7 Things Your Real Estate Agent Wants You To Know (But Will Never Tell You)

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, home sales can pretty much feel like a one-sided process as it is quite difficult for you to get feedbacks on what could be going wrong from the other side. Therefore, we are going to reveal to you some real estate truths as well as actual real estate agent secrets for you to have a better understanding of how the real estate industry is like. 

Agent’s Commission Is Negotiable

The common belief is that the property commission received from closing a deal will always be 6%, which will be further split between the seller’s agent and the buyers’ agent. Although this is always the case for most of the deals, having a fixed commission across the board would actually be violating the antitrust laws for real estate commissions. Each broker should independently set a price and the seller can always negotiate this price before he finally makes the decision to sign the listing agreement. As for buyers, they should not worry about this as they wouldn’t be paying their real estate agent. Sellers are the one paying the agent commissions which will be a certain amount of the profit earned from the sales. Therefore, home buyers shouldn’t be worried of hiring an agent to help them through the process since they wouldn’t be forking out a single cent for their service. 

Your House Smells Bad

For homes that have pets in them, most agents would mind letting you know when the animal scent is detectable so that you will be able to do something about it before letting a potential buyer have a look at it. But for those whose house has a distinctive mouldy smell, it can be quite difficult for the agent to bring up this topic since things can get pretty awkward, for all we know. Therefore, it is always a good practice to throw out moldy food and to wipe away any spills or stains immediately. Also, when you are throwing out your garbage with all those rotten foods inside, apart from changing the bag before the buyers come over to view your place, consider placing a sachet or tea bag at the bottom of the garbage can. This will help you to get rid of the odor caused by the rotten garbage. 

Your House Is Messy

It is important to keep your place neat and tidy before a buyer comes over because most buyers are sure to be put off by the clutter and mess in your home. This also means that there is a high chance that they wouldn’t want to buy over your home. What many people don’t know is that, rather than informing their client that their home is messy and they should do something about it, most agents will actually clean a home for sale themselves without their client knowing.

Jean Quek, an agent, “It is up to the agent to tidy up before showings – hiding musty towels, diaper pails, litter boxes, dirty dishes and even used underwear and socks.” Many agents feel that this is a sensitive issue to touch on therefore they did much rather do the cleaning up by themselves than to inform their client on the mess. 

The Agent Has Little Control

In order to get your listing, an agent will definitely promise you that you will be able sell out your home fast if you engage in their services. Yes, it could indeed be true but then again, they can’t really predict what is going to happen in the future. They can’t exactly control how fast or how slow your house will sell. Sean Tao says, “While it is true that an agent has to get certain basics correct in order to sell a home, once they do those things, the result is largely out of their hands.” As a seller, before you hire any agent, you can ask him or her how long it is going to take their listings on average to sell. Use this information to compare it with the other agents, and you will eventually know which one you should go for. 

People Are Petty Over Refrigerators

A good negotiation will leave both side feeling as if they have won and lost something at the same time. However, there is always one party which will wish to ‘win’ the other. And this is always determined through the ‘battle’ for the refrigerator. This is because refrigerators apparently fall under the grey area regarding whether it should be included into the sale or it is going to be taken away by the seller. Make sure that your purchase contract specifically notes down whether the refrigerator is going to be included with the sales or excluded. Even if you verbally change the terms of the contract, you will need to make sure that the changes are noted down. Susan Bae,a real estate agent recounted her experience, “One time, I was the listing agent of an amazing architectural home that had a really old side-by-side refrigerator that looked out of place.” The buyers said they would replace it with their own so the seller took the fridge along with them. However, the contract stated that the fridge would be included in the sales, and Leikin didn’t get the change in writing. “The buyer’s agent started screaming at me upon finding the fridge was gone. So the buyer’s side demanded a $2500 holdback. The seller returned the refrigerator instead.” Therefore, to avoid such an incident from happening, make sure every changes in written down clearly in black and white. 

Never Ask Your Real Estate Agent About Race or Ethnicity

It is unethical for your real estate agent to refuse to serve you due to the prejudice against race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and the presence of children. Therefore, it is a good idea not to ask your agent anything that is related to these. Ernest Liew, a real estate agent says, “I can’t tell you legally who lives where or who is buying your house. Even if I could, I would not.” But for those who are sincerely looking for information on a neighborhood because you are new to the area and would like to know more of the area so that you can make a better decision, there are ways which you can do so on your own. For example, you can head over to the local cafes, stores and markets in the area to have a feel of the place yourself Then you can probably go online to do some research on the neighborhoods’ history of crime rates, school districts, local amenities and so on and so forth. 

You Can’t Afford This House

You need to keep in mind that a real estate agent can help you purchase a house but the deal can’t go through if you aren’t financially prepared. It is not a real estate agent’s responsibility to set the limit of your budget. Maintain your credit, save for closing costs, and look at what you can truly afford.