contract expired dropped her. She didn't even bother to notify me when she took the lock box off. Bottom line a chauffeur, not a proffessional.
Second agent, I studied this guy and hand picked him, lots of honors. Again I followed all of his suggestions to make the home more saleable, including lowering the price. This agent had a lot more traffic, but no offers, dropped the price again. When his contract expired (six months) dropped him.
Third agent, sat and talked with her and asked what it would take to move the house. She suggested I drop my asking price, so I did. Only 1 showing in the first 3 months. She suggested I drop my price again, so I did. Had 1 more showing the day before the contract expired (six months), then I expired her.
Fourth and present agent. I again asked what it would take to sell my home and again the agent suggested I drop my price. I did as she requested, but this time I had a few provisions of my own. First I told her I would only consider a 5% commission and second, I would only have a four month contract. I haven't seen or heard from this agent since I contracted her..
I have dropped my price over $40,000.00 over the last year and a half. Have done ALL that each agent asked from offering home warranty, decorating allowance, carpet allowance, appliance allowance, closing cost, etc... But still no offers.
A common thread with each selling agent I hired was that they did not want to show the house themselves, but thought it was more convenient to just list and "hope" some other agent would show and sell the home and they all wanted to lower the price. They claim being the listing agent would present a conflict of interest in also being the agent who showed the house and sold the house...wtf!
My experience with real estate agent so far has been one of disgust. They are nothing more than "chauffeurs"!
Main Entry: 1 chauf-feur
Etymology: French, literally, stoker, from chauffer to heat, from Middle French chaufer— more at CHAFE
1 : a person employed to drive a motor vehicle
2 : one that transports others by operating a motor vehicle