MB Mike asked 2 questions:

  1. If you were a prospective seller and had a pretty open time frame to sell (say you planned to sell sometime in the next 3 years) would you hang on to realize more appreciation?
  2. With so many buyers, it must be tough for agents to get listings. Is there any wiggle room in terms of seller’s agents commission? Seems the standard is 2 1/2%.

First question – The ideal time to sell is right after one or two high sales close in your neighborhood.  The way it has been going lately, those will have closed for 5% to 10% over the previous comps (or higher), and you can tack on another 5% to 10% to your list price and see if you can pop it up to the next level too.

You can still hit a home run without them, but the recent comparable sales ensure smoother sailing with the appraiser, and keep the buyers focused on the finish line.  These major bidding wars that drive the sales price to more than 10% above list price are certain to be filled with serious buyer’s remorse, and expectations of buying a house in perfect condition.

Wouldn’t it make sense to wait until other sellers pave the way to additional riches?  Yes, but you risk unforeseen problems cooling off the frenzy, with the number one threat being a flood of inventory.  If a handful of neighbors on your block hit the market this month, or realtor fraud causes a low sale or two, you can bet that buyers will back off, or back down on price.

Second question – The listing agent’s commission has been incredibly resilient.  In the vast majority of cases we see, the total commission is split 50/50 between agents, though the listing-side commission isn’t always disclosed to us.  Have you noticed that commissions are never disclosed to the buyers?

Regardless of the amount of commission paid, sellers need a bidding-war specialist on your side so you can reap the benefits of today’s market.

I saw an agent who had only two sales in the last year – both were $200,000 condos – get buried with 30+ offers recently.  She had no idea how to handle that, let alone be able to employ a strategy to take advantage.

Sure you can just stack them up and take the highest one and forget the rest (which she did), but respectfully pitting them against each other will reap additional rewards, usually at least 5% extra to the seller (and pay for the entire commission!).

Get good help!

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