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What Will A Real Estate Agent Do For You?

Jun 30, 2008
When selling your home, have you considered if using the services of a professional real estate agent will be worth the fee that he or she charges? Depending upon the agent and your personal circumstances, the answer may be either yes or no. There are pros and cons involved with both using an agent, and choosing to do it yourself.

Remember: real estate agents want your business, so negotiating is acceptable. Additionally, many low quality agents simply want to sign a contract with you, pass the information on to the secretary at the agency they work with, have the secretary put the listing in the multiple listing service, and then do nothing more until your property sells so they can collect a fat commission check.

If that is all the agent does for you, you're wasting your money by paying an excessive fee for very little value in return.

Here are some things that you should ask a potential agent:

* Do they advertise in the local newspapers and magazines on a regular basis - If so, is it a color ad and how often would your property be advertised and in how many publications? Put specific details in the contract.

* Do they have their properties listed on popular property websites? Do they include full details of their properties?

* Are their details produced in color, with internal and external photos?

* How many buyers are they working with that are looking for your type of property and in your price bracket?

* Do they provide an opportunity for their entire sales staff to view your property to familiarize themselves with the property that they will be selling? How can the office represent and sell a property to its full potential if the agents haven't seen it?

* Always find out about their agency agreements - there are a lot of agents out there that want to 'tie you in' to a 12 month agreement. This is generally the case for the large chain real estate agents; the independents do not generally have as large of a tie in period. All they usually require is 2 weeks written notice. It is always preferable to be tied in for as short of a period of time as possible - think of it this way, if an agent is good at what they do then they won't have to tie you in to give them 12 months to sell your property!

* Also, go with your instincts - if you feel that a particular agent would promote your property better than the others then that could be the one to work with.

A top notch agent is worth his fees. By doing some investigative work before you choose an agent, you'll reap the benefits throughout the selling process.
About the Author
J Stromsteen has many years expertise in the finance, real estate, and insurance industry. She contributes to various websites such as First Time Home Buyer where you can find today's mortgage rates as well as a wealth of information on finding a real estate agent.
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