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Considerations for the Seller
Things to consider and words of caution as you begin your journey of buying a home.
People sometimes call and ask 'what do you charge?'. What do you get for that fee?
When you shop around, make sure you are comparing apples and apples. Not all real estate companies are alike. Different business models offer different services, so the fees may vary because the services vary. If you are just looking for the lowest %, then you will get what you pay for. Because this is probably your largest investment – it is probably worth your time to actually interview a few brokers and make an educated decision on who will best serve your needs.
Some real estate companies own their own mortgage companies and title businesses. While this disclosure is required once you are involved in a transaction, it is a good idea to ask up front about those related businesses.
Make no mistake: they own the related businesses to make more money off of you, not to save you money! Also be sure to inquire if there are 'administrative fees' in addition to the commission percentage – these fees are sometimes hundreds of dollars!
There are real estate companies out there who will put your For-Sale-By-Owner Listing into the MLS for a flat fee. Many of these companies offer no further real estate brokerage services. Being an advertising conduit to the MLS is NOT the most important service a broker can provide; in fact it is no brokerage services at all.
A competent broker should provide professional services that help you sell your home from marketing to closing. Don't underestimate the value of the contractual part of selling FSBO. You can easily accrue thousands in attorney fees because of ignorant errors in negotiation, drafting contracts and closing documents. Be aware of what you're getting and what you're not getting!
The internet is NOT a real estate professional.
Many people have gone online to find the value of their home. Zestimates are not accurate results. Those websites strictly take data and fuse it into a valuation. Fortunately, real estate has subjective variables that determine value as well. Only a real person who can assess those variables is able to make an accurate statement. There are also websites that offer a 'free' market analysis if you fill out contact information. These websites are data mining: they want your information. In turn, they "sell" your information to Realtors who contact you.
You are MUCH better off contacting a broker directly – like Summit Realty – who will also provide a free market analysis without taking and selling your personal information.