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Hey, you're in the real estate zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Selling Your House Category

Real Estate :

Real estate agent for selling a house, dealing with one, some things to consider.


When you are in the market to sell your first or next house, you might consider using a real estate agent.  Having said this, some of the aspects of finding and dealing with a real estate agent that you should keep in mind are the following:

  • Finding a real estate agent.  Real estate agents can be found in your local phone book, but go off of more than just an advertisement.  Seek the recommendations of family and friends of agents they had used previously.  Contact your state regulatory agency that is charged with disciplining real estate agents to see if your prospective real estate agent has ever received a complaint. 

Check to see if your prospective agent incorporates the use of technology, particularly the Internet, in the selling of new houses, since putting your house on the Internet would provide great, invaluable exposure that you do not want to miss out on:  According to the National Association of Realtors, as of 2003, about every 3 out of 4 house buyers utilized the Internet to find a new house.  Of course, you'll also want an agent who is capable of advertising your house for sale through the more traditional means:  Scheduling open houses and using print advertising, such as through advertisements in newspapers and magazines. 

Then, to narrow down the list of prospective agents, ask for resumes from such select-few agents, and immediately disqualify those that are only part-time agents.  You'll want an agent who has about at least three years of experience, who works in the real estate market for a living, being capable of devoting their full effort in your housing endeavor. 

Lastly, invite prospective agents--at least five, one at a time--that pass the above criteria to see your house and to see, most importantly, how they interact with you.  After all, remember the prospective agent you choose will be the voice and figure that will pitch the sale of your house, so it's imperative that they show they are prepared to sell your house, and their bringing the following for their visit with you at the house would speak volumes as to their professional preparedness:  A prepared comparative analysis of your house, marketing product samples to give you an idea of their marketing approach, a sample contract, a camera, and their own overall respective assessments of your house and its marketability, whether they have suggestions to improve its marketability and essentially what they have to offer.  Also, without hesitation, suffice it to say, see if you can negotiate the commission rate with these prospective agents.  Based upon this encounter, and having reviewed every aspect above in relation to the prospective agents, you should be able to comfortably select the prospective agent that will work for you. 

Suffice it to say, never retain an agent from the same office of the real estate agent representing the buyer, if applicable, for the sake of avoiding a conflict of interest.

  • Working with your real estate agent.  For safety reasons, your agent may first want to meet with you at their office; there, you'll get acquainted and asked for standard identification and documentation related to your house to start an agent-home seller business relationship.  During the course of creating and working through this business relationship, some real estate language/jargon will be thrown your way, at which time you shouldn't be afraid to ask for their meaning and any additional clarifications.

Some of the important, new real estate language that will be brought to your attention are those concerning what is known as the listing agreement/listing contract you and your agent will sign together to effectively establish the essential terms of how your house, between you and your agent, will be marketed and sold.  The essential terms usually encompass the following:

  • When the contract/agreement and, thus, relationship between you and the agent starts and ends;

  • The listing price of your house to be put on the market;

  • Whether the agent will be compensated in the form of a commission of the sales transaction or a flat fee, the former of which is the common form of compensation;

  • The terms under which, if permitted under the contract/agreement at all, other agents may get a share of the commission or flat fee in the event the successful sales transaction of your house is attributed to part of their involvement; and

  • The scope of what is considered confidential information that may not be revealed to prospective buyers or others, such as the original asking offer and the receipt of previous counteroffers by prospective buyers, etc.

The language that may be incorporated in the presentation of such a contract/agreement may be such as "exclusive agency," the "exclusive right to sell," or "net listing," which are all types of listing agreements/contracts.  These and other words/terms should be familiarized by you beforehand by reading the aspects and people you encounter in a house sales transaction section.

Also, be patient with your agent, as the agent may not get to your phone call or e-mail right away, since they may be doing other necessary acts of business (such as


tending to the matters of other clients that have been previously put off to get you going on putting your house on the market, previewing new houses on the market, preparing necessary contracts and other documentation for other clients of outstanding housing matters, etc.).  If you require an agent who is immediately responsive to all your contact attempts and to primarily focus on selling your house while paying less attention to other properties, be sure to mention this as part of retaining your agent, requiring a contractual provision to be written to this effect if need be, and be willing to provide the agent a more enticing commission.  Similarly, depending on the type of agent you have, they may have assistants or not.  In the event that they have assistants, make sure you get an agreement that the agent is personally involved in the real estate transaction process, itself, and not necessarily delegated to one of the assistants.

The above are just some of the major aspects of finding and dealing with a real estate agent that you should consider.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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