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5 things a Realtor wont tell you, but I will!

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5 things your Realtor wont tell you, but I will!

“You can Negotiate a lower commission.”

On average, 5.4% of each home sale price goes to brokers’ commissions, according to real estate research firm Real Trends. But the rate varies depending on your area. You probably know that the commission comes out of the seller’s proceeds from the sale and is split evenly between the buyer’s and seller’s agents. What you may not know is that commission is not a fixed rate. When you’re selling, interview a few agents to get an idea of the going rate in your area, then, before you commit to one realtor, see if any will lower their fees. Typically, the higher the value of the property, the more bargaining power you’ll have, but it never hurts to ask. Just be sure a agent offering you a low commission rate isn’t planning to dock the commission paid to the buyer’s agent. If your broker advertises a fee less than what buyers’ agents normally get, buyers’ agents are less likely to show your house.

“If you want to sell this place for the best price, you may need to make some changes.”

You might assume that your agent will tell you what to do to make your home more marketable, but some don’t bother. “I see many houses for sale that are cluttered or have a dead bush out front or peeling paint in the bathroom,” says Christina. “Unfortunately, some agents think it’s better to get a house on the market, and maybe sell it for less, than to risk offending clients with constructive criticism.” Bottom line: If your agent doesn’t initiate this conversation, you should—and you should be receptive to his suggestions. Even if your house is in great shape, there are probably small things you can do to improve it. If your realtor doesn’t have any thoughts on the topic, or you feel he just doesn’t care, it might be time to get a new realtor.

“That garage your dreaming of? It might not happen.”

“Real estate agents tend to be positive, rather than naysayers and deal-killers,” says Christina. So if you tell your broker a house would be perfect if only you could add a deck, garage or pool, he’s probably going to say those are great ideas—and may even make some suggestions of his own. But a good agent will advise you to check with the local zoning office to make sure those alterations are allowed before you make an offer. Don’t trust an agent who tells you he knows for a fact that you can make a major structural change.

Real Estate isn’t always a great investment:

If you are buying real estate as an investment, then the income from the property must be able to carry all the costs, including the mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, utilities and an extra 10 percent for maintenance and repairs. This may also require a down payment of up to 25 percent of the purchase price. If the income does not carry the costs, then you are speculating that the price will increase over time, which is a dangerous assumption.

Open Houses benefit the agent:

In many cases, the only one who benefits from open houses is agents. They meet potential buyers, who may not be interested in your home, but who may become potential buyer clients of other homes that the agent knows about. There are also risks of people stealing valuables when they are inside your home, often by coming in pairs; one to distract the agent while the other goes through the drawers. When the open house is only open to other agents, then there is a stronger likelihood that the people coming will actually have clients who are potentially interested in your property. If you do permit an open house, ensure that all of your valuables, including computers and CDs, are locked away or removed during the open house.

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