Before making the decision to go it alone and sell your Tampa, Florida home or condo “by owner” it is a good idea to take a look at how real estate agents in Tampa are paid. Typically, when listing your home with a Tampa agent a commission is agreed upon and put into the contract. For many years the majority of agents used a 6 or 7 percent structure but now there is a wide variety of fee’s depending upon who you list with but for the sake of this example, let’s assume you go with a traditional listing and a 6% fee. To keep the numbers easy, let’s further assume homes in your area are selling for $200,000. You sign the contract and agree to pay 6% if it sells.
Superficially, 6% of $200,000 sounds pretty good; after all, that is $12,000 for placing a few signs on the property right? Not so fast! There are actually two major considerations to keep in mind:
1. Quality of Service
2. Splitting of Fees
Quality of Service. Here is where many sellers get into trouble and where many agents earn a bad reputation. Some agents do little more than solicit listings – in fact, they list as many as they can but then do nothing more to sell your home. They just hope someone else brings a buyer so they can collect their portion of the sale. It’s strictly a numbers game for them…list as many homes as possible then take their share when/if the home sell. Because they list so many, they can make a handsome profit…and they will often tell a prospective seller anything they want to hear just to get the listing! They figure the seller will eventually drop the price to snag a buyer and they get their commission without doing any additional work.
To protect yourself remember one thing–ASKING AINT GETTING. Don’t believe everyone simply because an agent gives you a selling price that that sounds good. Demand comparisons of recently SOLD properties in the area – not just other listings. Next – Demand copies of the agents track record…how many of their listings did THEY sell?
Splitting of Fees. The next major area to consider before deciding to sell a home on your own is how fees are split. It works like this…The listing agent and his broker…the one you just signed an agreement with… only get the entire 6% if they list and sell the house. Often someone else drives by or another realtor has a client searching for a home in that area and bring a buyer…if another agent brings a buyer then the listing agent/broker get 3% and the selling agent/broker get 3%…. they split it.
Okay, closely related to this is the decision to use a full service versus a discount agency where you might pay less than 6% or 7% commission. Since many fees are actually split [and then split again since the salesperson splits their half with their broker] a property with only a 4% commission structure might NOT be a good idea. Other agents will be less inclined to show your property due to lower commission structures. What might seem like a good idea can quickly become more costly if they pass your property by in favor of one with higher commission rates. Be sure to consider the advantages and disadvantages carefully.