Selling a Home
If you are thinking of selling your home, chances are you’re caught up in a mass of emotions. You may be looking forward to moving up to a new home or facing the uncertainty of a major move across country. You may be reluctant to leave your memories behind or eager to start new and exciting adventures.
No matter the reason, selling a home can be a complicated and emotional process. And it also involves one of your most significant investments, likely reinvesting a portion of your house’s equity into another home or other investment. You are not only selling your house, but your home – the place where you made many life memories. So, the more prepared you are at the outset, the less overwhelming and chaotic the selling process will be. The goal of this page is to provide you with detailed information to assist you in making an intelligent and informed decision. Remember, we are here to help you. If you have any questions, we’re only a phone call or email away!
Before we begin, we want to let you know we do have more in depth information and booklets that can be found under our Resources tab.
What Is A Seller’s Agent?
A seller’s agent (also called a listing agent) is a licensed professional officially representing the seller in all aspects of their home sale.
While most real estate agents (like us) work with both buyers and sellers as part of their overall business, they typically do not represent both in the same transaction. Typically, a buyer’s agent represents the buyer exclusively and a seller’s agent / listing agent represents the seller exclusively.
On a rare occasion, the same agent can represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction, which is called “dual agency.” Dual agency is illegal in some states, but allowed in California, if both parties specially agree to it. In that scenario, it’s impossible to represent both parties’ interests fully, so typically a fair compromise is the ultimate outcome. While there are specific times this might be beneficial to both parties, in general, when hiring a real estate agent, it’s best to go with an agent who will solely work for your benefit.
Why Hire Us As Your Seller’s Agent?
We help you successfully navigate the whole home-selling process, from the initial prepping your home for the market all the way through closing. Here are some of the main benefits to using us:
Internet Marketing and MLS: Everyone loves looking at homes on the internet. It is the equivalent of window shopping. So the best way to expose your home to the largest amount of “potential buyers” is to market it on a variety of internet sites and searches. And the single biggest way to expose your home to the largest amount of “”qualified buyers,” is to market it on our local MLS. Potential buyers are those considering buying a home, but are in the just browsing phase. While qualified buyers have taken the additional steps of selecting an agent to work with and preapproved by a lender so they know what they actually qualify to purchase. We are members of our local MLS and are connected to many internet sites/searches.
Pricing Strategists: We have extensive knowledge of the inventory in the areas we serve. This knowledge is key when determining the proper market price for your home. Many people have heard the old slogan, “location, location, location.” An important component when considering what home to purchase. However, the slogan for sellers is, “the 3 Ps – Properly Prepared and Priced. Homes following the 3 Ps typically sell for the most money in the shortest amount of time. We use our extensive area knowledge to guide our recommendations on how to properly prepare and price your home for the current market. Making sure to apply the correct pricing strategy for each seller’s unique circumstance and home.
Powerful negotiators: Being able to negotiate a deal is a big part of a real estate agent’s job. However, it is not in everyone’s wheelhouse. We have taken the time to learn the art of negotiating. Being powerful negotiators, we are able to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the other side, assess our position and use that to your advantage. So when it comes to reviewing one offer or multiple offers, we’ll assess each one and determine the best approach needed to negotiate with the buyer’s agent on your behalf, to come to an agreement on price and terms.
Experience / Trusted Advisors: Every real estate market is different. Home prices, demand and housing types vary by state, city and even neighborhood. So working with an agent that specializes in your area is crucial. As agents with 20+ years working in our local residential real estate market, our experience is invaluable throughout all phases of the home selling process. And we pride ourselves on being trusted advisors who can give you honest guidance that could save you time, money and stress.
Skilled Problem Solvers: With our experience, knowing what can go wrong, is a key component to avoiding potential pitfalls. And should a problem arise, we are skilled in problem solving. We rarely see a new scenario or issue that we can’t navigate or correct.
Paperwork: A very important component to a successful transaction is navigating the piles of paperwork! Here is a small sample of what documents make up that pile:
- showing disclosures
- upfront disclosures / inspections (prior to writing an offer)
- purchase contact w/offer disclosures
- escrow paperwork
- transaction disclosures
- closing paperwork
As you can see, selling a home requires a lot of paperwork. Above you may see the word “disclosure” a lot, because as a seller you have a duty to disclosure a lot of required information. And if not properly disclosed, a remorseful buyer may wish to sue you. In real estate transactions, “if it is not in writing, it didn’t happen.” So correct paperwork is vital, which takes a very detail oriented person to properly handle it all. We will gather documents, explain your rights and obligations under the contract terms, ensure nothing is missing, and walk you through everything that needs to be signed. And then we run everything through our office transaction coordinator who double checks the file is complete.
Organized Multi-taskers: All the tasks mentioned above require a lot of time. So we have built our successful business by being very organized multi-taskers. And working as a team, we are able to provide our clients the highest level of service.
Recommendations: Working in our area for 20+ years, means we have a network of professionals we can recommend. Such as mortgage brokers / lenders, escrow officers and home inspectors. We have strong working relationships with these professionals, which can often streamline processes and keep the transaction moving forward smoothly.
Overall Fun People: Lastly, you should hire us as your seller’s agent because we are overall fun people to be around! We will be spending a lot of time together. Depending upon your specific home selling process, we may spend months together while you prepare your property for sale and then market and escrow time. So it is very important to make sure you are working with someone you like spending time with.
We both love what we do. And we bring happy, positive energy to every task. Our goal is to make selling your home and navigating through escrow process the most fun experience we can. Life is too short to spend it otherwise!
But don’t just take our word for it. Check out our Reviews tab to see what our past clients are saying aobut us!
How Much Does Hiring A Seller’s Agent Cost?
When sellers list their home with an agent, they negotiate a total commission to be paid. Then, the seller instructs how much of that total commission is to be shared with a buyer’s agent. Typically the split is half. Although sometimes circumstances dictate a different split.
In California, by law all commissions are negotiable. Traditionally, agents negotiate 6% of the home’s purchase price, with that amount being split equally between the buyer’s agent and seller’s agent (3% to each side). 5% can be commonplace during times of an upward moving market (when home prices are increasing). However, manufactured homes or lot/land may be a higher percentage.
Here’s an example: On the sale of a $600,000 home, the seller’s would pay a total $36,000 (6%) commission. With a 50/50 split, the seller’s agent would receive $18,000* (3%). And the buyer’s agent would receive $18,000* (3%) — at no cost to the buyer.
*Note: This commission explanation and example are simplified for this overview. Both buyer’s agents and seller’s agents also have brokerage commission splits that come out of that, as well as business expenses and taxes. In the above example, if an agent has a 70% split with their brokerage, their portion would be $12,600. That is their gross income. Then deduct all business expenses and taxes, and that number goes down even more significantly, leaving them with a much smaller net income.
How To Find And Hire A Seller’s Agent
How to find: You many have already found your agents! Contact us so we can see if we are the perfect fit to help you sell your home.
How to hire: It’s easy! Once we have met, if we both decide we are a great fit, we can begin working together.