There are a plethora of misconceptions and myths concerning real estate agents in our society today. While these do hold true for some unethical agents, these myths are incorrect and not reflective of the business practices we employ here at Harrisonburg Homeowner.
Agents will do or say anything to make a sale.
While there are some agents that make the sale of the home their utmost, and singular goal, that is not our intention here at Harrisonburg Homeowner. Reputation, and client satisfaction is far more important to us than ensuring the sale of the home by any means necessary. In a small town like Harrisonburg, building a reputation for honesty, transparency, and ethical practices, is far more important for organic growth of a business than one commission check and a disgruntled client. If we do not feel that an offer is in the best interest for you we will let you know, although the ultimate decision is always up to you, the client.
You want to go with the agent that offers the lowest commission.
To save the most money from the sale of a home, wouldn’t you want to go with the agent that charges the least? In short, no. You get what you pay for. If an agent is able to charge that little for their commission it is likely because they will do the bare minimum to sell your home. They will push the sale through by any means possible and may skirt marketing, accurate comparables, adequate home inspections, or employ other unethical tactics. With all of the costs of marketing, client interaction, showings, and more, top agents earn their commission.
Go with the agent that offers the best listing price.
There are certain agents that attempt to entice clients by offering a listing price far above market predictions. They do this in order to ensure that the client signs a brokerage agreement with them. Even though these agents know they likely will not be able to sell the home, they now represent the client for the timeframe set forth in the brokerage agreement. Eventually the client will become frustrated by the lack of offers and lower the listing price to what it should have been initially. And in the end, these unethical agents still get a commission even though they steered the client wrong in the beginning. It is far better to go with an agent that will be able to show you comparables, and explain how they came to their conclusion for their listing price. This will likely result in your home being on the market for a shorter period of time and you should receive more offers.
FSBOs (For Sale By Owner) will save you money.
A lot of people think that they are capable of selling their home without a real estate agent. For some, this may be true; however, most people simply do not have the time and the resources to adequately see a sale through. They don’t have access to a vast network of other agents, they don’t have access to the MLS, they are unsure of effective marketing practices, and they are unfamiliar with writing contracts. For most people, the purchase or sale of a house is the largest financial decision of their lives, do you really want to wing it? This could result in you being sued, or taken advantage of which may end up costing you more financially, and certainly more emotionally, than if you had hired an ethical real estate agent from the start.
Agents should tell you about crime, school, and ethnic makeup of neighborhoods you are interested in.
Due to federal fair housing laws, agents are not allowed to discuss certain classes with their clients. This prevents the agent from being allowed to discuss things related to these protected classes like neighborhood racial and religious makeup, crime statistics, and even information about the school district. What the agent can do is point you in the right direction so that you can research these statistics and facts individually.