The Importance of a Realtor

by : Joe Lane

We all are inundated daily by postcards and advertisements offering to sell our homes for what discount brokers call a 2% Total Listing Commission. The ads you see with the 2% listing are similar to the 1% Payment Rate ads you see for Mortgage Loans. The ad that is showing a 2% listing is merely what is called a teaser rate, which is supposed to get you to call the Broker or Agent. After you call, their goal will be to request that they come to your home and offer you a presentation which includes an analysis of what the value of your home is. Also during this presentation, they will try to make you believe that they were completely honest about the 2% 'Listing' free. After that, they will persuade you to market your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), so that other agents and brokers in your area can view your property. The property will also be displayed on That way, anyone with an internet connection will be able to view your home. But, the broker will make a case for offering competitive rates that can land your home on MLS and bring you more buyers.

Now all you have to do is figure out a percentage to offer the buyers agent. Surely, the more that is offered to the agent, the harder the agent will push the buyer to buy your property. For example, let us say that the agent has persuaded you to make the buyers agent rate at 3%. With the 2% Listing Commission, your total listing fee is at 5%. Not much of a discount, right? Many have nicknamed this the 'bait and switch' marketing plan. For all brokers, this is not true. But, the bad brokers make the good brokers look bad. Remember that the discount brokers/agents are working mainly to get listings. The whole marketing plan that they have revolves around getting the maximum number of listings that they can. One of the strategies used is to give you a low listing price so that they can get a quick sale. But really, they are doing this so that they can get paid quicker, which means less time to work hard for the sale.

There are also those who will persuade you that they will give you the highest price of your home, which is even above the market. Most of the time, they are going to make you sign a long term agreement, so later on the home will eventually sell at the market price. Remember that there is no possible way that they can market your home regularly for one whole year at only 2%. They will not spend $12,000 on the marketing cost for your home over the duration of 1 year just for a $10,000 commission. Most of the discount brokers do not even have effective marketing strategies that will get buyers. They just list your property in a bunch of ads, and hope that someone will find it and call.

The Listing Reports and Your Approval

If your broker or agent does not offer you listing reports, make sure you ask to see a copy of the listing. But, remember to ask to see how it is in the MLS, and not just the customer report, that way you are getting the full listing report. Many of the inexperienced brokers and agents will put wording in the listing without your consent, that way they can get more from buyers' agents. Make sure you explain to the broker or agent that you must approve the language they used for your listing. Many common words and phrases that are used in marketing include: 'Bring All Offers,' 'Reduced for Quick Sale,' 'Motivated Seller,' etc. Unless you are desperate to get your property sold, you will not need those phrases in your listing.

Contract and Commission

It is assumed that if the property includes an 'Under Contract' sign on it, then the property has already been sold. Remember that just because that sign on it, that does not mean that the property as been sold. A property cannot be sold until the contract is closed. Sometimes, the homeowner still has not received anything near the offer that the homeowner wanted. As a consumer, you will not see that because you do not have direct access to MLS. This strategy is very unprofessional, and is meant to fool possible sellers into paying more than the legitimate price because they will think the property is ready to be sold.

Before you sign the listing agreement, it is important that a broker or agent provides you with a written marketing plan so that you can see there marketing plan. Another important thing to look out for is to make sure that there is no cancellation fee with the broker or agent if they do not prove to you that they are trying their very hardest to sell your property. It is important to know that you should not owe anything to the broker or agent if you do not get the results that you wanted to see. You should only pay commission after you get the desired results.

The best approach to sell your home is with an effective marketing plan backed by expertise in the market and staffs of agents to attend your specific needs.