Home Selling in Castle Rock>Question Details

Castlewood R…, Home Seller in Castle Rock, CO

Good afternoon. We're looking for advice about whether to hire a realtor to sell our home and, if so, how much is a fair commission.

Asked by Castlewood Ranch Seller, Castle Rock, CO Fri Jun 7, 2013

A few years ago, while the housing market was admittedly not in very good shape, we tried to sell our home in Castle Rock. It seemed to us then that the agent didn't do much beyond putting a sign out front, listing the home on MLS, and preparing a binder with some relevant documents for people to see when they toured the house. We want to try again, but the experience we had has caused us to be apprehensive about using a realtor. We wonder whether it really makes any difference, as apparently the buyer's agent is the one who shows, and therefore sells, the house and we wonder what would be an appropriate and fair commission for the type of service described above. We've been told that the going rate in this area is three percent, but if the home sells for about $250,000 then you'd be paying the realtor $7,500. For that amount of money one would expect more than the stuff we experienced last time. Appreciate any wise words you can offer.

Help the community by answering this question:


It's been proven time and again that a Realtor will actually increase the amount of money that you can expect to take away from your sale. I would call a few and interview them to make sure that they are competent. Ask them what specifically they will do to market and sell your home.

Best of luck to you!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
Hi Castlewood Ranch Seller,
I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with your last agent. I have to admit there are agents who will just put a sign in the yard. However, most will actively work for you. We do a ton of work behind the scenes. Here is a good article you might want to take a glance at. http://homebuying.about.com/od/realestateagents/tp/Whyhireag…

Remember, the Buyers Agent does not work for you they work for their buyer. If you are not 100% familiar with the home selling process and all the legal documents that are involved it is best to hire an Agent to help protect you.

Best wishes to you! :-)

Michelle Nault
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
Realtors really don’t just put a sign in the yard and drive around in fancy cars. As you can see, people in this list of replies are trying to outline the list of those things that a Realtor does though the process. Every transaction is different, but there is about 150 jobs we do and I have a printed list that I can share with you if you want to discuss it further.

The first main job of the Realtor is to "get showings". When your home was listed last time, did you have showings? If you had it listed for some period and had 20+ or more showings, then your past Realtor did an OK job from that perspective. The Realtor was told to get people in your home to look at it. If buyers came and did not buy the property, then a better question is why did the people not buy it? The people who came for showings were real buyers as people are too busy to just go to your home to see it for fun. If there were showings and no one bought the property or made an offer, then it could be that the price was too high or the property had some certain feature that did not appeal to the buyers etc.

It’s not just the Realtors job, it’s a partnership? The point is that the seller has responsibility is to have the home clean, picked up including smelling clean and ready when the showings come and also vacated the home prior to the people arriving. The home has a job, in that it must be free of defects that make buyers flee. That is major problems like structural problems etc. and I doubt you have this, but there are some people who do.

I would also say that the list of people who saw your home last time as showings would have had "feedback". Did you get any? This is another job the Realtor does and involves many phone calls or emails. If you ask me, this is the most important job that Realtors do or should do. The showings are important, but the reason that someone did not buy is critical. If it is a simple problem like the buyers repeatedly stated that the colors of the home were just too loud or that they thought the room sizes were too small, then there are things we can do to correct if you feel it justifies the sale and getting more money for the property. First, paint is simple and cheap and can really change the minds of buyers so if buyers state that colors are wrong, it can be addressed. As well, if room sizes are too small, we can try to take things out of the rooms to make them look roomier etc. and at least do things to get that feedback to be replaced by offers.

On the other hand, if your feedback is repeatedly stated that it backs to a busy road, too noisy, in the flight plan of the airport, poor floor-plan, needs updating, has some glaring structural issues etc, these are things that can't be corrected and so you can not prepare for upcoming showings and buyers to then win them over and get their offer.

There is one feedback that does not fit either category or it fits both categories, not sure which. That is PRICE. It is something you can change, though it is hard to do and many sellers are somewhat reluctant. Here comes another job a good Realtor does....A good Realtor should do an analysis of sales in the neighborhood, assess how your home compares to that and tell you what price to list your home at and what price to expect the offers and sale price could be. This is not exactly simple, but a good Realtor will have a good idea of what the list price should be and what to expect in the market.

Price is always important and is market driven so your sale price could be more now than it was last time you listed, but it will take research to identify it. It is thought that the main job of a Realtor is to sell your home for the most money in the current market within the time-frames that fit your personal preferences. Sure that sounds nice and simple, but there are many tasks that go into making that happen.

Many of the tasks that Realtors do to sell your home are obstacles that can cost you money or put you at other risks. Remember that you are entering into a binding "CONTRACT" when you sell your home. The best ones to know the contract and how to work within it, are Lawyers and well educated Realtors. Realtors have studied and gotten years worth of knowledge selling homes, while sellers who have sold one or two homes in their life believe that the process is simple. People who look at our job and think it is simple have many times, had good experiences with a Realtor in the past. If the Realtor does a great job, they made it "look easy" and that is a good thing.

I am a Castle Rock resident. Visit my website at http://www.searchforhomesincolorado.com. You can learn about me, get my email, cell phone, and see what I do to help my clients. I would be honored to help you. Contact me if you would like my help to sell. Thanks.

Frank Nuebel
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 7, 2013
There is no set commission for listing a house, nor is there any set marketing plan's to sell a house. You should take care and make sure that in the contract you sign with the Broker that EVERYTHING you want done to market the home is in the contract. Good Brokers will work hard to sell your home as well as to make sure that it is properly exposed to the market. There is expense associated with the marketing and a good Broker will earn every bit of it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 16, 2013
I used to love watching this show called People’s Court, where regular folks without lawyers went to court. If you were in that situation, you’d probably do fine. You’re not a lawyer, but you’re smart, savvy, and you keep good records. But if the other person got a lawyer, you’d be crazy to go up against someone who knows the law, is in court every day for a living, and is working for your opponent. When a home goes into escrow, the listing agent is the one that handles all of the legally required disclosures and paperwork. If you list it for sale yourself, that means you. And even if you’re okay with that level of legal exposure, what buyer’s agent is going to want to risk the fact that you’ve never done it before?

Chad Roberts
Realty One Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
Castlewood Ranch Seller,

Good question. I like Anthony's answer below. You might want to start by going back to your previous agent and have him explain a little more about what he does in the sales process. It is not nearly as simple as you think. Even if it turns out he didn't do a great job, I would not let that deter you from finding a good local agent that you feel comfortable with. You may want to interview 2 or 3 other listing brokers to get a better understanding of the process. Especially in this current environment you really need a true professional to work through pricing and the possible event f multiple offers and other nuances that the agent has to work with. There are so many new laws, pitfalls, and even outright scammers out there today that you would be fending off on your own.

There are also some legal issues that the Realtor knows about that you would not be aware of that could cost you big time. We as Realtors are required to carry a million dollar Errors and Omissions insurance policy to be prepared for unexpected eventualities. As a home seller you are required to know the rules and a slip up could cost you everything. The commission is negotiable; but you are more likely to be looking at between 5 and 7% of the purchase price and it will be well worth it to you.. About half goes to the buyers broker and part goes to the brokerage the agent works for. When you interview the agents, ask them these questions and have them give you a better understanding of what is involved. It is not nearly as simple a process as you see from the outside. Many a 'for sale by owner' has crashed and burned in this meticulous process. Finally, this could be the best time in your life to make this move. It is officially a 'seller's market' now as opposed to the buyers market you were dealing with a few years ago. All the best to you.

Robert McGuire
Your Castle Realestate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
Hi there,
I'd love the opportunity to hear about the goals you have in listing your home.
Although I am an agent, from one heart to another, I strongly discourage going at this process alone. There is a ton of legally binding documents, deadlines, large amounts of money changing hands etc; best to let professionals monitor the transaction to ensure it's smooth and safe. That being said, commissions are negotiable, agreed upon by Seller (you) and the Listing Agent. From there, the amount will be broken up and distributed through the Closing entity accordingly. It'd be nice to earn the entire mentioned $7, 500, but we don't :) For sake of conversation between you, 5.6% is a good number to consider. The "going rate" of 3% probably reflects one part of the whole.
Please feel invited to contact me with any questions needing an answer regarding the buy/sell process. Hope this helps!
Yours in service,
Leah Mantelli, Keller Williams Realty Success 720.270.9580
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
You only pay an Agent on the Success of the sale. If they don't sell your house you owe them nothing. Marketing your home is only one small piece to the puzzle. If that is all an Agent has to do than your right, they are over paid. The real work begins when you receive offers on your home. Negotiating and giving you quality representation is where the pavement hits the road. A quality Agent is worth their weight in gold. Your past Agent may have been good, but due to the past market they were not able to show you what they are made of. You may want to revisit working with your past Agent and discussing your concerns.
If it does not feel right to you and your looking for a change, I would be happy to take a look at your current situation.
Tony Caterina
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
Not all agents are the same. Remember they are representing you in the sale of your home. Marketing is only half the battle. All those documents are legal and binding. How will they negotiate for you, advise you on issues, or represent your best interest? Half the work is when you get under contract. Interview a couple and watch how they represent themselves as that will likely be the same way they will represent you. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
Hello Castlewood Ranch Seller,

I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with the previous agent. The fact is that most agents do exactly what you described. You will see them at the beginning to sign the listing agreement and if you house sells, you will see them at the end to collect their 2.8%. I was a real estate investor for over a dozen years before I decided to enter the real estate industry. I've used everyone from the top sellers to my best friend. In the end, I find that the ones who offers you the best service are the ones that takes time to educate you about the market and the selling process. I have developed a system over the years to ensure the utmost transparency and quality service. Feel free to contact me directly and we can talk more. The bottom line is, the ones who ACTUALLY earn your business are the ones who will actually do work to sell your home. Feel free to call or email me @ 303-668-4421 or TomDangofDenver@gmail.com. Best wishes!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
Great Question! On 'our to do list' listing/selling, as your sellers agents, we preform over 200 tasks, to take a tranaction to closing. Hiring a seller's agent (and cooperating with buyers agent) means a seller is represented with the utmost good faith, loyalty, fidelity and works with your best interests in mind . The agent negotiates on behalf of and acts as an advocate for the seller. An agent aligns price with the current market as values increase monthly. Price positioning a home to sell is key. Next is home prep before photos, to provide the emotional impact for top dollar(in the first week home is on the market). Also we provide professional photography with on line tours, since 85% of the buyers see your home on line before touring. As far as commission that depends on the agent's policies and other variables. There's no set commission policy by the Colorado Real Estate Commisson, so each brokerage or agent sets their own policy. We hope this info is helpful. Please give us call or email and we'll be happy to interview at your convenience.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
Great questions! I am a Realtor that works the South Denver Metro area. Feel free to email me directly at tara@soldbysimmons.com and I will go over with you what I offer and your options for paid commissions. Many agents will stick with a particular commission amount and not negotiate with their sellers, however I believe in working with my clients in their best interest, so we can be flexible and come to a reasonable agreement. Buyer's agents are expecting 2.8% these days. If you email me specifics about your home, I can also send you a market analysis so that you have a good idea of what your home would sell for based on most recent sales and homes currently on the market. Best of luck in whatever you decide to do!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
When hiring an agent to market & sell your home, pay close attention to how they conduct themselves in the preliminary meetings. Do they answer or return phone calls and emails promptly, do they have "systems" in place, do they know current market intel (days on market, average sales price, etc). Do they use quality materials to showcase their services, if any. What you pay is less important as what you get for what you pay. As k the questions upfront & you will spot the top producers from the less effective. Ask to see their current listings IN THE AREA. Remember, real estate is a local business.

Hope this helps - Scott Futa
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
I agree with the last agent. It is important that you interview agents and see who you 'click' with. I recommend that they are a Realtor and make sure you see how many transactions they have done in the last 12 months. Ask to see their testimonies from previous clients.

I am sorry your last transaction was not a good one. There are many of us who have high professional standards and would want to help you all the way.

Let me know if you have any questions

720 226 4168
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
Castlewood Ranch Seller,

I am sorry your last selling experience left you disappointed. All agents are different, do different marketing and have a different marketing budget. You should interview several agents and be upfront about what you expect to get from them if you hire one of them to list your home.

I have to be honest, it is not very common for your listing agent to actually bring a buyer for your home, but the marketing techniques can and do make a difference... So best "wise words" is to interview several Realtors and see which one is the best fit! Good luck and please let me know if I can help!

Marina Jensen
Cherry Creek Properties
303 908-9117
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
I agree with Alan. Interview several agents and see what they are willing to do to earn your business. Its a good time to sell, and you need an agent that will help market the property the best way to get the most money for you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Bryon Self
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
Understand that the Commission will be split 4 ways; half to the LISTING BROKER and half to the SELLING BROKER; they, in turn, give a certain percentage to the two Agents. So in your example, the net would be about $1875.
How long does it take you to earn $1875?
How many years of sweat and training does it take to be a success in Real Estate?
How many frogs do they have kiss, before they find a prince?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
Thanks for this note. I don't have a problem paying $1,875, or any other reasonable commission amount, but I do want to have confidence that it is a fair price for the service provided. I'm a little unsure about whether the time invested is the right way to measure that or, put differently, if the time expected to be invested by the prospective seller's agent is the only factor that should go into a decision about whether to hire him or her.
Flag Fri Jun 7, 2013
It really can make a difference. In the scenario you talked about, it sounds as though you may not have done your homework. Not all agents are equal.

Interview several agents, and ask them what they will do for you. What is there marketing plan? Tell them about your experience and ask how they will be different than that agent, for the large commission they will be paid, and ask how they will "earn" it? Sit back and listen, and let them fill the silence.

If they can't provide you with strong evidence that they will be doing a better job (significantly) than your prior agent... well, then you've got your answer.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
We offer a “No Hassle & No Haggle” listing program. You choose the sales price, marketing plan and commission. Some agents submit your property to MLS and then sit back and hope it sells. Better agents use internet marketing techniques to make your property stand out in a crowded marketplace. The Live Well in Colorado Real Estate Success Team goes beyond this by using industry-best internet marketing methods plus the 27 additional sales tactics we’ve found to get your house sold for the most money in the least amount of time. Call at 303-994-5815 or email kwdenverhomes@gmail.com.
Flag Mon Nov 4, 2013
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
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