6 Frequently Asked Questions from Buyers & Sellers
Amber McCulloch
November 15, 2022 — Read in 4 mins · 794 words

One of the primary roles that a real estate agent fills for consumers is that of a trusted source of information about all things buying and selling. The real estate market is a bit of a mystery to consumers who are not actively looking to buy or sell a property. So, we tend to get asked the same questions repeatedly about real estate and the current market. Here’s are six frequently asked questions from buyers and sellers and common ways for real estate agents to answer. 

How’s the market doing right now?

This is probably the most common question that agents get asked. The best answer is usually, “It depends on if you’re looking to buy, sell, or invest.” Then give them a brief insight into local market conditions for buyers and sellers, but don’t get bogged down in the numbers or details until you find out more specifics about why they’re asking. The best thing about this FAQ is that it’s a gateway question that allows you to demonstrate your knowledge of the market and it opens the door for you to ask them if they know anyone looking to buy or sell.

How much can I sell my home for? 

For sellers, this is the first question they often ask real estate agents, and there is no easy “off the cuff” answer. Explain that home values are extremely dependent on the features, condition, and location of the property. To come up with a realistic asking price that will pull in the greatest number of qualified and interested buyers, you will need to complete a thorough comparative market analysis. Explain that the automated valuation numbers they may have seen online do not account for hyper-local market conditions. This question is a chance to explain the value that you as an experienced, local real estate agent bring to the table and to point out the importance of pricing a home competitively from the start.   

How long will it take to sell my home?

Because of the lightning-fast speed of home sales over the past few years, sellers might have a skewed idea of how quickly their home will sell. Explain what you’re seeing in the current market and reinforce the idea that time on market depends on the accuracy of the asking price and the home’s unique features, exact location, and condition. 

When’s the best time to buy/sell a home?

While there are times of year that see more or less market activity, the best time to buy/sell is when you need to. True, spring and summer are the traditional peak seasons for real estate, but that might not be the best time for the consumer. The truth is that a home in a great location, in good condition, and priced correctly will do well at any time of year. Inventory and competition will ebb and flow throughout the seasons, but the needs of the buyers and sellers will ultimately determine the best time to buy/sell.  

How do you get paid?

This question is best answered clearly and concisely: real estate agents are paid through commissions that are based on a percentage of the property’s selling price. Commission rates are negotiated in the seller’s listing agreement, and they generally range between 5% and 6% of the final sale price. The seller typically pays the commission, and it is split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent (about 2.5%-3% each). Additionally, the agents’ portion of the commission is split with their brokers in a pre-determined ratio.  

Can’t I just sell my home on my own?

There are no laws that say you have to work with a real estate agent to buy or sell a home. In today’s technology-driven age, some homeowners believe that selling a home is as easy as posting it on a consumer facing website, but they quickly find out that there’s so much more that goes into it. Most FSBOs are just looking to save money by not paying a seller’s agent commission. When communicating with FSBOs, be sure to be helpful, interested, and get them talking about themselves and their goals. Ask if they are open to cooperating with buyer’s agents, and if so, try to set up a time to go by the house to see if it would be right for some of your buyers. This will build rapport and open lines of communication with FSBOs who might decide that they want to work with a listing agent after all.  

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