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May 28, 2008


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I would suggest not using the same agent for both buying and selling. While you might save a little on the commission, there are good reasons for this recommendation:

1. Just because an agent is good at helping buyers doesn't necessarily mean they are good at selling. Selling a house requires a host of different skill sets and focus.

2. From a philisophical point of view you may get confused or even upset when you hear the same agent say:
--"make the best offer you can to make sure you get this house, this is a tough market for great houses in desirable neighborhoods."

Then they turn around when you're selling and say this:

"this is a tough market to sell your house in, it has several faults and you need to be more realistic about setting your price lower. There are few buyers and they are very stingy in this market."

In the agent's mind they aren't being contradictory. In your mind they are. Be prepared for that.

3. An agent who is taking a lower commission percentage has even less incentive to get top dollar. Why? Because an extra $10,000 for you is only an extra couple of hundred of dollars for them. Remember to do the math in your head, because you can be sure they are doing the same math but based on their commission when deciding how hard to work for you.

I agree with D. Be careful when using an agent for both ends of a transaction. He or she may push for you to lower your price on your home so you buy another one where they will probably get a full 3% commission. Remember, you are in charge. The realtor just gives advice.

Overall, it looks like you have a realistic view of the real estate market and are being very smart about the transaction(s). Of course, readers of your blog would expect nothing less. :)

FMF, it sounds like you have already figured out who your selling agent is. If you haven't, it's a good idea to look at current listings that they're offering. How are the places described? Are the photos of the residence nice? Some agents think they take excellent photos, but getting good interior shots can be tricky. Make sure whoever is photograping the house has an extra wide angle lens, and it's even better if they have additional lights. I've been reading a lot about real estate photography lately, and if I were to sell my house on my own and didn't have the photography lighting skills, I'd hire a real estate photographer to do it. If I were to go through a selling agent, I'd insist they hire someone. It's worth it to have *great* photos of your house on the day it gets listed in MLS.

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