“In business, as in life – You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.” – Chester L. Karrass
I remember buying my first home. I had no idea what was involved so I turned to a realtor believing they would take care of me. Over the years I’ve learned where they did, where they didn’t, and what I could have done better to ensure I got the representation I deserved.
Here is a list of things I recommend speaking with your realtor about to make sure they are doing the best job they can for you, and for the right price!
1.) What’s the cost?
I wish it were this simple. Unfortunately realtors have come up with crafty ways of making additional money from you without you knowing. Ask them for a breakdown of their fee schedule and go through each line item with them. Also make sure to review this at closing to make sure they didn’t change!
Something to consider: Many online websites offer to sell your home for 1% of the sale price. Ask your realtor if they will match this. If not, ask them what they offer in superior value for an additional cost? Don’t be swindled by a realtor if all they offer is competitively pricing your home and taking nice pictures. Consider doing some research and taking pictures yourself to save a large amount of money!
2.) What duties should they perform?
Realtors should guide you through the sale process as defined by your state/local laws. They should help you put together a full-disclosure (or get one if you are buying) and they should legally represent you during and after the sale. In the event something going wrong they should be willing to stand next to you in court as your representative if anything was not properly and fully disclosed.
Also, realtors should manage the inspection process to make sure the inspection is full and complete. For example, did the inspector list the correct impact resistance rating on your roof? This is important as some insurance companies offer a considerable discount for the age and type of roof on the home. This information can be challenging to get so a realtor should assume the responsibility of making sure things like this are also fully disclosed to both protect you against injury, and help ensure the best value for your home and insurance.
Sections to target:
Realtors should also be well-versed in handiman services. Whether selling or buying a home there will likely be some amount of repairs and/or updates needed to fetch full-value. Is your realtor telling you to find somebody and get a quote yourself? Or are they taking the initiative to get quotes from different contractors for you, including offering to do minor work themselves that doesn’t require permitting? Again, if you are paying them for their time what are they doing to earn your money?
3.) Is your realtor insured for professional liability, errors and omissions?
Mistakes do happen and its reasonable to hold your realtor accountable if they didn’t properly guide you, ask the right questions, or make sure all information had been thoroughly and properly disclosed. Your realtor should provide their evidence of insurance showing they have insurance in place to protect you if and when they make a mistake.
This information will surely help you weed out the bad eggs from the good in the hopes you find a quality realtor who truly has your best interests at heart!