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Are you looking to buy or sell a home in St. Louis but are unsure about what it’s like working with a real estate agent? Working with a seasoned agent can certainly lessen the stress of a real estate transaction, and due to the amount of trust that is involved, the client/agent relationship is atypical from other business transactions. Here are a few guidelines to follow to ensure a mutually beneficial transaction.
Once you’ve taken the time to interview and decide on an agent, trust in what they say. A seasoned professional has plenty of experience and advice to offer to expedite your transaction in your best interest. If they advise you to multi-list your home, it’s because they know the benefit of the networking involved. If they advise you that the listing price may need to be altered, it’s with the intention of attracting more buyers. If they advise you to do some upgrades to make the home more desirable, take them into consideration. You hired an expert for a reason, so trust that they’re looking out for your best interest.
Determine the Open House Protocol
Open houses are quite beneficial to those who are selling and buying, but it’s important to establish your agent’s expectations at the beginning of the relationship. Typically if you’re selling your home, your agent will ask that you make yourself sparse during open houses. There is a reasoning behind this request – by allowing your agent to host the open house, potential buyers are more likely to picture themselves living there. As a buyer, in some instances it’s frowned upon to attend an open house without your agent in tow. It may be a good idea to schedule a time to tour the homes you are interested in seeing. Communication is key, and establishing expectations can alleviate tensions and frustrations.
Respect Your Agent
Agents work all hours of the day and night to accommodate the schedules of their multiple clients, so be respectful and courteous of appointment times. A good real estate agent is juggling multiple clients and their needs, so they may not always be able to drop everything to show you a home or bring buyers into your home. Lastly, agents work on commission so they don’t receive a paycheck until the transaction is a done deal. If you’re on the fence about buying a home or selling your home, don’t waste their time and money. Hire an agent when you’re absolutely sure you’re ready to take the leap.
Decide on a Fair Commission
As stated, real estate agents rarely receive a salary. The average commission of an agent is 6% of the sales price, but that’s not set in stone. You can negotiate, but with that said, this may not be the place to try and save a buck. Asking your agent to drastically reduce their commission could damage the relationship and may even cost you an agent. Your agent is going to work hard for you to seal the deal, and will have earned their paycheck at the end of the day.
Your agent is your advocate, so feel free to be honest with them. As a buyer, if you have concerns or are struggling financially to close the deal, let your agent know. They may have other options for you such as credits, alternate loan programs, or federal assistance. If you’re confused about forms, easements, or property assessments, they’ll be happy to explain everything to you. They’re the experts and will get your questions answered. If you are a seller, don’t hide any issues with your home. By law there are certain things that have to be disclosed to potential buyers such as termite damage, lead paint, or asbestos. Be upfront with your agent and tackle the issues that need to be addressed.
Real estate transactions can be overwhelming and stressful for both buyers and sellers. Hiring an agent is essentially hiring an advocate to alleviate that stress. Utilize their experience and knowledge, and you’ll be happy with the outcome.