Selling a home is one of the most financially impactful activities most people experience in their lives. Hire a real estate agent to help you through each step of the process.
What Happens When You Hire a Real Estate Agent?
Hiring a real estate agent officially happens when you sign the contract that gives that person (and the brokerage they’re associated with) legal authority to represent you. The agent guides you through the process of listing the home for sale, showing it to interested buyers, negotiating terms, and finalizing the deal at closing. The agent earns a commission for the work done, usually a percentage of the sales price.
Traditionally, the commission rate is a set percentage of the sale price. This fee is most often split evenly between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent so that each receives a portion of the final sale price of the home.
It’s possible to hire a real estate agent who will charge a flat rate to get your home sold, which is usually a much lower amount than the commission structure. With a flat rate agent, the service provided is usually less comprehensive. Make sure you understand what their services include before you hire a flat rate agent.
Sign a Right to Sell Agreement to Hire a Real Estate Agent
When you hire a real estate agent to sell your home, you will sign an exclusive right to sell agreement, which means that, for the duration of time specified in the agreement, you are obligated to work with that agent until the home is sold or until the right to sell contract expires.
How to Choose a Seller’s Agent
Choosing a good agent is critical. There are differences even among real estate agents in your area. Here are some tips for finding an agent with whom you’ll have a positive experience.
- Treat the selection process like hiring an employee or contractor necessary to your business.
- Start your search by asking people you trust who they’ve worked with when selling their homes.
- Get to know the agent well and make sure you’re comfortable working with that person before signing a contract.
- Check references and reviews for each agent you consider.
- It’s best to hire someone who is a full-time, experienced agent. Be careful of fly-by-night rookies who are just testing the waters of real estate.
When you’ve created a shortlist of agents you feel good about, invite each of them to tour your home with you. Discuss with the agent how they would sell your home and ask questions to determine which agent will do the best job for you.
Being thorough with this process increases the likelihood of a successful and profitable home sale.