Having a choice is good. For many, have having a choice represents freedom. For others, choice creates angst out of fear of making the wrong selection. Dr. Barry Schwartz wrote about this phenomenon in his book The Paradox of Choice. Dr. Schwartz describes that having too much choice can create negative well-being. This phenomenon also exists in real estate. There are many home sale choices!
Consumers have more home sale choices today than ever before. However, choosing the best option for you can be confusing. Making the wrong selection can result in remorse. How do you choose between a full-service agent, a limited service broker, à la carte broker, private placement broker, or sell by owner? How do you know decide among your home sale choices?
Recently published research further supports the value of hiring a full-service real estate agent. A study conducted by Rutherford, Rutherford, Springer, and Mohr (Limited Service Brokerage: Positive Broker Intermediation?; Journal of Real Estate Research: 2018, Vol. 40, No. 4, pp. 551-595) compared the outcome of using a limited service brokerage to a full service real estate agent. The results indicate that although the limited service brokerage time on market is similar to the full-service agent, your home sale price is likely to be less with a limited service broker.
Although there have been conflicting studies in the past, Rutherford’s recent study confirms that using a limited service brokerage is likely to sell your home for less. The authors concede and discuss other factors that may influence results, such as housing market conditions. Studies that reported positive outcomes of limited service brokerages may have occurred during the go-go market prior to 2007.
How much commission should you pay?
Conventional wisdom says that full service agents are “full-price” (whatever that is) and expensive. However, that’s no longer true. Many full service, high quality agents charge as much (or as little) as discount brokers. A 2015 study by Barwick & Pathak (The costs of free entry: an empirical study of real estate agents in Greater Boston; The RAND Journal of Economics; Vol 46, No. 1, Spring 2015, p.103–145) indicated that increased Realtor competition has forced average commissions to decrease over the last few decades. Of course, they found that the decreased commission structure of the full-service agent good for consumers and the housing market. They also concluded that decreased commissions would increase quality by decreasing entry into the industry for the wrong reasons.
To make better home sale choices, educate yourself.
Understand what services are available and what it costs. You should ask yourself if the services can meet your expectations of helping you through the process of selling your home? And, how will it impact your sale, time on market, and price?
Unfortunately, the National Association of Realtors doesn’t do enough to educate consumers about their choices when buying and selling a home. Including negotiating reduced commissions and buyer rebates. And I wouldn’t expect they will any time soon because of their mission statement (posted on their website nar.realtor): “The core purpose of the National Association of REALTORS® is to help its members become more profitable and successful.”
So how do you choose among your home sale choices? Be a savvy home seller. Don’t stick to “conventional wisdom.” Explore your needs and expectations. Investigate your choices and ask questions. Don’t fall for sales tactics. And don’t be afraid to negotiate commission.
Be a savvy home seller
- Don’t stick to conventional wisdom
Explore your options. There is no “one size fits all” home sale plan.
- Search for an agent that meets your needs and expectations
What are your plans? How fast of a sale do you expect? In what condition is your home? Interview several agents with different approaches to your home sale.
- Ask Questions
Every agent has their own process. Some are hands on and responsive, while others hand off your sale to their “team” and you never see them again. Can you call anytime, or are their limited times? How will the agent meet your expectations?
- Don’t fall for sales tactics
Many real estate agents spend lots of time and money learning sales tactics to get the listing. Many have developed polished presentations that are very convincing. Call the agent’s past clients to find out if they over promise and under deliver.
- Negotiate listing commission
It’s a very competitive market. Although some agents won’t negotiate their commission, many will. Some will limit their services when they reduce their commission, while others offer full service.
Original published at https://dankrell.com/blog/2019/02/18/home-sale-choices
By Dan Krell. Copyright © 2019.
Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.