Read below to find out what it means to "list" your home and the services I provide to sellers.
What is a "Listing"? A Listing is when you create a written agreement with a real estate agent to represent you in the sale of your home. The Listing Agent then has the task of marketing your home, putting it on the MLS, being your advisor and advocate, negotiating on your behalf, completing Purchase & Sale contracts with you and walking the sales transaction through to closing. In exchange for their services, you agree in a Listing Agreement to pay the Listing Agent a specific commission if they bring you an offer from a "ready, willing and able" buyer. Commissions are paid at closing from the proceeds of the sale.
A very powerful tool that is available to real estate agents is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). It is essentially an online database of thousands of properties for sale all across the country. Agents working with buyers scan it daily for new listings that meet the needs of their clients. When your Listing Agent lists your home on the MLS they essentially multiply your sales force. Now you don't just have your Listing Agent working to get your home sold, you have hundreds of agents in the area doing it. If one of those agents represents the buyer in purchasing your home your Listing Agent will generally split their commission with the buyer's agent.
What is a "Listing Agreement"? A Listing Agreement is a contract between the seller, their Listing Agent and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The Listing Agreement states all pertinent information about the property, including price it will be listed at, any personal property included with the sale, any real property not included with the sale, any special showing arrangements (i.e. hours), amount you agree to pay in commission, duration of Listing contract, permission for your agent to put your home on the MLS and internet, etc.
Can you sell your home without an agent? Sure. But generally it is harder, more stressful, will take longer and you won't get as high of a price. Over 80% of homes are sold through a Listing Agent. Out of the other 20%, some are sold within already-established relationships, like selling to a family member or a tenant. The rest are sold FSBO, also known as For Sale By Owner. Here are some reasons why homes have a better chance of selling if listed through a Listing Agent:
An alternative that alleviates some of the above issues is using flat fee listing services. This is where you pay approximately $500 - $1,000 to rent a lockbox and have your property listed on the MLS. With this option, you would still agree to pay the buyer's agent commission - typically 3%. This allows your home to be marketed in the MLS. However issues still exist with this option as well.
Commissions may seem like a lot, but you are paying for the education and experience of a professional. If you pay a lawyer $200 an hour to prepare a form for you, you may think that seems like a lot just to fill out a piece of paper. However, that lawyer has had years of education and experience that tells him the advantages and disadvantages of filling it out in a particular way. He knows exactly what to do, say and write that is in your best interest with the law in mind. I don't know about you, but I'd rather pay the lawyer than personally read thousands of pages of law books to learn what they knows and still risk making errors. In recent years, the process of selling a home has become much more complicated. With the 1997 change in Washington State Agency Law, ALL agents, except the Listing Agent, represent the Buyer in a purchase transaction unless specifically stated to the contrary. Have someone on your side too - there are rarely any buyers without agents on their side.
Invest in a professional and the whole experience can be easy, stress-free, exciting and net you more money than you could get if you attempted to do it yourself.
Services I provide to get your home sold:
Jessica was a dream Realtor! She took the time to understand what we wanted, worked with our busy schedules to view houses, and then when it came time to put in an offer and throughout the entire purchasing process, she educated and "held our hand" through it! We felt that she always had our best interest at heart and that she kept us in the loop through the whole process. We HIGHLY recommend having Jessica as a Realtor!