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Things Some Realtors Want You to Know but Won’t Tell You

Better to know the truth – even if it hurts.

Whether you’re buying or selling, you may wonder whether a realtor is giving you the straight dope. And sometimes, they’re not. In an ideal world, everyone would shoot straight from the hip and all real estate agents would tell you the truth – even if it’s brutal, like how awful that mustard yellow paint looks on your living room walls.

But whether it’s because they’re afraid to lose the listing or they simply don’t feel the need to fill you in on every little detail, there may be some things they really want you to know, even if not all of them will tell you. Get comfortable. Here’s the scoop:

You stink

Or rather, your home does. If you have pets, you’re probably immune to the scent that is naturally occurring in your house, as most pet owners are. But if you’re selling, your realtor really wants your home to smell clean, fresh, and pet-free, even if you have two dogs, three cats, and a guinea pig. If you don’t have any four-legged friends, your house could be smelly for other reasons, like old food in the fridge, musty things in your closets, or wet laundry that you’ve forgotten in the washing machine. Do yourself and your realtor a favor and get rid of whatever’s causing an unpleasant aroma.

You’re a slob

You love your home. And having magazines all over the countertops, dishes in the sink, and a bunch of clothes hanging on your treadmill gives it that lived-in ambiance. But when your realtor is bringing in prospective buyers, he or she wants them to envision themselves living there – without your stuff. So tidy up, and if you have kids, make sure their toys are put away. You’ll find that showings may last a bit longer when you do.

Commissions are negotiable

There are standards for real estate commissions, but it’s actually not legal for them to be fixed across the board. If you’re buying, you don’t even have to worry about the commission and if you’re selling, you should know that your agent’s commission is negotiable based on circumstances, and there’s nothing wrong with asking to discuss it.

This house is out of your price range

It only makes sense that you wouldn’t even bother looking at houses that are way out of your financial capabilities, but some folks still do it. And while it may be fun for you to tramp all over town looking at magnificent properties, time is money for you and your realtor. Your agent wants to get you the best deal on a property that’s within your budget, but it’s not fair to expect her or him to remind you of what you definitely cannot afford.

Zillow is for the birds

This is one that your realtor may tell you but in case not, you really need to know it. Popular real estate sites are notorious for listing inaccurate and outdated information, and they cannot always accurately assess your home’s value. Your realtor, who is looking at your home in person (and has run comps), is much more capable of giving you an estimated valuation than an online service that’s never actually been there.

It’s not a one-sided job

Your realtor is the expert and will guide you through the buying or selling process but here’s the deal – you should also do some homework ahead of time to educate yourself. Know a little about the neighborhood you’re looking into, for example, before you ask your realtor to set up a bunch of appointments, only to discover it’s the exact opposite of what you want.

You sign before they drive

Don’t expect your realtor to take you all around town before you’ve signed an agreement with him or her. It’s not fair to use a huge amount of their time or yours if you’re not going to enlist any services.

You should only go so low

Everyone wants a great deal and your realtor understands this. But making an offer that’s ridiculously lower than the market value of the property is not advisable and a true time waster. It also lessens your chances of negotiating, so stick with a fair price off the bat.

It’s not always easy

Finding the perfect home or selling your home could take a while. But in the end, it will be worth it. Your realtor knows how frustrating it is to be in the market for months, and he or she wants to sell your home or help you find the perfect new one as quickly as possible. But sometimes the process requires patience and you shouldn’t give up.

Honesty is always the best policy, right? And even if a realtor doesn’t share this information with you, now you know what he or she may be thinking. So be patient, clean out those dirty socks from under the bed, and maybe rethink that yellow in the living room.

And when you’re ready to buy or sell, turn to No Limit Real Estate. We’re South Florida natives who will tell it like it is – and offer you the benefit of our decades of experience in the industry.


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