Cristina Jensen, Realtor
Windermere Real Estate/Northwest Inc.

Many sellers do not fully understand the sales process and the role of a real estate agent. Here are some of the most often asked questions agents receive from sellers.

Who Pays The Buyer's Agent?

The seller is responsible for paying the listing commission on the home—the listing office and agent then split that commission with the buyer’s agent and office.  Commissions are typically paid only at closing, out of the proceeds of the sale of your home.

What Is A "Dual Agent" And Do You Practice Dual Agency?

“Dual agency” refers to the practice of a single agent representing both the buyer and the seller during the real estate transaction. When an agent acts in a dual capacity, they owe the same fiduciary responsibility to both parties. Most states have a required brochure or pamphlet which details the responsibilities of buyer’s agents, seller’s agents, and dual agents. Sellers considering the use of a dual agent should pay particular attention to the difference in responsibilities when an agent acts as a representative of both the buyer and the seller.

When you are working with an agent who is acting as a dual agent, you have lost your strong “advocate” in the selling process. The practice of dual agency, when not performed correctly, is one of the leading causes of real estate litigation. I WILL NOT ACT AS A DUAL AGENT. IT IS NOT IN YOUR BEST INTEREST!

What Type Of Information Will My Agent Need From Me?

To do the best job for you, your agent will need your help. This would include:

  • your financial goals regarding the sale of your home
  • willingness to listen to your agent’s advice
  • flexibility in accepting terms and conditions
  • preferred timing for a sale
  • disclosure as to any defects the property may have
  • details about the positive aspects of the home

How Does An Agent Figure Out The Asking Price?

Countless hours of touring the active listings surrounding your home is essential to determining price. In order to compare, I need to know if similar homes on paper (same square footage, number of bedrooms and baths) have been updated or not. Quality remodeling can make a significant difference to the price of a home. I also look at days on market (DOM). How long have some of these home owners been waiting for that perfect buyer to come along? You do not want to be a part of that waiting game! Checking the final sales price of the homes that have sold in your area is the biggest indicator of what the market is willing to bear. Knowing what type of homes are popular to the average buyer and knowing who the average buyers are in your price point is also essential to the sale of your home. As each home is unique, it requires an agent that stays ahead of the pack to be skilled at pricing in this ever changing market.

Can't I Just Sell My House By Myself?

Of course. Historically, many sellers have sold their homes as For Sale By Owners (FSBOs). Back in the day, buyers would get in their cars and drive around for hours on end to locate a property. With the advent of the internet, Multiple Listing Services (MLS’s) and real estate websites are the ultimate source of property information. However, MLS sites are available only to the real estate agents who subscribe to them. Having your home listed by a real estate agent vastly increases your visibility in the marketplace. Statistically, 89% of homes which are sold each year are listed by a real estate agent via an MLS.

What If A Buyer Approaches Me Directly?

If your home is listed and a buyer contacts you directly, please refer them to me. I would be happy to show them your home. If they have any interest in moving forward with an offer, I can them put them in the hands of a good agent who can help them prepare an offer. As I mentioned previously, it is never in your best interest to for an agent to represent you and the buyer as well.

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