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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Is the commission negotiable?

Yes. There is no standard commission. They are not set by law and vary depending on service, customer needs, and company policy. In general, agents charge between 4 percent and 8 percent for full service. Some agents prefer not to offer sellers' the option of paying a fee for an ...


Do I really need an agent?

Most home sellers hire real estate agents to list and sell their homes. Most of those who do not are known as For Sale By Owners, or FSBOs. They market and sell their homes themselves. ...


What if I am not happy with the listing agent and want to terminate the contract?

Experts say unhappiness is not a legal reason to terminate a valid home sale-listing contract. Legally, to cancel a listing, you must be able to prove the agent's lack of "due diligence." This means the agent isn't taking the normal steps to properly market your home, such as putting your ...


What is the most common type of contract for listing properties?

The exclusive right to sell. It gives the real estate broker the exclusive right to sell your home during the term of the listing. If a sale occurs - even if you sell the home yourself - the broker gets a commission. The broker may share the listing with other ...


What questions should I ask an agent interested in selling my home?

Interview at least three local agents who sell homes in your community. Grill them about the following: ...


How do I find the right agent for me?

To begin with, think local. Select someone who is very familiar with your neighborhood and the properties for sale in it. Then, if you are selling, say, a condominium, choose an agent with expertise selling apartments to potential homeowners. ...


Do I need an attorney to sell a home?

Although most sellers can handle routine real estate purchase contracts, some experts say it is a good idea to be represented by an attorney, particularly if you are selling on your own. You should choose one with expertise in real estate transactions. Before hiring someone discuss all the details of ...


What are some costs associated with buying a new home?

Basically, the costs are no different from when you purchased your existing home. They include moving expenses, loan costs, the down payment, a home inspection, title work and policy, and paying for a new hazard insurance policy. Your lender can give you a disclosure of estimated costs when you apply ...


What are some costs associated with selling my home?

Besides the costs related to making repairs and improving the overall appearance of the home, as the seller you will also need to pay the following: ...


How can I get a quick sale, particularly in a slow market?

One of the most important things to consider is price. You may want to reduce the price of your home or, at the very beginning, set it at a low price that will generate more buyer interest. ...


Are there tips for selling a vacant home?

Yes. Once furniture is removed from the home, you will notice all kinds of imperfections you never paid attention to before---rips in the carpet, holes in the walls, and dinginess. In an empty house, everything stands out. What you see is what potential buyers will also see. So you may ...


Should I sell my home first or wait until I have bought another home?

This is a tough decision, but the answer will depend on your personal situation, as well as the condition of the local housing market. ...


What else should I know?

Once your home is available to be shown strive to keep it in tip-top shape. This will require a lot of effort on your part, but you want buyers to feel welcomed and not turned off by unmade beds, cluttered floors, and grungy bathrooms. ...


What should I do to prepare my home for sale?

Start by finding out its worth. Contact a real estate agent for a comparative market analysis, an informal estimate of value based on the recent selling price of similar neighborhood properties. Or get a certified appraiser to provide an appraisal. ...


When is the best time to sell a home?

The best time to sell is when you are ready, or when you must. That is, when you have outgrown the space in your current home, or you prefer to trade down to something smaller. Perhaps your martial status has changed, which necessitates ...