Realtor Commission: How They Get Paid

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If you’re working with a real estate agent in the Maryland location, Virginia, location, Baltimore location, or Washington DC location, you may have wondered how your realtor will be paid.  For those buying a home, it’s a surprise to learn that your realtor’s commission comes from the seller’s end of the table.  Let’s take a look at how commissions break down and how realtors earn their living.

Commissions

If you’re unfamiliar with this term, a person who works on commissions is paid a percentage of the final sale price.  For realtors, this means that all those hours they put in to help you buy or sell your home are not covered by an hourly wage.  If your house fails to close, they don’t get paid for the work they put in.  While commissions are negotiable, the standard rate for realtors is 6%.  At this percentage, if a house closes at $250,000, the commission is $15,000.

Buyer’s Agent

The commission for agents comes from the seller’s proceeds at the close of their sale.  As a buyer, if you work with an agent, their fee is also part of that commission.  Using the previous example, if the commission is $15,000, that amount is split between the listing and buyer agents at whatever percentage they’ve negotiated.  Most often the commission is split evenly with each agent earning 3%, but it can be negotiated differently.  Agents work with buyers knowing that they might not see a paycheck because they hope that when it’s time for you to sell, you’ll choose to work with them again.

If you’ve worked with a real estate agent, you’ll know the amount of time, energy, and work they put into each and every house.  Realtors know that unless your home closes, they won’t get paid.  It’s why they do everything they can to help you find the home you love and close the deal.

Best Ways to Prepare Your Home to Hit the Market

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Selling a house takes plenty of work and time. Before listing your home for sale, put the time in to help it show at its best. There are lots of things you can do to get your house ready, but these four are the most important steps you NEED to take.

1. Remove Personal Touches

When a potential buyer comes into your home, they want to be able to see themselves and their family living there. Family photos and knick-knacks are distracting and shoppers will wondering what kind of people live there, not how they can make the house their own. De-clutter your space, including closets, and pack up anything that you don’t need. You want your house to look open and inviting.

2. Pack Up What You Want to Keep

If a buyer sees an antique chandelier or handmade ceramic sink in the house, they’ll think it’s part of the bargain. Things can get dicey if an offer is made and then those items are removed. Either tag big items as “not for sale” or pack up and replace what you can. You want to make sure you keep your great-grandmother’s vintage cabinet pulls and handles.

3. Clean, Clean, Clean!

A house for sale can never be too clean. Consider hiring professionals if you can, or put the work in yourself and do all those chores you may normally neglect. Wash your windows, wipe down door jambs and floorboards, and get under those appliances. While you’re at it, you can make minor repairs to cracks in the flooring, patching up small holes, and re-caulking if you need to. Some tasks like vacuuming and dusting should be done daily while the house is on the market.

4. Curb Appeal

The exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers see. Cross the street and take an objective look at your house. Does it look appealing? You may need to touch up paint and clean up your landscaping. Clean the driveway, sidewalks, and windows. Pack up the kids’ toys and make sure you clean up after your pet everyday. Dress your house for the season, either with tasteful holiday decorations, or fresh flowers to give it that extra shine.

If you take these four steps, you’re home in the Maryland location, Virginia location, Washington DC location, and Baltimore location will show better and you’ll be more likely to get your house sold at the price you want. A little time now can pay off big later!

What is the Typical Realtor House Sale Timeline?

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Are you thinking about moving and selling your house in the Maryland location, Virginia location, or Washington DC location? Selling your home with a realtor can be a process! – but it doesn’t have to be a mystery! That’s why we’ve complied a step-by-step timeline for selling your home with a realtor.

2 Months before Listing

Hire a real estate agent. Choosing a good real estate agent is so important in selling your home easily and quickly. A good realtor will be your guide through the process. They’ll be help you ensure you have all the documents and paperwork you need to list and close your home before it goes on the market!

6 Weeks before Listing

Check out your local housing market to get an idea of what your market is like. Maybe go to some open houses to get staging ideas. This is also the perfect time to make those essential kitchen appliance upgrades, cosmetic fixes, and other repairs before your house goes on the market. Repainting or cleaning your walls can give your home a major facelift and make it seem brighter and larger!

2 Weeks before Listing

Start decluttering and cleaning! Potential buyers can visualize themselves in your home if your home isn’t crowded or dirty Empty cabinets and closets, pack decorations, move out furniture – basically anything you can live without while your home is on the market should be packed up.

1 Week before Listing

Once your house is clutter-free and clean, your agent will arrange for photos to be taken and an attractive description written!

Listing Day and Closing Day

Now your agent will list your home on several real estate online platforms! It’s your job to make sure your home is presentable for showing at all times and your agent will work with potential buyers until you have an offer that you agree to. Once you’ve agreed to an offer, your realtor and your title/escrow company will help you transition ownership to the buyer.

Alternatively, you can sell your house to an investor like 8 Day Home Sale. We clean out your house for you and let you choose your own closing.

“We’ll Buy Your House If We Can’t Sell It!” The Biggest Scam in Real Estate Marketing?

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You’ve seen it everywhere. On the signs along the road or in advertisements you find in your mailbox or hanging on your door: “We’ll Sell Your House in 60 Days or We’ll Buy It Ourselves!” “Guaranteed Sale – I’ll Sell Your Home Quick or Buy It Myself!” “Sell Your House in 90 Days Guaranteed!”

Is it real or just a scam?

The real estate agents who promise to sell your house within a certain amount of days do sell your home in the perscribed time. However, it’s all the fine print you have to worry about.

You must agree to many concessions, including many expensive upfront costs. In most of these “Guaranteed Sale” deals, you must agree to pay a high realtor commission, a home inspection, a professional home staging, a home warranty, and possibly other concessions. You also must agree to lower the sales price of your home after it’s been on the market for a certain period.

This “deal” is actually only a deal for the realtor, not you.

To sell your home so easily and quickly, you’ll have to agree to let the agent sell your house below market value. Because your home is below market value, it’s likely you’ll get a flood of offers. And, if your home still doesn’t sell, your realtor will purchase your home at an even lower price, stipulated in the agreement you signed, then resell it at market value, making the profit that you could’ve made with a more invested realtor! The most important thing to look for when trying to sell your house is a realtor who will be on your side, trying to get YOU the best deal!

“Guaranteed Sale” realtors are only looking for the best deal for themselves. Don’t fall for this real estate trick! We see this a lot in the Maryland location, Virginia location, and Washington DC location.

How to Sell a Vacant Lot

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While selling a home can be a challenge in any market, selling a vacant lot or piece of land in the Virginia location, Maryland location, or Washington DC location can be even more difficult.  With a vacant lot, you can’t showcase a beautiful home, and the buyers are different. For these reasons, different aspects like size, location, zoning, and the neighborhood are much more important. Choosing the best method to sell can also be tricky. Here are our tips for selling land without a home.

Know What the Buyers Want

Since you can’t have an open house, your land needs to look its absolute best. Buyers will want to know about the size, condition, zoning, and location of your property. Each buyer will have a different plan for the plot of land they purchase so keep that in mind too.

List on an MLS?

Multiple listings services are tried and true tools used by sellers and buyers alike. They are the go-to tool for many real estate agents and are a great way to sell a home. Selling land, on the other hand, can be a little trickier. Like we mentioned, you can’t post any pictures of gorgeous kitchens or spacious living rooms when all you have is a vacant lot. The MLS might not always garner you the most money and you’ll have to pay a listing agent.

Close Fast and Easy with an Investor

If you want to sell your land fast, you should consider contacting investors in the area. Chances are there is a speculative investor in your area willing to buy your land now. If your land is in a prime neighborhood, your odds of selling quickly increase. Keep in mind, that investors typically offer low prices on the land they buy because they want to flip it or have other plans. On the plus side, they usually won’t require any financing, however.

Whichever method you choose to sell your land, patience is important. If the land is in a great location, you’ll have more success, but if you price your property right, buyers are sure to come.

How to Protect Yourself Against Bad Realtors

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Real estate agents get a bad rap – it is easy to see why; they are working in the world of sales. If someone is trying to persuade someone to buy or sell your house fast, it always makes you question their motives. Here are a few tips for spotting shady realtors.

A good realtor should know your area, even your street very well. Unless they are new, there are no excuses for not being an expert in your place of living if they are to represent you and the sale of your property. Protect yourself by asking questions about the area – what is the local school? How does it perform? Are there any parks nearby? What is the neighborhood like? If they stumble over the answers or are vague in their response, this could show a lack of knowledge and they are potentially making up a lot of information.

Listen out for information they should not be giving you. Bad realtors might try and persuade you that the deal is good and sell you on information such as tax breaks or even give legal advice. If you hear any of this be wary. Use a professional for tax or legal advice.

Ask for references. A good realtor should be able to provide these to you easily. Even if you need to sell your house fast, it’s worth following up with a few references.

Do a bit of research, look up the information they have told you about the property. Use tools like Zillow and tax records to ensure what they’ve told you is actually correct. For example, if they say the house was built in 1980, confirm that information.

Make sure you get a home inspection, a bad realtor might advise against this. When buying any property, the best way of protecting yourself against future headaches is by getting a thorough home inspection – it’s the only way of finding out the actual condition of the property.

If you need to sell your house fast, a traditional home sale with a realtor might not be for you. We buy houses directly for cash so you can sell your house fast. Talk to us!

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