Selling a home is a stressful event and you may need to pay real estate commission to get the help you need for success. As the owner the first thing you have to decide is whether to hire the pro or go solo and try a FSBO (For Sale By Owner). For some this is an easy decision, for others it may not be. Some try the FSBO route and later convert to pro service. Whatever you decide it’s your choice. There should never be any pressure from REALTORS® to hire them because they say they can do a better job. It’s your property and legally you have every right to sell it yourself.
＄For Sale by Owner Real Estate Commission -WHAT!!
I mean isn’t the whole idea to save on the real estate commission? Well yes, but then comes the buyer’s agent!
If you sell by owner there are considerations about real estate commission you still have to make. You should make them at the beginning, so you don’t get blindsided in the middle. A good buyers agent will go beyond the MLS to help their buyers find a new home. Either the buyer or their agent has somehow seen your property and it’s a match for the buyers wish list. The buyer is working with the agent, they may or may not have a written agreement, but that’s none of your business.
So you either get a knock on the door or a call, and the agent must identify themselves as an agent and who they work under ( company name) before any other words are muttered about real estate commission. The next question is going to be: Will you compensate me as a buyer’s agent if I bring you a buyer. Yikes, decision time, yes or no, and how much. Only you can decide but a buyers agent may not bring their buyer at all if you say no. If you say yes, they still may not come if the amount of real estate commission you offer is low.
Decide now, before you try, whether you will or will not and how much. Want to know how much? Talk to a couple of local real estate agents to find out what they would expect. You can even call me! I’ll tell you. Just remember though, if there is a written agreement between buyer and their agent, you may still lose. Finally, don’t expect to “get away with not paying”. Any agent working with buyers that is worth half a pot of salt, will present you with an agreement form for signing. It will be signed by agent and seller and tell you that the agent does not work for you and expects the brokerage to be paid $$xx at closing.
1. Compensating a buyers agent, may just have found your buyer!
?⚖️ Hiring a Full Service Real Estate Agent
If you decide to hire a real estate agent you are now provided with legal requirements.
- Care & Confidentiality
These are mandatory service requirements. That said that’s likely not what you think about when you are paying a real estate commission to sell a house, nonetheless they are required.
If you decide to hire a pro, just remember that the person you are hiring is actually the brokerage. Your agent works in that brokerage and here in Illinois is classed as your designated agent. Brokerages can have rules and the most notable of those is real estate commission rates. Yes real estate commission rates are negotiable. However brokerages do have the legal right to mandate that their agents charge a minimum rate and even, if they want to, a maximum rate. So you may not be able to negotiate beyond those boundaries.
?Pricing and Presentation Leads to Success
Every homeowner has an idea of what their home is worth. We all hope for an ever increasing value. Sometimes that does not happen. The real estate market can take a beating. Before you sell you need to establish an asking price. Not just any old number but a legitimate price your home should sell for. Based on that you can set an asking price.
Honesty is not always prevalent here. There are some agents that will allow you to list at the price you want. Why I have no idea. Maybe you are not really serious about selling. Maybe you are clueless about the market value and how it is determined. What sellers deserve is honesty on pricing.
Presenting a correctly priced property is worth the effort. A lot of the presentation is up to the seller. A tidy and clean house, everyday for the buyers. Your agent should help with general staging.
2. Pricing correctly will lead to a sale. Commission earned! Get an instant home estimate.
?What Ya Going to Get in The Marketing of Your Property
You might think that all brokerages do the same and all agents do the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even though your signed agreement is with the brokerage, look to the agent to choose what level of services they want to provide you. Never be fooled by a big box name being better or worse. Never think a small independent brokerage cannot compete with the big boys. Sit down with your designated agent and dig into what he or she will do, and don’t forget to ask what they don’t do.
There are differing levels of service provided by brokerages too. Some only provide minimum service, most class themselves as full service. Do you want a laundry list of everything a full service agent should do for you or does do in the listing, marketing and selling of your property? Probably not so here are the fundamentals:
Accepting your listing. This includes getting the necessary paperwork signed, measuring your home, taking full details, either photographing or hiring a photographer to do that. It’s the basis upon all marketing starts. You should get a home estimate first and interview 3 agents before selecting a price and agent.
After reaching agreement your agent has taken on the responsibility of marketing. You should find out all he or she will do. Believe me when I say this aspect of a listing agent’s job could not be more widely different. So find out. It automatically includes the MLS unless you say otherwise. Why you would skip the MLS I am not sure, but if you do, you are now known as a pocket listing, or a secret home seller. Your agent should guide you on preparing the property before you go live with the for sale sign! Here are some ideas about marketing in today’s digital world.
- IDX is the way we brokers share listings online via our websites. 98% of use share because we want to help our sellers reach all the buyers. This starts with your MLS listing.
- Social media exposure is another way to reach buyers online.
- Blogs are the perfect place to write that story about why your home is ready for that perfect buyer.
- Zillow, Trulia, Homes, Realtor all have major property website portals that most consumers use all day long. You can be there or not, your choice. Many brokerage now feed their listings direct. Note none of these are real estate brokerage, they are advertising portals. They rely on funding from Realtor advertising to remain in place. That’s not a good thing for our business but we are stuck with them.
- Open houses, papers, magazines, just listed postcards. Still offered by a few but the hit rate is so low now with the internet being instant and BIG! It’s like shooting darts in the dark, unlikely to hit the target and the cost is high.
- Photography, virtual tours, individual websites or pages. Who pays these upfront fees? Ask.
- Staging assistance may be offered or you can pay for a staging company to help.
- Yard sign.
The name of the marketing game is exposure but you must have three basic things in place because none of us can flog a dead horse. Location, Pricing, Presentation. Location is fixed, nothing you can do. Pricing is key. Over pricing will kill your sale in a heartbeat. Over pricing will fail appraisals, seen it all too often. Presentation will win the buyer who is ready to pull the trigger. Digital marketing is a very heavy duty job at the start but once set it’s much easier than preparing print ads every week or so.
You should be kept informed about your property on a weekly basis at least, more when those offers start to come in.
Just a quick thought. Marketing homes by real estate agents has a double reason. Aside from finding you a buyer, the agent is also using your home to advertise their services. It’s just how business is done.
3. Good marketing will get your home the most exposure and that takes effort. Better get your commissions $$ worth!
? Helping You Sort Through The Offers As They Pour In
Are you laughing? Maybe so, because here in Barrington we are not a seller’s market. In others parts of the country the market is sellers plus and lucky sellers are getting multiple offers within hours of going on the market. These areas have a shortage of homes for sale. Buyers are paying over the asking price and competition is fierce.
Regardless of when you get an offer, or offers, just know that your agent is legally obligated to present every single one of them. The perfectly written offer to purchase contract or the restaurant napkin with scrawl are all offers. Your agent is legally bound to tell you about them all. Even after you are contract if an offer comes in, they must tell you. Even if it comes in a minute before you close. Your agent earns their commission by being the fount of all knowledge here. Our contract can be long and we should be able to interpret the content and explain it all to you. It’s not just about the money. So even if you get just one offer, make sure you understand everything about it.
4. You need guidance with every offer. A detailed explanation of the good, bad and ugly of any offer is worth real estate commission $$.
?Keeping An Eye on The Process Until The Title Company Sings – Closed
Here in Northern Illinois we use attorneys once contracts are accepted in writing. They take over the process. That does not mean your agent gets to wash his hands of it and just turn up at closing. There are many dates on your contract, your agent should be following along closely to make sure a date is not missed.
Here in Barrington and the surrounding suburbs, we close our real estate sales with a title company. The sale is instant at the table once the attorneys, lenders, sellers and buyers have done all they need. There is no escrow delay. It closes or it does not. If it does not your agent may be back in the marketing game. If your sale closes your agent is still and always will be bound by the law of confidentiality.
5. Getting you to the closing table takes care. Care resolves problems, care monitors the transaction. Care means your agent cares!
If you are a home seller ready to put a home on the market, make sure you are getting your commissions worth of effort. Remember your real estate commission pays two brokerages and the agents that facilitated the transaction. So for most home sales, it’s a 4 way split.
?Let Me Help You Sell a Home in Barrington
For further assistance or to start your home sale, call Corinne Guest, Barrington Realty Company at (847) 363-3686. Or send an email.