After careful consideration, you’ve decided it’s time to sell your home or rental property! Every property owner will eventually be faced with this life-changing decision.
It can be a difficult decision to make!
And… Deciding on how to hire the right realtor to help sell your home or rental property can be even more difficult! Especially, if you don’t want the headaches of doing a For Sale By Owner.
Quick Tip: Doing a For Sale By Owner (an FSBO) to save on commission fees sounds like a great idea. But the truth is, it’s just not practical for 90% of the people who want to sell their home. Hiring the right realtor will be the next best option!
In this article, we’ll discuss how to hire a real estate agent that has all of the qualities required for earning your business and their sales commission. After all, you should have nothing but the best help for selling the biggest asset you’ve ever owned, your home!
We’ll also discuss a bit about what a listing agreement is and why you’ll have to sign it to make working with your realtor official.
A rockstar realtor will have to serve you well to earn that 4 – 6% commission, let’s find out more about how to hire one.
Qualities Of A Professional Real Estate Agent
Hiring a Realtor will cost you a commission of around 4 – 6%, but the peace of mind that all the legalities are taken care of is worth it! Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting your home listed on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). By being listed on the MLS, other realtors will see the listing and show it off to a large pool of active buyers.
Besides just having a listing on the MLS, you need to make sure your real estate agent gives your home the best marketing and sales presentation possible.
They should be a true ROCKSTAR real estate sales professional!
How do you know your realtor is a true ROCKSTAR professional?
They’ll dress like one and most likely be referred to you by someone else you know who used their services. There motivated to sell your home and are engaging with prospective buyers and other real estate agents. Your agent should be using a high-quality business card with their contact information clearly written out. Having a photo of themselves on the card is also a good idea but not necessarily required.
Are Flat Fee Brokers and Realtors Just As Professional As The Full-Service Ones?
Yes, they are! And Flat Fee Brokers will work for a discounted flat fee instead of the standard 4 – 6% sales commission. For example, they might charge a flat $8,000 fee whether the sale price is $500k or $700k. However, the tradeoff for paying a discounted flat fee is that you won’t receive full service, you’ll be hosting your own open houses, etc. For more information about flat fee brokers, I would recommend you check out Help U Sell.
Regardless of which type of realtor you choose (full service or flat-fee), they should be providing your property the best marketing presentation possible.
Your home should have the following to help market and sell it:
- A high-quality For Sale sign in front of the house.
- An online listing with a detailed description and high-resolution pictures. Some good real estate websites are Realtor.com, Redfin, Zillow, Craigslist, and Movoto.
- High-Quality Fliers that can easily be picked up by prospective buyers.
- All printed marketing materials should have high-resolution pictures.
- Open Houses should be announced at least a week in advance.
Use the above list as a starting point to judge whether or not the real estate agent you hire knows what they are doing. If you hire the right realtor for the job, they’ll be able to imagine a lot of other ways to market your property and show it to prospective buyers.
Before you can officially hire a real estate agent, you’ll need to sign a Listing Agreement with them.
We’ll cover that in the next section.
A “Listing Agreement” will disclose how much commission your realtor is going to make from the sale. Depending on full service or partial service, all the expectations of what your agent is required to do will be in this agreement.
It also documents exactly how they will handle the sale of your home and how it will be advertised!
Make sure you understand everything in the agreement because you’ll be obligated to work with your real estate agent for a specified (minimum) amount of time. So, if they are doing a lousy job, it will be hard to get out of the deal.
In other words, don’t just sign the listing agreement unless you 100% understand all of its terms and conditions. At the same time, it will list what the realtor is actually going to do for you to earn that commission, so it protects you too.
REMEMBER! Always seek out professional legal help. I’m not a lawyer.
Here are some of the common Listing Agreement “gotchas” that I want you to know about!
Exclusive right to sell – Your agent has first priority for any rights relating to the sale of your home during the duration of time that is agreed upon. The duration of time is explained more below.
Duration of time – This is how long the listing agreement will be in effect. Typically, this can be three months, but I would do the shortest amount of time you can. That way if everything is going well with your realtor, you can just renew the agreement. If things are not going so well, you can always fire them.
Commission Amount – Your realtor will disclose the commission or any fees they’ll get paid once the home or property is sold.
Safety / Protection Clause – This prevents you from directly doing a sell to a buyer that the Realtor helped you find after the expiration of the listing agreement. This can be a very complicated matter so make sure you seek out the proper professional legal help if you are unsure of what it means in your particular case.
Representations – This will require you to show proof that you are a legal authority to sell the property. Again, pretty complex legal matters, so just make sure you have no conflicts with proving full ownership.
Duties – This part of the agreement will make sure specific duties are done. Such as listing your home on the MLS or doing an open house. Putting up a “For Sale” sign will also be listed in this section.
Dispute Resolution – This area describes how you handle disagreements that cannot be settled by just talking it out. It will contain the exact arbitration details you’ll need to go through to reach a resolution of the disagreement.
Changes to the agreement – This describes how changes to the agreement will be handled. Most of the time you can just add amendments.
Basically, the listing agreement is your business agreement with the listing agent!
Who thought selling a real estate property could be so complicated?
Dealing with inspectors, buyers, the title company, appraisers, and all the other legal liabilities can be a real nightmare. Especially, if something does not work out right due to the mistake of an amateur.
That is why 90% of people hire a realtor to help them through the home selling process and you should too if you’re not ready to put the work in.