Whether you’re selling your house or house hunting, you’re probably wondering whether to get a realtor. It’s also likely you’ve heard conflicting information about using one. However, most people have only gone through the process of buying or selling a home a few times throughout their life. It’s very difficult to remember how everything works through such a lengthy process. Sellers and buyers should make sure they have the right information to make the process easier. Here are five of the top myths about real estate agents and the real facts behind them.
1. The Classic 6% Commission Myth
The most common myth about real estate agents is that they get a 6 percent commission when a house is sold. This percentage is actually split between the two agents and brokers, for a four-way split. That means on a $200,000 home sale, the realtor will get about $3,000 from the total $12,000 in commission.
2. Breaking up With Your Broker
As a seller, you may have signed a contract to use a real estate agent and their broker to help sell your home. Contracts have terms, and many sellers tend to think they are stuck using the agent the entire time. However, it’s possible to ask to be released from your contract early. Especially if there are challenges with the relationship, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
For buyers, it is rare to enter a contractual relationship with an agent. A buyer’s agent is working for free until you find a home, and is paid on completion of the sale. A buyer’s agent should be motivated to help you find the right house for you, the most difficult part of the home buying process.
3. An Agent Can Represent Both Parties
The seller’s agent has a vested interest in getting the best terms and price for the seller. If you’re a buyer, that directly conflicts with yours. Don’t assume that you don’t need an agent because you have the technology available to help you find a home. Technology has changed the real estate market without a doubt, however this is no substitute for industry experts.
Your smartphone can show you what property listings are available on-demand. But a great buyer’s agent will prove to be a true advantage in your home buying success. This is especially true if you are new to the area or buying for the first time.
A buyer’s agent will have expertise and knowledge of the local market you won’t find on an app. Having a local connection will get you access to the best experts available. Lenders, inspectors, and other key players who have been vetted by a buyer’s agent will be available to work on your side.
4. No Agent is Better than Any Other Agent
When you hire someone to repair your car or cut your hair, are you comfortable working with just anyone? Probably not. You want someone that you trust and can get the job done right.
It’s the same as working with a great local agent. When you have the right agent it will pay off by saving you money and time. They will have vast knowledge in the local market and be able to find the right areas based on your needs.
An agent that’s worked in the area will have established and deep relationships with other agents. Look for an agent with at least eight years’ experience which is the median amount according to the National Association of Realtors membership report. Experienced agents will have access to insider information first, such as upcoming opportunities or deals being reached. That information can be used to get you access to a new listing first or know what properties to avoid.
5. Buying Agents Can’t Work With Owners Selling Their Houses
The fifth myth of the myths of real estate agents is that working with one means you can’t buy a home that’s for sale by owner (FSBO). Only 5 percent of homes were sold by FSBO from data from a 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers report. The main reason that owners try to sell their homes themselves is to avoid paying commission.
However, an informed seller knows that the real estate process is complicated. The majority of buyers have their own agent and FSBO sellers are usually willing to work with them. So you should feel comfortable asking your agent to help if you see an FSBO home that you’re interested in.
FSBO sellers will usually compensate an agent as an incentive. As an added benefit, the seller will also be able to take advantage of the agent’s experience.
The Zarpas Team is not a Myth, but Here for You Right Now!
The Katie Zarpas Group has experience in navigating the real estate space and can help you get the information you need to buy or sell a house. No need to worry about the myths about real estate agents here! Contact the Katie Zarpas Group today for more information or to start the home buying or home selling process!