If you have ever bought or sold a home, the chances are good that you have felt that the entire process is a bit… one-sided, to say the least. It seems that there is always so much information being exchanged, but it is often hard to get feedback or information about what could go wrong from the other side.
For instance, will buyers really care about that shade of purple in your daughter’s room? Or, exactly how many other offers are on the table the moment you decide to submit yours? The list is endless, and trying to get all of the information can be extremely overwhelming.
Want to know some hot real estate secrets? If you’ve ever wished that you could be a fly on the wall during a negotiation or an open house, then read on, because are about to share some of the best real estate secrets with you.
The listing agent actually has little control over the sale. In order to get your listing, the agent may tell you, or even guarantee you, that they can sell your home fast. But, in reality, they can’t truly predict or control how quickly your home will sell, or at what price. So, what can you do? When talking with prospective listing agents, you can ask them, on average, how long it takes for their homes to sell. This will give you a realistic idea of what you can expect, and eventually, you will find the agent who is right for you.
Real estate agents will often hold back on telling you some of the less than glowing critiques of your home. For instance, your listing agent may really want to tell you that your home smells -- and not like roses. While many agents have no problem telling you about specific pet odors, if the smell is more of a generalized musty odor or a bad smell from the kitchen, they are much less likely to speak up. The same goes for mess and clutter. Many agents will not tell you point blank that your home is messy. And, if you are living with your clutter or mess every day, chances are good that you simply don’t see it anymore. Ask your agent to be brutally honest with you -- and be prepared to hear their answers.
The agent’s commission is almost always negotiable. Many people assume that a real estate commission is always a strict 6% - split down the middle between the seller’s real estate agent and the buyer’s real estate agent. And although this is the case in most transactions, it would actually be against antitrust laws for the commission structure to be set across the board. Agents can all negotiate their individual commissions, and a seller has the power to negotiate this figure before agreeing to or signing any contracts.
People (buyers and sellers alike) can be petty over the smallest things. As anyone will tell you, a good and fair negotiation will often have both sides leaving the table as if they have won something AND lost something. However, sometimes people choose to not fight fair, and will try to one up the other side on something, anything… if they can. Any guesses what the most common pawn is in real estate negotiations? Believe it or not, it is the refrigerator. This particular appliance tends to fall into a “grey area,” meaning that there’s often some level of confusion as to whether it stays in the home with the buyer or leaves the home with the seller. How can you combat this? Pick your position ahead of time, and make sure it is stated plainly in your contract. And if anything changes through further verbal negotiations, be sure that it gets outlined in the contract, as well.
While a real estate agent can show you any home, and they can even help facilitate a sale, there is nothing they can do to help you buy your dream home if you aren’t financially prepared to pay for it. Go into your home search informed, and know just how much home you can realistically afford. Looking at homes outside of your price range will not only waste your real estate agent’s time, it will also waste yours.
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