The role of a real estate agent is frequently misunderstood by those interested in the space, and the confusion surrounding this profession greatly contributes to the rate of mistakes made by would-be buyers and sellers.
According to a new survey from Clever Real Estate, 45% of home sellers don’t know that they’re expected to pay the buyer’s agent commission, with a third of all sellers believing that the traditional 6% commission rate is costly and unfair. Furthermore, first-time home sellers are much more likely to not understand real estate commission fees than those that have already gone through the process.
There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s review the role of the real estate agent and why it’s more important than ever.
What is a Real Estate Agent?
Representing sellers or buyers, a real estate agent is licensed by the state to negotiate sales agreements and manage the documentation required for closing real estate transactions. Going one step further, think of an agent as your guide to buying or selling a home- with a wealth of experience at their disposal, agents are well suited to ensure that you’ll make the right choice, at the right price, in the right way.
How Do Real Estate Agents’ Fees Work?
While there’s no set amount for real estate commissions, you can typically expect to pay around 5-6% of the home’s sale price if you’re the seller. Buyers generally don’t pay for their agent’s fees, making it a no-brainer to find an agent before starting the home-buying process, and the commission associated with selling a home is well worth the reduced time that your home will spend on the market and the increased likelihood of it selling at a higher price.
Are Agents’ Fees Fair?
People tend to underestimate the costs involved in successfully selling a home. An agent guides you through the contract process, home inspection, mortgage commitment, and settlement. There’s no question that it takes a great deal of work for a seller’s agent to guide them from start to finish- and the commission doesn’t increase if it takes a long time for the home to sell.
If you’re interested in buying or selling home, there’s no question that you’ll need to hire a real estate agent. Putting aside the peace of mind that comes with having an agent on your side, taking this step will almost always lead to a faster, better-valued conclusion than you could hope for on your own.
You can read the full report here.