Home Selling in 07716>Question Details

Margeret L., Home Seller in Wall, NJ

I have to sell my home. What should I expect a Broker to do for me? Especially if it is a DUAL-BROKER situation, which it seems to be.

Asked by Margeret L., Wall, NJ Sun Jun 2, 2013

My sister's "fiance" is a Broker that does alot of business in the area. She asked him to keep my house in mind. It is Not Listed, nor do I have a contract with the Broker. He has a very interested buyer whom he has represented in other purchases. Buyer has raised his offer 2x and is at his top price according to the Broker. It is lower than anticipated and the commission is 5%. Broker says it's a good deal. For who, Buyer or me? I am a widow with scant funds and no Real Estate knowledge whatsoever. Can you help?.

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I am floored that a friend of the family would try to stick you for a full 5%, since your sister has likely told him you are widow, etc.

5% is a typical commission when you hire an agent to List it for you at 2.5%, THEN include the selling agent's commission of 2.5%. If this guy is a friend of the family, he's not doing you any favors, he's overcharging, you in my opinion. He is not doing any of the work of a listing agent, he's just bringing you a buyer. 2.5% would be what he would get from any old For Sale By Owner seller, which is what you are. I have done this in the past when an agent approached me with a willing buyer. The agent was happy to charge 2%, since it was a good price for me and the buyer wanted the house.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 2, 2013
Hi Margeret,
I'm glad you came here for some independent professional advice. You do need another professional market analysis for your home before you can take anyone's word on what price you should be accepting.

I agree with "Mickey", this broker is not doing you any favor by charging you 5%, when he is not listing the house! It should be just the selling commission.

The best advice is to get at least one other market analysis for your home. If that number comes in close to what this broker is offering, fine, you can proceed from there. I do think you need to put your foot down about the commission, don't let anyone take advantage of you. You need to net all that you can from this sale. If this broker has an ongoing business relationship with his buyer, you may decide that you want your own representation. Or you may consider the advice we'll all give you - the best way to get the best price for your home is to expose it to the largest pool of buyers and that means listing it for sale so that every agent - not just this fellow - who has a buyer can bid on your house.

Of course, I'll be happy to help by giving you a market analysis. Then, once you have consulted with Realtors about the right selling price, you can move forward with peace of mind.

Susan McLaughlin
732-768-1068 Cell
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 2, 2013

Do not deal with family or "fiances" when you are selling your home. You want an independent agent who is an expert and is looking out for your best interests. DUAL AGENCY IS NOT IN YOUR BEST INTEREST. Avoid it. Furthermore, your home needs to be exposed to the entire market to attain the best price.

Having a relative "keep your house in mind", and funnel it to their own buyer with a dual agency? Absolutely not! I will say it again: do not mix family with business. Get your own agent who will determine the correct price for your home, market it properly, and not engage in dual agency.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
Sounds like nothing but a good deal for the buyer and agent if you ask me. Buyer says they have reached their max Offer amount and it's still lower then you anticipated. I would consider thinking about it for a minute maybe you might want to get in touch with a Broker who specializes in your area for a bit of advice on your homes current value and what's the market like in your area.
That's my honest opinion.
Good luck
Web Reference: http://Josephcolonnyc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
Hi Margaret.....

Great advice from all others...This is probably your most valuable asset. Tred wisely...Please interview three agents.....Marketing, constant communication with you and they shoukd be able to educate you step by step through this process that is extremely important.....

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 3, 2013
Hi Margaret.....

Great advice from all others...This is probably your most valuable asset. Tred wisely...Please interview three agents.....Marketing, constant communication with you and they shoukd be able to educate you step by step through this process that is extremely important.....

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 3, 2013
Hi Margaret,
To find out the value of your home, interview a few agents. You'll get a good idea of what your home is worth before you even attempt to sell it to anyone. Agents do not charge for this service so it won't cost you anything, but could save you a lot of money.
Just because some buyer is at his top price, doesn't mean that your house is not worth more. The market has changed dramatically in the last few months. Especially in our area. Prices are up because inventory levels are down. Some houses are experiencing multiple offers and are going for above asking price.
Commissions are negotiable as well. Maybe you don't want to pay him 5%.
Of course the broker says its a good deal. You need to be sure and be educated about the value of your home to determine whether or not it's a good deal.
I'd be happy to help you. If you would like to contact me, I can give you a ballpark idea of what your home is worth if you provide me with a few details, without even coming over. Since you seem to be pretty internet savvy, just check out my reviews from prior clients here:
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 3, 2013
Even in a "dual-broker" or "transaction" relationship, as we refer to them here in Florida, the agent has a responsibility to each party. It is a LESSER responsibility that s/he has in a single client relationship, but s/he still needs to be honest and fair and make sure nothing under-handed is happening. S/he should have already, and still can, do a CMA (comparative market analysis) for you so that you know what your home is worth relative to other, recently sold homes nearby. That information can guide you as to acceptable purchase price, and only YOU can decide what your home is worth TO MAKE YOU SELL. The agent should be focused on making the transaction work, and that means making BOTH parties happy (or at least equally UNHAPPY). One of the draws, in this situation, to make the dual agent thing attractive is the low commission you're being charged. 5 percent is definitely on the low end of the commission spectrum, so you're saving money there that can offset other downsides. Best of luck in your sale...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 3, 2013
"it is not listed, nor do I ahve a contract with the broker."
AND you have NO ONE committed to represetning YOUR best interests!
I don't intend to be offensive, but, "What are you thinking?"
Assitance is FREELY available.
There is way too much we do not know about your home, the area real estate market and the details of the purchase agreement. You may be walking blindly into a 'assignment' that you will fully fund without knowing it. There is just too much we do not know.
You know what you must do, don't you?
Find a Realtor(r) who works in your area and have them represent you.
Yes, this may offend your sister and the fiance, but a widow with scant funds should take every precaution available. Obtaining represntaion will not cost you a dime.
Please understand, seeking representation is ALSO protecting your relationship with your sister.
Should this 'secret' deal turn into a ship wreck, not only will you lose your home but your relationships will be forever altered. Protect those important to you, seek representation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 3, 2013
Piling on my colleague's advice, you definitely need a comparative analysis of the sales that have occurred for "like" houses in your area. I don't know how you arrived at your price nor how you are marketing your property. The National Association of Realtors has plenty of statistics to show that people who sell their home on their own often come out with a lower net return than those who utilize the services of a professional.

As has been said, you have not signed a listing agreement, so there is no listing representation. If you had, a "Dual Disclosed Agent" must function ethically as if he represented one side or the other, however a "Dual Disclosed Agent" (with necessary disclosures and paperwork) cannot divulge his or her knowledge of personal matters of either party which may influence the transaction.

Keith Radhuber, Broker Associate
Gloria Nilson & Co., Holmdel
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 3, 2013
Margaret, all 6 REALTORS® have given you sound advice.

The first thing you need to do is to contact 3 different REALTORS®, tell them you're thinking of listing your home for sale, and ask them to give you an estimate of what they feel your home would sell for in the current market based on recent comparable sales. Have them show you the "comps" that they used, and make sure they really are similar in style, location, number of bedrooms, etc. There should be no charge for this service, and all 3 estimates should be fairly consistent; be careful not to just accept the highest estimate on face value. You may want to ask 3 of the agents who replied to your question to do this for you.

You really have TWO decisions to make. The first and most important one is selecting the REALTOR® who you feel will do the best job marketing your home with lots of great photos and the latest technology. The second decision is to decide on a listing price. An honest agent will tell you if he/she feels your preferred listing price is too high, but he/she may agree to list your house at that price, provided that you agree to a price reduction if you don't get any offers within an agreed-upon time limit.

You don't have any obligation to a REALTOR® until you sign a listing agreement. Once you do sign an agreement, a REALTOR® has 6 fiduciary responsibilities (ask them to explain these to you). A Seller's Agent has a fiduciary responsibility to negotiate the HIGHEST price for you, just as a Buyer's Agent has a fiduciary responsibility to negotiate the LOWEST price for the buyer. Some states do not allow "Dual Disclosed Agents" because of the potential conflict of interest.

Like the others who answered your question, I'd be glad to be one of the REALTORS® you talk to. I hold the SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist) designation, as well as the highest designation in real estate, the GRI (Graduate, REALTOR® Institute). As you can see from my photo, I'm also over age 65.

Leonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739 (cell) (732) 530-6686 (office)

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 2, 2013

Do you know what your house is worth or are you simply basing it on the offer your sister's fiance and the buyer presented to you? Even after coming up in price that still doesn't mean that's what your house is worth so I would advise you to contact a local agent in your area and get a comparative market analysis done so you know its a fair, reasonable, market value offer.

Dual broker? Did you sign a listing agreement with him or his brokerage? If not, then there is no dual agency relationship. If you didn't hire him, why are you responsible for paying a commission? Of course its been done where an agent contacts a for sale by owner and the owner agrees to pay a commission if the agent brings a specific buyer to buy the house but did you agree to this? Is he in a buyers agreement with the buyers that he gets paid XX if they buy a house? If yes, they should pay him. I certainly think 5% is ridiculous. He's not representing you. You have no agency relationship with him. He's the buyer's agent unless you sign a listing agreement with him.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 2, 2013

Since you have not signed any Listing Agreement, I would recommend you speak to a couple of other brokers to have a Brokers Price Opinion completed on your home. If I can be of any assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Ron Sheedy
(732) 239-7452
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 2, 2013
I would recommend another price opinion from a different agent. Also, if you have an contract with your sisters fiance, tell him 2.5%, not 5%.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 2, 2013
get a broker opinion of the value of your home. invite a couple of brokers to get an opinion of value.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 2, 2013
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