10 myths about real estate agents and what they mean to you.
1. "Real estate agents get paid 6% of the price when they sell a house." Wrong. Real estate fees are negotiable, and range from 5% to 10% of the sales price of the property.
99.9% of real estate transactions are coop sales, meaning one agent from Company A lists the property for sale, and an agent from company C brings the buyer to the table. So let's say the total fee is 7%; Company A gets 3.5% and Company C gets 3.5%.
Next, Company A keeps 40% of the fee, and pays 60% to the agent. The agent then pays 40% of their share to FICA and income taxes, 30% goes to marketing and expenses, and the other 30% is income that agent puts in the bank.
2. "Holding an open house will greatly increase your chances of selling my house." Here's a dirty little secret from the real estate business; Realtors hold open houses to find prospective buyers who are not working with a Realtor, in hopes of signing them up as new buyer clients.
3. "Showing your house for sale 'by appointment only' will not affect showings. " By appointment only is the same as as a big sign that says, "Don't bother showing my house". Showing houses is a time sensetive business. Agents and buyers are on a tight schedule. They don't have time to make phone calls to arrange appointments, then be at your house at a specific time. There are plenty of other houses that buyrs can see on THEIR schedules.
4. "Real estate agents get kick-backs from lenders, home inspectors, and title companies." No way... doing so would violate federal law, and could get an agent locked-up in a federal prison. It is illegal for agents to accept kick-backs or money under the table from service providers.
5. "Agents should tell you about crime, schools, and demographics in neighborhoods." Nope... doing so violates fair housing laws. If you want to know about schools and crime in a particular neighborhood, there are plenty of websites where you can look up the statistics. Better yet, go visit the schools and stop by the police station.
6. "Agents will say anything to get you to buy a house." Not in my experience. I don't sell houses... houses sell themselves. I'm there to put the transaction together when you find the home you want. There may be some agents who have found some method of twisting arms and persuading people to buy a particular house, but I haven't met one.
7. "I'll get a better deal if I call the agent whose name is on the sign." Remember this, the agent on the sign works first, last, and always for the seller. Everything they say or do is to help the seller get the most amount of money, in the shortest time, and with the best terms. The agent on the sign is forbidden by law from advocating for you. A Buyer Agent that you hire to work for you is your best protection when you find a home that you want to buy. A Buyer Agent will help you get the best price, and the best terms, with the fewest hassles.
8. "I can get more information about more houses if I call more than one agent". No... we all fish from the same pond, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). If you are shopping online the best place to get reliable information is www.Realtor.com. Avoid Zillow and Trulia. They are advertising based sites that do not have a direct feed of houses from the MLS. Plus, when houes are sold, those sites continue to show them as active.
9. "Buyers can look past various colors of paints in each room of your house, and overlook worn-out carpet. Besides, if I change the carpet to new beige carpet, what if I choose the wrong shade of beige and buyers don't like it?" Studies show that you will get more money, in less time, and with fewer hassles when you paint colorful rooms neutral, and replace worn carpet with new beige carpet. Don't worry about the shade of beige. Beige is beige.
10. "I signed a 90 day listing contract with an agent. We're two weeks into the process and I don't like what my agent is doing for me. I'm stuck with that agent for 90 days". In Northern Virginia, we use Listing Agreements, not Contracts. You may withdraw from a listing agreement at any time. What if you changed your mind and decided you didn't want to sell your house. You would want that flexibility. You may withdraw your house from the market for any reason, or for no reason in particular.
10.5 "It doesn't matter which real estate agent I choose, they're all the same". Oh good golly, that one needs clarification. Each agent is an independent contractor, and each agent operates under his or her own business model. Moreover, a new agent who has sold one house cannot deliver the same level of performance as an agent who has sold over 1,500 houses during 25 years in business.
I'm Erick Blackwelder and I have sold over 1,500 houses during 25 years in the real estate business. If you want world class selling or buying a house in Northern Virginia, text or call me at 703-677-1120. You can check me out on my website to see if I am the best person to help you buy or sell a home.
If you want to sell a house, you'll get my proven marketing system that attracts agents and buyers to your house, so your house sells for top dollar, in the shortest time, and with the fewest hassles.
If you want to buy a house, you'll get my Home Finder system that helps you find the freshest listings so you can buy your dream home for the best price, at the best terms, and with the fewest hassles.
Call or text me now at 703-677-1120.
Exit Realty Associates
8998C Lorton Station Blvd
Lorton, VA 22079
Equal Housing Opportunity