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What Your Real Estate Agent Knows That You Don't

Nov 6, 2007
When you make the decision to sell your home, you are under no obligation to hire a real estate agent or broker to help you with the sale. Nonetheless, most people prefer to hire a real estate agent in order to better protect themselves and in order to put themselves in a better position to successfully sell the home in a short amount of time.

When you hire a Realtor, you gain access to a wealth of knowledge that will help keep you out of trouble and will help provide for a smooth transaction. Here are just a few things that your real estate agent knows that you probably do not.

The Federal Fair Housing Act

According to the Federal Fair Housing Act, you cannot discriminate against someone when selling a home. The act defines seven different classes that are protected against discrimination, these include:

- Race
- Color
- National origin
- Sex
- Religion
- Handicap
- Familial status

If you do not enlist in the help of a real estate agent, you put yourself at risk of violating this act if you refuse to sell your home to an interested buyer. In addition, you might even accidentally violate these laws without realizing it. For example, there are certain words that cannot be included in your advertisements for your home because they are in violation of the Fair Housing Laws. Some of these words include:

- Bachelor apartment
- Children welcome
- Couples
- Gentleman's Farm
- Golden Agers
- Handicapped
- Integrated
- Married
- Mature
- Mother-in-Law quarters
- Professional
- Seniors
- Singles only
- Sports-minded

As you can see, some of these terms seem perfectly innocent. Therefore, it is a good idea to get the help of a real estate agent so you can tap into his or her knowledge and experience in order to stay out of trouble.

State Real Estate Laws

Although there are similarities in real estate laws from one state to the next, each state has its own set of rules that must be followed. If you do not understand these laws or are unaware of these laws, you can inadvertently break the law when selling your home. In addition, by not being fully aware of your seller's rights, you might actually lose out on money during the transaction.

Taking Advantage of Connections

Aside from legal matters, a real estate agent simply has a vast number of connections that makes it possible to sell a home more quickly and for a higher asking price. Similarly, since people come to real estate agents when searching for homes, you are able to tap into a much larger market of interested buyers when you get the help of a real estate agent.

Since a Realtor has experience with selling homes, he or she can also provide you with tips to help increase the market value of your home and to make the process go by more quickly. For example, small things such as painting a room a different color can go a long way when it comes to increasing the appeal of the home. By taking advantage of the realtor's expertise, you just might have a much more profitable selling experience.
About the Author
Eric Bramlett is the broker & co-owner of One Source Realty in Austin, Texas. Eric currently manages his Austin Real Estate Guide, his Northwest Austin real estate company's website, & his Steiner Ranch real estate Guide.
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