Selling your home takes on the old adage, "it takes money to make money" as there are expenses to the sales process. When you hire a licensed real estate professional to represent you as your listing agent, you will negotiate with them to determine the commission they will receive. There will be additional costs incurred during the sales process so be certain to ask what costs your agent will cover for the commission your are paying. Here are several common examples:
Comprehensive Comparable Market Analysis
Your listing agent should prepare a comparable market analysis that includes homes sold in your area, homes currently listed for sale and homes that are under contract. They should give you their professional opinion of your property value. This analysis should include their recommended list price and sales price of your home.
Many real estate agents will give you free staging tips and advice to use when preparing your home for sale. Some agents have a professional home staging company to recommend if you'd like to utilize and pay for their services. There are agents that actually include an hour or two of professional home staging in their services.
Your real estate agent may also suggest that you make a few minor repairs before listing your home. Your agent won't cover the cost to make these repairs, however. Making these repairs before listing your home for sale will help keep your property value up.
Professional Quality Real Estate Photos
Your real estate agent should cover the costs of the professional quality photos of your home for use in all of the marketing and advertising materials. Many agents have their own high quality, professional cameras with wide lenses. There are agents who attend classes on how to take and edit professional quality real estate photos. There are others who prefer to hire a professional real estate photography company to take the photos. In either case, your agent will cover the cost of the photos.
Marketing Your Home For Sale
Your real estate agent will cover the costs of marketing your home. It should include placing your listing in the local multiple listing system. This is where other agents will search and find listings for their buyers to see. Your agent should post your listing on the top real estate websites as over 90% of buyers start their home search on the internet. Sites should include the likes of Realtor.com, Homes.com, Trulia.com and Zillow.com. Your agent may also prepare brochures of your home for buyers to take during the showing. Many agents will use an email campaign for their listings and other will send out postcards or advertise in print media.
For Sale Sign
Your agent will cover the cost of placing a for sale sign in front of your home. Some agents put up signs in yards or in windows themselves, others hire sign companies to install them. Your agent may also provide a lockbox for your front door, so other agents to have access to the home for showings.
Contract to Closing
When your receive an offer on your home, your real estate agent should help you negotiate the contract. Most agents have a lot of experience negotiating and know the strategies involved. Your agent should also help you navigate through the various stages and contingencies of the contract. These will include the inspection contingency and the financing contingency periods. Helping you from contract to closing should be a part of your real estate agent's services.
It's important to know what costs your real estate agent will cover as part of their commission. Be sure your agent describes all their services in writing.