When buying your first home, you may be reluctant to use a real estate agent, afraid it might add to the cost of your home purchase. And if you’re selling your home, you might think you want to do it on your own, to keep more money in hand. Rest assured, the services of a real estate agent are very reasonably priced and utilizing an agent may actually save you money, getting you better results.
Real Estate Agent Cost for Buyers
As a homebuyer, the cost for working with a real estate agent is actually nothing out-of-pocket and in most cases, it is entirely free. You might wonder how this is even possible.
Real estate agents work on commission. They make their money from the sale of a home or property. When you work with an agent in the search of a property, their services are free to you. This is great, because you get access to an expert in the field, with a wealth of information, all for zero cost. The real estate agent will be able to guide you through the purchasing process and you have peace of mind knowing that unless you’ve made other arrangements, the seller is funding their services.
If you choose to purchase a property, there will usually be closing costs, which can include the real estate agent’s commission. Most often, the seller pays for the agent’s commission. Sometimes, in negotiations, the buyer offers or agrees to pay a part of the commission. As a buyer, that is ultimately your choice, and can be a way to be more competitive as a buyer in today’s seller’s market.
Real Estate Agent Cost for Sellers
It’s typically the property seller who pays an agent’s commission. The great thing about this is, there are no up-front costs when selling a home. Any costs are only incurred at the end of the process, once the property is sold. Selling through an agent can mean more exposure, resulting in more bids and a higher price for your home.
The industry standard for residential property sales is 6% from the final sale price. The percentage can vary, and is taken from the sale price and split between the seller’s and buyer’s agents. This is so both parties are rewarded for the work they put into the property search, negotiation, and contracting process.
You might wonder what exactly the commission covers. Your real estate agent does a lot behind the scenes to market and sell your home. This can include taking photos, videos, and creating online listings. Many premium agents provide free staging to attract more buyers and ensure your home looks its best. They can network with other agents to ensure buyers see the great features of your home. They write up paperwork and negotiate for you. A realtor can guide you through the process, ensuring everything is done properly.
As a seller, you can know that increasing the sale price is in your agent’s best interests. The real estate agent’s income is a percentage of the sale price. This means that your agent will be working hard to ensure you get the best possible value for your home.
Choosing a realtor to help you means you benefit directly from their reputation, experience, and skill in the field. Talk to your local real estate agent for more details and to learn more about they can help you buy or sell your home.