18 Things Your Real Estate Agent Won’t Tell You

If you’re thinking of selling your home or already have it on the market, then it may be turning into a stressful time for you. Sometimes your real estate agent can make this worse if they don’t disclose everything. Here are 18 things your real estate agent won’t tell you.

The Truth About Open Houses

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Open houses are commonly used as a way for the real estate agent to gain more clients. For example, Legal Desire writes, “Open houses are strong tools for newer agents and allow customers to get a clear perspective on the size of the house.” Don’t always think an open house will guarantee you a sale.

Commission Negotiations

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Commission rates are negotiable before signing a contract. There is no standard rate for real estate agents, and it varies depending on the agent and the property. Always ensure you discuss and negotiate the commission rate based on the agent’s services. You don’t want to give more commission than you should.

Importance of Staging

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What your real estate agent may not tell you is that if you declutter your home, it can really help you sell it. Not only may it impact the speed at which your home sells, but also the price you sell it for. Decluttering can free up valuable space in your home and make it much more appealing.

Agent’s Marketing Incentives

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Some real estate agents will have undisclosed motivations, including higher commissions on certain properties. Also, a buyer’s agent might prefer properties that include a higher amount of commission. For transparency with agents, you should always inquire about commission rates and their structure.

Hidden Fees and Costs

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Always be aware of administration and transactional fees in any contract. If you’re unsure, then ask your agent for a breakdown. Asking about any fees will make you aware of any upfront costs and help you avoid any future surprises. Always read any contracts thoroughly.

The Value of Professional Inspections

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What your real estate agent may not tell you is that you should have a professional inspection before selling your house. This is supported by McAteer Solutions, which writes, “By getting a pre-inspection, sellers can identify any issues with their property and address them before listing their home for sale.”

Agents and Dual Representation

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Agents typically represent the seller and not the buyer. If you’re a buyer looking for an agent, you should try to fully understand their role before taking someone on, as you want to ensure they give you dedicated representation. If you have dual representation, then the buyer’s interest may not always be the primary focus.

Website Pricing

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The price you see online isn’t always the price you’ll pay for a property. There’s usually some room for negotiation when it comes to pricing. Also, if you’re looking at home value estimates, these can usually lack accuracy and context. For a precise value, always consult with your real estate agent.

Large Agencies vs. Boutique Firms

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Big-name real estate agencies aren’t always the better option. Smaller firms can offer you a more personalized experience when it comes to selling your home, and commission rates are usually known for being lower. Try to write a pros and cons list to help you decide which agency to go with.

Zoning and Regulatory Issues

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You shouldn’t expect your agent to be upfront about potential zoning costs. Make sure you do your own research when it comes to zoning restrictions and regulations. It’s important to do this, as zoning can affect your ability to make any changes to the property.

The FSBO Option

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This stands for “for sale by owner” and can be an alternative to a real estate agent. For example, This Old House writes, “There is a lot of savings to be had. Now with Craigslist and other Internet sites, it’s easier than ever before.” It’s important to keep in mind that much more effort is needed, and it isn’t an option for everyone.

Off-market Properties

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Your agent may not tell you that they actually know of properties that are not on the market yet. This commonly happens when they have wide networks. Off-market opportunities are important for you as a buyer, as there will be less competition. Make sure to ask your agent if there are any off-market properties.

Overestimation of Property Value

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Sometimes, your agent may overestimate the value of your property for their own benefit. Overpriced homes can perform poorly on the market, and this then means a price drop for your house. Ensure that your agent sets a realistic price point for your property and carries out an accurate market analysis.

The Reality of Agent Involvement

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Don’t expect your agent’s involvement to be as hands-on as they promised. Many tasks may be delegated to assistants or junior agents, and much of the communication may be done by them. When in negotiations with your agent, make sure you ask them upfront how involved they’ll be.

The Impact of Neighbors on Your Sale

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What your neighbors are like can have an impact on the sale of your home. Reader’s Digest suggests, “While you can’t groom the whole neighborhood, you can offer to clean up the yards around your home.” After all, no one wants to move anywhere that is noisy or messy.

Rental as a Viable Option

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Sometimes, renting out your property can make more sense than putting it on the market. A real estate agent may not want to tell you this because it means they lose out on commission. Renting your home can give you a source of income while you’re waiting for the right opportunity to put it on the market.

The Significance of Scents

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Smell is a powerful scent, so much so that it can have a huge impact on the sale of your house. Having a house that smells clean and fresh makes a great first impression, as it makes the property more appealing. Even small improvements like a fresh coat of paint or a deep clean can make all the difference.

Overlooking Final Walk-Throughs

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The final walk-through is an important part of the process as it ensures the property’s condition meets the terms of the contract. Never skip this step, as it can lead to missed issues, repairs, and items that have been left behind. The final walk-through is your last opportunity to address any problems before finalizing the sale.

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