Real Estate FAQ by Sam Wilson Realtor®
This real estate FAQ answers the most frequently asked real estate questions by home sellers and home buyers. Get the facts from Sam Wilson about these common real estate questions and more:
- Do I really need a realtor?
- Why are there differences in real estate commissions?
- Why isn’t anyone looking at my home?
- How to hire a real estate agent?
- What are the most common home inspection issues?
- How to make your home competitive in today’s real estate market?
- How much is my home worth?
- What mistakes do first time home buyers make?
Do I Really Need a Realtor?
A knowledgeable realtor guides home buyers and home sellers through one of the most significant financial transactions of life. Even with this in mind, one of the most frequently asked real estate questions is, do I really need a realtor?
The answer is no. However, the risks of not having a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent are a mixed bag. For home sellers and home buyers, the question of do I really need a realtor often comes down to concerns of the value of paying a real estate commission.
Do Home Sellers Need a Realtor?
For home sellers, the idea of for sale by owner—the real estate term FSBO—can be an attractive idea to save on real estate commissions. While some home sellers get lucky and sell their home, most for sale by owners eventually find themselves hiring a listing agent.
Included on the real estate FAQ list for naïve home sellers is, asking what skills a homeowner should have to complete a for sale by owner transaction successfully. Selling your home is one part of a real estate transaction. Maximizing the equity in your home is the component that homeowners think they can accomplish by cutting corners and selling without hiring a knowledgeable real estate listing agent.
Homeowners who successfully sell their home in a FSBO situation often sell well below the market price because they lack real estate knowledge to substantiate and negotiate a market price offer. If you are a home seller who doesn’t want to leave money on the table, hiring a listing agent can be the best way to put more money in your pocket. You’ll also avoid questions from prospective home buyers of what’s wrong with your home if you go the FSBO home sale route, and your home sat on the market month after month after month.
Do Home Buyers Need a Realtor?
One of the most frequently asked real estate questions by home buyers is, do I really need a realtor? Unless you have been through the home buying process before and are familiar with real estate contracts and negotiations, using a buyers’ agent reduces your financial risk. While prospective home buyers think that the home buying process can be uncomplicated—it’s what you don’t know that you don’t know that can get you into trouble.
An experienced realtor who pursues continuing education, is a real estate coach, is a real estate trainer, or a real estate educator can save home sellers or buyers thousands of dollars and put more money in your bank account. Realtors are responsible for educating home buyers and home sellers—but many lack the experience that completing several hundred deals adds to building real estate skills.
When interviewing Realtors, one of the questions on your real estate FAQ should be about the education you will receive from the realtor you hire.
If you are looking for more commonly asked real estate questions about how to hire a real estate agent, check out Sam Wilson’s free report Hiring a Realtor: 10 Tips for Hiring a Real Estate Agent.
Selling or Buying Agent—Who Represents Whom?
Naïve home buyers think that by directly contacting the listing or selling agent of a property, they won’t have to hire and pay a buyer’s agent commission. This real estate FAQ gives you the real truth about buyer and listing or seller agents.
A commonly asked real estate question on the subject of does a real estate agent represent you is, do realtors lie? On a list of real estate FAQs, the better question to get to the real answer is, do home buyers understand the legal context of WHO a realtor represents.
If you are a potential home buyer can you eliminate hiring a buyer’s agent? You can, if you realize that no matter how much the selling or listing agent tells you that he or she can save you—this person has a legal fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the home seller.
Real Estate FAQ – Playing a Game of Chance?
An easy way to think about real estate representation is to think about a disputed legal matter. Let’s say you were in a car accident. The driver who hit your car is suspected of drunk driving; however, the attorney of this driver is saying that your reckless driving skills caused the accident and is suing you.
You need an attorney. Would you hire the attorney of the driver who hit your car? If you did, who would this attorney fight for—the driver who hit you—or you?
Hiring a listing or seller’s real estate agent to represent you as a home buyer so that you can save on commission probably won’t work out the way you think. Using a listing or seller’s agent of a home you want to buy to represent you is like playing a game of poker. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose —but in this case, the seller’s agent and home seller hold the winning hand.
Why Are There Differences Between Standard Real Estate Commissions?
If you want the most for your money when buying a home, or selling a home, paying a little more for a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent can pay huge dividends. One of the most frequently asked real estate questions is about real estate commissions.
All real estate commissions are negotiable. Home buyers or home sellers looking for a discount broker are usually unaware of the value of hiring an experienced real estate agent. Pinching pennies can cost more money in the long run.
Full Commission Vs. Discount Agents
This real estate FAQ explains the value of a full commission realtor to a discount real estate agent. The concept of buying or selling a home is easy. A buyer who wants to buy makes an offer to a seller who wants to sell. That’s the easy part.
But what happens when real estate transactions become complicated?
- Will a realtor receiving a 1% commission walk away when the prospect of spending 20 or 30 hours on getting you the home you fell in love with turns time-consuming?
- What about when a home inspection for the home you want to sell reports major foundation and plumbing issues with a repair value of $30,000? You have an offer on the table that’s about to fall apart. Which realtor – the discount agent or the full commission agent—will go to bat for you?
Real Estate Commissions Equal Results Not Time
Put yourself in this type of employment position. You are paid by the project regardless of the time involved to complete the project. Realtors are paid on results—the closing of a home purchase or a home sale.
Let’s say you want to sell a $400,000 home. A discount real estate agent agrees to a 1% commission rate equal to $4,000. A full commission realtor agrees to 6% or $24,000.
The difference between the discount real estate agent and the full commission realtor is $20,000. The discount real estate agent has to list six homes to equal the commission rate of the full commission realtor, making the home seller less likely to receive equal focus or attention.
Common Real Estate Questions That Home Buyers and Home Sellers Should Consider
From a financial perspective:
- Which realtor can invest more of the commission back you—into programs and technology to sell your house fast and for the most money?
- Which realtor can fund a realtor owned website that can offer home sellers unique programs? Which realtor likely invests in additional real estate training?
- Which realtor can hire and pay an assistant to help in time-sensitive situations?
- Which realtor needs to maintain a high volume of clients—equalling a lower level of service and time commitment—to keep the lights on every month? (hint: the discount real estate agent)
- Which realtor can devote more time to deliver exceptional customer service?
These are the FAQ real estate questions that many home buyers and home sellers, unfamiliar with what it takes to run a real estate business, don’t know to ask. While real estate is thought of as a high paying career, all realtors have standard costs to keep a real estate business operating.
Successful realtors can invest in their businesses to offer different services and unique programs for home buyers and home sellers.
Make a Wise Choice in Hiring a Real Estate Agent
While most home buyers and home sellers don’t expect complications in a real estate deal, the unexpected frequently happens. Hiring a full commission realtor is the difference between worrying about real estate deals falling apart versus knowing that whatever comes up will be handled professionally and efficiently. That being said not all full commission realtors are equal.
Inexperienced realtors don’t have the skills to help home buyers and home sellers navigate through complicated situations. Saving $5,000 on a real estate commission might have looked like a good decision before you risk losing $25,000 on another issue that a discount real estate agent can’t commit the time to solve or have the skills to negotiate.
If you are looking for more commonly asked real estate questions about home inspection problems, check out Sam Wilson’s free report Home Inspection Checklist for Sellers: Avoid Inspection Traps.
Why Am I Not Getting Home Showings?
Another of the most frequently asked real estate questions is, why isn’t anyone visiting my home or making an offer? The answer to this common real estate question is simple.
The Wrong Price
- You chose a real estate agent who gave you the highest—not the most realistic—home value because you believe your house is the best thing since sliced bread
- Your agent overpriced your home to get you to sign a listing agreement over those other real estate agents who didn’t believe in the value of your home
- You disagreed with the real estate agent you hired who gave you a realistic market price, but you chose a price thousand of dollars higher than competitive market values
Other real estate FAQ that you may not have thought about include how to make your home competitive in today’s real estate market. Did you take care of all of the small details to make sure your home makes a good first impression?
Common real estate questions about the little details are available in Sam Wilson’s free report Advice on Selling Your House: 27 Tips for Selling Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar.
Which real estate agent did you hire—the discount real estate agent or the full price realtor? Which realtor will have the commission dollars to pay for professional video, photos, a dedicated website page, home staging, full-color flyers, and other unique marketing programs that can cost thousands of dollars?
In today’s market, technology matters. The real estate FAQ to ask a potential realtor is about the types of technology, the Internet, and other programs that will be used to market your home.
When setting a sale price for your home or hiring a real estate agent, it’s best to think with your head and not your heart.
How Much is My Home Worth?
This is the million-dollar real estate FAQ that everyone wants to know. We’ve dedicated an entire page on our realtor owned website to answer this most frequently asked real estate question. If you want an accurate home value report a customized report from a knowledgeable realtor is best. Don’t let the Internet robots and programs give you misleading home value report. Get the facts about your home value on this website with a customized home value report.
To Learn the Answer to How Much is My Home Worth? To Receive a Unique Home Value Report, Click Here.
© 2020 Sam Wilson All Rights Reserved. All Articles by Pamela D. Wilson MS, BS/BA