There are many common problems sellers face when working with real estate agents in New Orleans. Learn more about what to watch out for in our latest post!
Before we get started, let us first say that there are some truly great agents out there. Most are honest, ethical and hard-working. Selling with a real estate agent isn’t always the best way to sell a house. Every house is unique as is every situation sellers are facing. This is why there should be options when selling. Before you decide to list your house, consider all of the ways you can sell your New Orleans house, and then choose which method is right for you. Below are a few common obstacles sellers face when working with an agent.
The Money Up Front
When you list a house it will need to be competitive with the others on the market if you want to sell fast. That is especially true in today’s real estate market where selling a home has become a challenge. Two years ago houses were flying off the shelf. Today it’s like a ghost town due to much higher interest rates and astronomical insurance premiums. When preparing to sell a house, most will require not only repairs but also a thorough cleaning and continued upkeep. Be mindful of the fact that you will have to keep the utilities on, the grass cut, the taxes paid as well as any insurance premiums that may be coming due. Plus you might want to stage your house, or pay to have some of your belonging put in storage to make the house appear less cluttered. All of these costs come into play before the listing agreement is even signed.
Marketing and Other Expenses
Not all agents are full service. A full service agent will charge you a top dollar listing fee, but they will handle everything for you. Some agents will charge you additional fees on top of their commission, or they will leave certain aspects of the marketing up to you. Then there are flat rate agents who will list your house on the MLS and that’s it. You will need to show the property, handle questions, pay for additional marketing and more. Every agent is different in what they offer. If you choose to work with a New Orleans real estate agent, make sure you know what services they provide and what services you will be responsible for.
Glorified Listing Prices
This isn’t true of all agents, but some will glorify your listing price in order to have you sign with them. This can hurt your ability to sell quickly as a high price will make many people look the other way. You will eventually need to lower the price, which only wastes your time in the long run. Houses that sit on the MLS get no way near as much attention as fresh listings hitting the market. In this slow market it is ever so important to price your property correctly from the get-go. Get a full comparative market analysis (CMA) from your agent prior to signing a listing agreement. Review other houses that have sold carefully and make sure they are recent sales. Typically within the last 6 months but right now we are focusing more on the last 3 months as this market keeps changing so quickly.
A Non-Responsive Agent
There is nothing worse than being stuck in a listing agreement with someone who doesn’t return your calls. A good agent will make you feel as if you are their only client. They will answer all of your calls and questions and touch base with you frequently to let you know of any developments in the selling process. You should never have to call more than once or spend time having to track them down. Remember, they work for you!
Being Stuck In A Contract
Getting stuck in a listing agreement can be very frustrating. Most agreements will state that the agent is entitled to their commission no matter how the house is sold. Even if you find the buyer yourself, you will still be required to pay your agent. It is especially frustrating when you get stuck with an agent who isn’t working as hard as they should be. You can find yourself doing much of the work, only to have them collect their fee when all is said and done. Be sure to get a few referrals before you agree to list your property. Make sure the agent you are going with is a good fit for your needs and your situation.
Selling Direct Might Be For You
For many houses in the New Orleans area, a direct sale can be a much better choice. There are no commissions, fees, repair costs, or marketing expenses. You don’t have to clean up your house or declutter the mess. You won’t have to wait around for a buyer or worry about the sale falling through because of bank financing or appraisals. Talk to a professional home buyer before you list your property. It’s always a good idea to look into all available options. Then you can weigh them and make an informed decision on what is right for you and your situation.