Dealing With Real Estate Agents When Selling a Home

September 12, 2020 | Team Sundae Team Sundae

What are the challenges of dealing with real estate agents when selling your home? Read on to find out.

In 2018, around 5.64 million existing homes were sold in the U.S. While not all of these were listed and sold by owners dealing with real estate agents, it is likely that many people listing their home grappled with how to sell it.

While using a real estate agent is a popular way to sell your home, it’s not the only one. You can also sell your home yourself or even work with an off-market buyer. When deciding which option is best for you, it’s good to consider both the pros and cons and remain open to alternatives. Here are some helpful tips for dealing with a real estate agent while selling your home.

Listing with an agent

Dealing with agents comes with some benefits. You get to work with a trained professional who understands the real estate business. The down side, however, is that it comes with added fees. Paying a commission of 3% to your listing agent can cut into your profits. And while real estate agents provide a service, the process of selling with an agent can result in certain inconveniences for the seller. Here are a few things to consider before deciding to work with a real estate agent to sell your home.

Too many choices

No matter where you live, there is an over-abundance of agents willing to sell your home. Most will do a decent job, but it’s hard to separate the best from the mediocre. Especially when they’re only promoting positive reviews. If possible, a personal referral is the best way to find a good agent But since each home sale is different, what worked for your friend or coworker can still be a poor fit for you.

Unreliable pricing

One of the services offered by an agent is the pricing of your home for sale. They’ll take a look at the features of your home and review comparable sales in your area. If your home needs repairs or maintenance, that impacts value. But since agents are not contractors, they’re relying on market statistics to establish a price. One challenge of dealing with agents is missing the sweet spot of pricing a home just right to sell quickly and maximize your profit. Overpricing can leave a home on the market for a very long time, turning off many prospective buyers. Underpricing may sell the home fast, but it denies you the full value you deserve within the market.

The sell-ready checklist

Perhaps the hardest part of working with an agent is living in the home while it’s for sale. Not only is there a rigorous checklist to complete before your home is ready for viewing, but you have to maintain it throughout the time your home is on the market. You’ll still be paying the mortgage and holding costs, too. 

You also have to be ready to leave your home at a moment’s notice, at any time of day, so that your agent can show your home to prospective buyers. In a way, you lose ownership of your home while you’re still living in it. Some of the things your agent may ask of you include:

  • Removing personal effects to make the home feel less personalized. This helps others envision themselves in your home. You may have to pack up family photos and find a place to store them well in advance moving.
  • Abstaining from cooking certain items at home to maintain a more neutral odor in the house. Strong smells can often be offensive to buyers.
  • Making preliminary repairs to the paint, roof, or plumbing whether or not you have the budget to do so.
  • Keeping your home in its cleanest state. Countertops should sparkle and everything should always be put away. No clutter on the bathroom sink or in the closets. It’s a difficult standard of living to maintain. 
  • Staging your home. This may mean moving furniture or setting up rooms so they’re most attractive to buyers. It can also mean things you use everyday are no longer welcome in your home.


Also consider: Should You Use an Agent to Sell Your House?

All of these requests amount to more time and energy on your part, as the seller, to live up to the expectations your agent has for what makes a house saleable. It can add a lot of stress particularly if you have a family. How does one keep their home in its cleanest state when you have young children running around?

Other issues to consider

While dealing with an agent presents its own set of issues, there are other problems that can arise when it comes to selling your home in the traditional way. Working with an individual as the buyer always leaves open the possibility for their offer to get rejected at the last minute if financing doesn’t go through. Your home can also fail inspection, leading to a buyer rescinding their offer. Or, they might ask for a lengthy list of repairs before moving forward.

There’s also the housing market itself to consider. If the market isn’t right, selling using any method is going to be a struggle. If your home is in a buyer’s market, where there’s a lot of listings and competition, your house can remain for sale for a much longer time than expected. It can also make it harder to get your ideal price, and put you at a higher risk of having to lower the cost of your home. When facing these types of market issues, working with an agent can end up costing you more than expected in both time and stress. 

Go off-market as an alternative to dealing with real estate agents

When there are too many factors bearing down on your decision to sell, using an off-market buyer may end up being a more advantageous choice. But not all off-market buyers will have your best interest at heart. You should work with a buyer that has an excelllent track record and is motivated to get you a fair offer. price. Here’s how you can protect yourself and root out home buying scams.

Working with a company like Sundae can lead to a faster sale of your home while still providing you with a fair price. At Sundae, our Market Experts present you with an offer range you can expect from our investors after an in-person visit. These are as-is offer ranges, so no repairs and no need to clean up your home for the sale. Our investors will then compete to buy your home so you get the highest price possible with no fees. You can accept an offer you like at any time and move on your timeline with the guarantee that the no-obligation offer won’t fall through because of financing problems. And you won’t have to pay closing costs, either.

If you decide that a traditional sale will take too much time, energy, or money, Sundae offers a streamlined selling process that can help protect your finances. You may also be eligible for up to a $20,000 cash advance before closing.

Contact Sundae today to learn more. 


Closing Costs for Seller FAQ

How much are seller closing costs for a home sale? This resource answers frequently asked questions and includes a worksheet and calculator to help you find out. Closing costs for home sellers are a combination of taxes, fees, and the costs of services in a home sale transaction. Closing costs