REAL ESTATE AGENTS
Your nemesis or ally?
The choice is yours!
You can turn real estate agents away, but remember, they may have the right buyer for your home.
So, if you decide to work with them, the following will be of real importance to you.
Fore warned is fore armed. If there ever was an absolute, this is it:
From the first day that you put your “For Sale by Owner” sign in the yard, you will be besieged by real estate agents wanting to discuss with you why they can sell your home faster and for more money than you can.
You are not interested in listing, BUT you can still work with them. Under the right conditions.
As a For Sale by Owner you will need to develop a plan for handling real estate agents.
Why can I be so certain that you will be contacted by hordes real estate agents?
For what ever reason, maybe they’re sadists, real estate brokers tell new agents to work the FSBO market for listings.
Makes perfect sense to me.(??) Turn a brand spanking new agent, fresh out of Real Estate School, loose on the toughest nut to crack for listings. Send them after the “For Sale by Owner” without any experience or any plan.
So get prepared for many calls and many inept attempts to get you to list your home.
It’s how YOU deal with these real estate agents that will make the difference between annoying distractions or additional home selling opportunities.
If you handle it correctly, you can get real estate agents working to sell your home and avoid paying a sizable commission, so let’s put a plan together to make all these agents your ally.
Before I can describe what your actions should be when dealing with agents I first need to make sure that you understand some important real estate concepts. Please click on and read the three links below.
Buyer Agent - Real Estate agents work exclusively for buyers to procuring a property.
Seller Agent - Real Estate agent is working for the SELLER
Commissions - The fee paid to an agent for their services
It’s critical for you to remember that when agents bring a prospective buyer to your home they are either working for the BUYER , OR for YOU.
Just to be safe I strongly suggest that you discuss the legal aspects of working with real estate agents with your attorney before hand, as some technicalities differ from state to state.
Now that you understand some basic but vital real estate concepts, you are ready to deal with real estate agents.
Your plan is really quite simple.
- If they want you to LIST your home, you are not interested.
- If they want to SHOW your home to a potential buyer you are willing to work with them.
Here’s how you do it.
When you are contacted by an agent, the first thing you should do is to thank them for their interest, this sets a friendly tone. Next, politely but firmly inform them that you plan to sell your home yourself and have no desire to discuss listing with their agency; HOWEVER, you would be willing to work with them to show your home to prospective buyers under the following conditions:
1) - If they have a “pre-qualified” buyer who is under a buyer-agency agreement with them, they may call to arrange “an appointment” for a showing, IF they understand that any commissions paid to the agent will come from the buyer and not you.
2) - If they have a “pre-qualified” buyer who is NOT under a buyer-agency agreement, they must first register that buyer with you. You are willing to pay a partial commission, but not a full commission. (After all you are still doing all the work!) The amount will be by separate written agreement - normally a percentage of the selling price.
3) - The agent must be at the showing, however, YOU will handle the showing of your home and answer any questions that may arise.
4) - And finally, any contracts offered by their client will first have to be reviewed by your attorney before you will consider accepting it.
Why is this important? What does it accomplish?
1) - First, it immediately lets the agent know that he/she is dealing with a competent home seller. They aren’t going to “bully” you into an unacceptable situation.
2) - Secondly it puts the agent on notice that YOU and not him/her will be in charge. They had better have their buyer totally under control before arranging a showing.
3) - Finally it let’s them know before hand that you and YOUR attorney will handle the closing. You will be paying your attorney to handle the transaction and look after and protect your interests.
If the agent you are dealing with is a seasoned pro he/she will know they can work within these terms. However, since most new real estate agents are virtually clueless when it comes to “buyer-agency”, they may want to discuss your methods with their broker . Either way they most likely will accept your terms, since they are not unreasonable.
If they don’t, it’s likely they don’t really have a buyer. They are just trying to get get a listing.
The final results of all this will be the opening of yet another avenue to finding a buyer for your home. And the best thing about this arrangement is that when the agent does call for that appointment you know that he/she is bringing a pre-qualified and interested buyer.
Remember, when dealing with real estate agents, be firm but not antagonistic. Make them your ally not your nemesis.