Myth Busting: The Truth About These 5 Real Estate Agent Myths
There are a number of myths and misunderstandings about real estate agents and how they work (or don’t). So, we’re rounding up some of the common myths about real estate agents and exposing the truth.
Myth #1: Once you sign with an agent, you’re stuck with them no matter what.
As a seller, when you sign a contract with an agent and their brokerage, there is usually a time limit of either 6 or 12 months. However, if you feel the agent (and/or their brokerage) isn’t a good fit for you, contact the brokerage to discuss your options. You might be surprised how much the brokerage is willing to work with you to find a good fit for your needs. As a buyer, you might be asked to sign a document confirming that you aren’t working with more than one buyer’s agent, which is only fair when a buyer’s agent does a tremendous amount of work to help find homes to meet your needs. Either way, if you feel the agent you’re working with as a buyer or seller isn’t the best fit for you, don’t wait to make a change or connect with the brokerage.
Myth #2: All agents are the same.
Agents aren’t interchangeable and one agent isn’t just the same as every other agent. Agents who are experienced in the area you’re looking to buy in or that your listing is located in make a huge difference in the outcome of your real estate transaction. A great agent has a strong local network including other agents, sales and marketing channels and the knowledge to save you money while protecting your interests.
Myth #3: A buyer can just use the seller’s agent.
A buyer should always have their own agent, separate from the seller’s agent. The seller’s agent takes on a legal obligation to work in the sole best interest of the seller. They are legally required to get the best deal possible for their seller client. So, working with the buyer as well would be a serious conflict of interest. The best advice a buyer can follow is to work with a knowledgeable buyer’s agent who is solely dedicated to their needs.
Myth #4: Using an agent means an automatic 6% commission.
It’s important to keep in mind that the seller typically covers the commission and fees for both the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent, plus both of their respective brokerages. That means the commission is being split at least four ways. Working with a great agent generally more than covers the cost of the commission in the form of a higher sales price and a quicker sale. However, many brokerages will discuss and negotiate commissions with concerned sellers.
Myth #5: When you have a buyer’s agent, you can’t buy a home that is FSBO.
Just because a home is listed for sale by owner (FSBO) doesn’t mean it’s off limits when you have a buyer’s agent. Many FSBO sellers are willing to cover the commission for the buyer’s agent for bringing in a qualified buyer. If you’re interested in a home that is listed FSBO, share your interest with your buyer’s agent and let them take care of reaching out to the seller.
How many of these myths about real estate agents did you think were true? If you have questions about any of the myths we’ve busted here or have additional questions about working with a real estate agent, give us a call. Working with an agent is an important decision and we’re happy to answer any questions you have.