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Posts Tagged ‘buyer agent’

Straight talk on real estate commissions

Did you know that how your agent divides the commission that you pay to sell your home can hurt you and you might never know it? Let’s face it a 6% commission is a lot of money.  It is customary in the Raleigh/Durham greater Triangle real estate market that the commission you pay as a seller to sell your home is divided between listing agents and buyer’s agents.  Many times the split is a simple 50/50 split, 3% to the buyer side and 3% to the listing side. After all without a buyer there would be no sale and certainly no commission. Other times it isn’t a simple split; and that’s where you a seller can be hurt.

Agents are required to disclose to sellers how the seller paid commission will be split, but disclosure as we all know doesn’t always mean explanation with respect to consequences. For example let’s say the a couple lists their home for sale; and let’s suppose that the sale of their home is going to be a short sale, the seller owes more on their mortgage than is supported by current market conditions. Their agent takes the listing, knowing and disclosing the short sale and he markets the property in multiple listing with a 2.5% commission payout.  He is retaining 3.5% because he’s going to have to work hard.  His listing agreement notes the commissions split but the agent doesn’t explain the consequences of the split to the seller.

The listing agent doesn’t explain to his clients that although they aren’t “supposed to consider” commission payouts when searching multiple listing, buyer agents are only human and to expect them not to consider payment for work is naïve. So many times when competing with a 3% paid commission against 2.5% or 2.4% commission paid, a buyer agent might be overlook the properties paying less. In the case of the sellers mentioned above with their short sale perhaps this was the case.  The property was aggressively priced but only after a series of price drops but still it languished on market. So long that the bank began foreclosure proceedings because the owners had stopped paying their mortgage.

Ultimately the home did sell and close but it did so after about six months. Perhaps the listing agent could have expedited the sale of the home; which he is required to do, had he explained the consequences of his actions with respect to commissions paid.  Did he?  I doubt it because why would any seller risk foreclosure when they could avoid such drastic measures.

My advice to sellers and buyers alike, ask questions. Ask your agent if how they divide YOUR money is going to hurt you or benefit you. You have a right to know.

To learn more about our real estate practice phone us at 919-493-7633 or email Michael@TeamMichaelSullivan.com

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The right buyer’s agent; how the heck do you know?
I suppose before you can know, you need to understand exactly what it is a buyer’s agent is supposed to do and how they are supposed to operate.

In North Carolina a real estate agent is required to work for someone. That someone can either be a buyer or a seller or sometimes both. Being a seller’s agent is traditional agency, the agent is working for the seller’s best interest. Being a buyer’s agent is just that, working for the buyer’s best interest. Being a dual agent is working for both parties best interests. Believe it or not with experience this is not tough to do.

So back to buyer agency; most if not all problems associated with a real estate transaction boil down to communication.

1. An agent doesn’t have the experience to know and understand where pitfalls may be within a specific transaction.

2. Through training or lack thereof, the pitfalls have not been communicated to the agent and the agent has not communicated to the buyer the pitfalls.

3. The buyer agent does not adequately communicate to the listing agent what it is the buyer wants or expects.

4. The listing agent doesn’t know about a particular deficiency in the property.

5. Through training or lack thereof, the seller agent has not explored the red flags that would uncover a deficiency.

6. The buyer agent doesn’t show the buyers what they want to see.

7. The buyer agent has not asked the proper questions to determine and vet out exactly what the buyer wants or can afford.

8. The buyer agent doesn’t know the market and cannot adequately inform or show the buyer what is available in the market.

It boils down to communication. As a consumer of real estate take your time, sit down with your potential buyer agent or seller’s agent and talk to them, interview them. One of the most important practices that I typically engage in with my clients is an interview. We sit down and before we look at one home, we talk for a half hour. I ask a million questions so that I can better assist my buyers in making a home buying decision.

There is more but a blog is not the venue to go into all of that. Call me, Michael Sullivan at 919-608-2372 for a free no obligation consultation where we will discuss whether I am the right agent for you. I have 17 years market experience in the Raleigh, Durham, Cary and Chapel Hill real estate market where I have helped thousands of families find their spot to call home. You may text to 919-608-2372 or email me at MSullivan@fmrealty.com. Learn more about Team Michael Sullivan at TeamMichaelSullivan.com

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