This is the fourth in the series of questions Real Estate consumer advocate Neil Jenman suggests you ask a Real Estate Agent before selecting one to sell your home.
THE ISSUE OF ADVERTISING
With almost every agent, advertising will be a big point. Be careful, this is the most common way in which thousands of home-owners lose thousands of dollars without selling their homes!
The Golden Rule when selling a home is this: Never pay any money for any reason to any agent until your home is sold and you are satisfied.
The Silver Rule is this: Don’t sign anything that requires you to pay any money [in the future] for any reason if your home is NOT sold.
Here are some comments and questions that can be made to an agent which show the absurdity of the advertising policies in most real estate offices.
· Why do you expect me to pay for the advertising to find a buyer? Surely the commission should include advertising?
· Why should I pay twice once for advertising and once for commission?
· If you put ads in the newspapers [and charge sellers for those ads] and the buyers are going to come via you, what are you doing that sellers can’t do for themselves?
· If you advertise my home and I pay for the ads and you get calls from buyers and those buyers buy a home other than mine, do you give me any money back? If not, why not?
· If I pay you [thousands of] dollars for advertising and you do not sell my property, what happens to the money I paid?
· I notice that your advertising has your name and the name of the agency prominently featured. Surely I don’t have to pay the cost of advertising you and your agency?
· Based on the length of time you have been in business and the number of people who contact your office, don’t you already have a list of buyers on your books?
· I am not going to be paying any money to any agent for any reason until my home is sold. Once my home is sold within the price range that you quoted me, I will be delighted to pay you a GENEROUS commission as a reward. This is my firm policy as a seller. Do you accept my policy?