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Real Property: Selling A Home Through A Broker


If you sell your home through a broker, he or she can do all the work (full service brokers) - or only the work that you need (discount brokers and fee-for-service brokers).

If you are thinking of selling your home through a broker, keep in mind that according to a Consumer Reports survey, 82% of their respondents who sold with the help of an agent received $5,000 less, on average, than their original asking price. Almost all of the 17% who sold their homes without an agent said they received about what they originally asked.

If you decide to use a broker to sell your home, consider:

  • Whether to use a full commission or a discount broker. In theory, a full commission broker offers more services than a discount broker. Talk to a few of each and learn what services they offer. Think about your needs and your physical and emotional capabilities before making a decision.
  • Whether to pay the commission the broker requests or negotiate for a lower one. When Consumer Reports surveyed its readers in 2008, it learned that of the 46% of sellers who attempted to negotiate a lower commission, 71% succeeded - and that paying a lower commission rarely had any effect on the sales price.
  • Whether to give a listing exclusively to one broker or use more than one broker. You may need to give an exclusive listing to a broker if you have an expensive home and expect the broker to create a sales brochure and incur other expenses.

Look for brokers who have had success in your area. Also ask how the broker will promote your home. The more people that see your home, whether on line or in person, the better.

If you decide to use one broker exclusively, obtain in writing everything the broker agrees to do to help sell your home, such as agreeing to advertise the home in the local newspaper three times a week plus Sunday for the next four weeks, listing the home on the home page of the broker's web site and/or listing the home in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).

For information about choosing a real estate broker, click here.

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