Sunday, August 12, 2012

Real Estate: 3 Little-known Facts

For those who don't make a living at the game, selling and buying real estate can be a mysterious and confusing process. Even if you're looking to do no more than make a single transaction (which is the case for 90% of the population), it often seems as though little more than the same information gets repeated again and again. And at the end of the day, your house is still out there on the market, being passed over while you think about lowering the price once more time. It doesn't have to be that way. By availing yourself of some of the lesser-known facts about the market, you can sell your house more efficiently, put more money in your pocket, and avoid wasting time and money on things that don't matter. Here are three little known facts about selling your home.

Agent Fees Are Negotiable

If you've been talking to real estate agents, you've probably gotten the impression that their commission fees are non-negotiable. Certainly, they may be in some cases, but more often than not there is some room for compromise. Unless you're trying to sell your house in a booming market (in which case you may have little need for an agent to begin with), the agents in your community are hurting for clients. There is almost always more competition than there are houses. In this situation, people who depend on sales for their living will have little choice but to accept lesser terms for a guaranteed payday. This works better with smaller agencies than with the larger ones.

Home Inspections Vary

Whether you want a home inspection on a house you're thinking of buying or you want one for the house you're trying to sell, keep in mind that it may not be as comprehensive as you believe. A home inspector is trained to come in, do a visual inspection, and that's about it. They aren't going to pull up the carpets, get in behind the walls, climb on the roof, or do many of the things you might have imagined. It's worth having done, but don't expect it to catch everything.

Open Houses Are Overrated

The open house is a common strategy used by real estate agents, but it is becoming less relevant in an age where buyers do a lot of their house shopping online. Additionally, there may be security issues involved in letting just anyone come in and "case the joint", so to speak. If you can sell your house without one, it may be worth considering.

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