Have you ever found yourself genuinely concerned about the complicated nature of real estate transactions when you were ready to list your home? The value of owning a home is undeniable and certainly considered a big part of living the American dream. Based on a study provided by economists George Akerloff and Robert Shiller, it was concluded that a large majority of Americans buy at least one home within their lifetime. That number is based on the fact 80% of 60-year olds own a home and many of them have been in their home for at least 24 years.
Infrequency of Interaction With the Real Estate Market
Given the facts noted above, it is reasonable to assume that a typical American only interacts with the real estate market in general and more specifically with real estate agents once or twice in their lifetime. Without an adequate level of experience in buying or selling homes, many people feel forced to rely upon real estate agents without a realistic way of knowing how to discern a good one from a bad one. No one should feel comfortable with the notion of offering blind faith to another individual who is being charged with handling a big portion of their personal net worth.
A Reason for Skepticism
People should be troubled by the notion that the traditional 6% commissions paid to real estate agents have remained unchanged for decades now. That amount has survived a large variety of market and economic conditions without anyone questioning why the number never changes. You should be skeptical about why it is that real estate agents rarely break ranks and offer come competitive rates to draw customers. Isn’t that the nature of capitalism? For what it’s worth, you should be aware the number is arbitrary without a valid reason why it shouldn’t be used the starting point for negotiations.
Deciphering the Characteristics of Good and Bad Real Estate Agents
No one is suggesting you operate under the assumption that all real estate agents are bad simply because commissions seem to be fixed within the industry. Instead, it would be to your benefit to simply learn to recognize the difference between the good agents and the bad ones. If you are truly expected to allocate up to 6% of your personal wealth to a stranger for the act of selling your home, here are a few things you consider when evaluating the performance of your representative.
Communication – A good real estate agent is going to communicate with you regarding every detail of the home-selling process. They understand the magnitude of what you’re trying to accomplish and want to make sure you are comfortable with what is transpiring. If your real estate agent goes M.I.A. or avoids direct communication, you should walk away.
Knowledge Base – A good real estate agent will immediately recognize your level of knowledge about the home selling process. They will be more than willing to offer good suggestions about important factors such as pricing levels, home staging and home improvements that might derive extra value. A bad real estate agent is the one that avoids a leadership role, perhaps because they lack the requisite expertise you have a right to expect.
Pressure to Sell – Bad real estate agents are in the game for money without regard for the client’s welfare. If you feel your agent is pressuring you to make decisions that require you to step outside of your comfort zone, you might want to make a change. A good real estate will show patience and guide you through the process while allowing you to go at your own speed.
Creativity – Good agents have numerous marketing resources at their disposal to help find the right home-buyers who are willing to pay the right price. If your agent seems content to let the home try to sell itself, you have yourself a bad agent who lacks motivation and creativity.
When it comes time to select your real estate agent, you can avoid getting ripped off by following two simple rules: You are the customer and they are there to serve your best interests. If you take the time to educate yourself about the home-selling process, you will find it much easier to get what you need from your real estate agent.