Buying Or Selling Your Home

Using Real Estate Agent

Gustan Cho Associates

Buying or selling your home can be both an exciting and stressful process.  For home sellers, the question arises whether to sell your home on your own or pay the 6% real estate commission to a real estate agent. Average home prices are around $200,000 and 6% of $200,000 is $12,000 which is not chump change.  However, realtors do a lot of back end work for both home buyers and home sellers and in my opinion, the realtor’s commission is nothing compared to the services you get from a professional real estate agent.  Realtor’s commissions is paid by the home seller.  The buyer’s realtor will get half of the total real estate commission paid by the home seller and the listing real estate agent will get the other half.  If the listing real estate agent finds his or her own home buyer on the property that is listed, than the listing agent will get the whole commission.

Benefits Of Hiring Real Estate Agent When Buying A Home

First time home buyers and seasoned home buyers should always get a real estate agent on their home searches.  You can easily go online and to sites like,, and and shop for homes for yourself and contact the listing real estate agent, but the fact of the matter is that the listing agent represents the home seller and may not have your best interest at heart.  The listing agent may just show you her listings and not the particular home that particularly suits you.  When you hire a real estate agent, buyer’s realtor, the real estate agent will interview you and your spouse and ask you a series of questions such as the type of home you need. Such questions may be the number of bedrooms that you need, the number of bathrooms you need, the square footage you need, the yard space you need, storage areas you may need, the number of garages spaces you need, and the location of the home you are looking for.  The real estate agent will also ask you the price range of the home you are looking for.  Property taxes vary from city to city, county to county, and it will be a major factor in determining your home buying power.  There are areas where property taxes are $10,000 and other areas where property taxes are $4,000 for the same property type and price range.  Property taxes are taken into account by mortgage lenders when they calculate your debt to income ratios.

Real Estate Agents Bring Experience And Knowledge

A real estate agent is priceless when buying or selling your home.  Your real estate agent will give you a list of properties that meet your criteria and will consistently email you properties that come on the market.  You will eliminate looking for properties that is not suitable for you.  Real estate agents are extremely knowledgeable with comparable sales in the area, accessibility to public and private schools, transportation, shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.  Real estate agents have no emotional ties to the homes they are showing so you will get an objective opinion from your realtor and they can pin point out the advantages and disadvantages of a particular home as well as the particular areas you are looking at.  The real estate agent will negotiate the best possible price with the seller’s real estate agent when negotiation of your home purchase begins and will discuss with you during the offers and counter offers until a final price is agreed upon.  The best part of hiring a buyer’s real estate agent is that there is no cost to the home buyer because the sellers pay for the real estate agent’ commissions.

Benefits Of Hiring Real Estate Agent When Selling Your Home

The benefits of hiring a real estate agent when selling your home is the knowledge of the market they have where the realtor can help you price your home at the right price and the amount of exposure they will give your listed home to attract the maximum amount of potential home buyers.  You cannot overprice your home because the majority of the home buyers will need financing and with financing comes an appraisal requirement.  If the home does not appraise out, the home buyer will not get the financing for the home unless you lower the sales prices.  A professional realtor will do his or her due diligence on what recently sold in your area that is comparable to your property and get you the maximum amount of price for your property and make sure that you are not priced lower than your competitors.  Your real estate agent will figure out the net cash proceeds from your property sale taking into account your current outstanding mortgage loan balance, the property tax proration you need to credit the home buyer, the closing costs that you will be liable for, and potential owner financing you may offer to make the deal happen.  Your real estate agent will market your home whether is via the internet marketing, initiating open houses, and contacting all nearby realtors to maximize exposure to your property.  Keep in mind that most homes that is properly priced and marketed sell within 90 days.  After 90 days of listing a property, the real estate agent needs to re-analyze the subject property and see why there are not enough showings and why there is not contract on the property yet.  A real estate agent may recommend home staging or doing minor repairs and may even advise you to take the property off the market or 30 or more days and re-list the property after some minor repairs have been made.

Qualifying Home Buyers

One of the major advantages of hiring a real estate agent when selling your home is that they will field all potential home buyer’s phone calls and screen potential home buyers that they are armed with a solid pre-approval letter from a licensed mortgage lender.  Some real estate agents call the mortgage lender from the pre-approval letter to make sure that the home buyer is solid.  A real estate agent will also advise you when you get multiple offers on your home and recommend who to choose and how to price it.  Just because a home buyer comes in with the highest offer does not mean that they are the most qualified home buyer.  Your real estate agent will want to know what loan program the home buyer is approved for, whether it is FHA, Conventional, USDA, or VA or even hard money loans.

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The information contained on Gustan Cho Associates website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by The Gustan Cho Team @ Gustan Cho Associates or its affiliates. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and/or guest writers of Gustan Cho Associates Mortgage & Real Estate Information Resource Center website and do not reflect the policy of Gustan Cho Associates Lenders Network, its officers, subsidiaries, parent, or affiliates.

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