Working with a real estate agent can be a great way to put your property in front of a large audience of potential buyers. This also means that there will be additional expenses that may not be fully apparent at the time of listing your property. Here are five hidden costs of working with a real estate agent.
The first hidden cost of working with a real estate agent is photography fees. In the first meeting with the real estate agent, they may mention adding high-quality photos to your listing. They usually have a preferred or recommended photographer they work with and they trust, but having professional pictures taken of your property may cost more than you were expecting. It is also preferred to have a wide-angle shot of all of the rooms, and a 360-degree photo if possible, that way it can be uploaded into a program to take a virtual tour of each room. They may also suggest having a virtual tour of your property done, especially when it is not ideal to be around more people than necessary these days. The more features of the photography package will help sell your house faster, but they most likely won’t come for free.
The second hidden cost of working with a real estate agent is staging fees. If you do not leave furnishings in your property when it is being marketed for sale, the real estate agent may suggest property staging. This helps the potential buyer imagine themselves living or occupying this property and often sells the house quickly. If the realtor is not experienced enough or does not have time to stage properties themselves, they will often suggest a professional interior design service to come to stage the house for you. You will often have to rent or even purchase the furniture and decor they plan to use to stage your property. This all depends, of course, on the value of the property. Usually, the more expensive the property, the more likely you will be encouraged to have it staged.
Curb Appeal and Improvements
The third hidden cost of working with a real estate agent is curb appeal. Real estate agents will often suggest improving the curb appeal of the property. Your property will most likely sell faster because of the enhanced beauty of a fresh coat of paint and some new pops of color in the flower beds complete with new mulch, but all of this adds up. Painting a home, installing new plants, laying mulch, pressure washing the driveway and other visual improvements will cost hundreds of dollars.
Property Inspections or Surveys
The fourth hidden cost of working with a real estate agent is a property inspection or survey. Many real estate agents like to entice buyers with this extra perk in the listing. Having a recent property inspection or survey is a great selling tool, especially if the property has no major issues or property line encroachments. This will give buyers the confidence to submit decent offers, but it will cost you.
Real Estate Commission
The fifth hidden cost of working with a real estate agent is their commission. This, of course, is negotiated at the time of signing the listing agreement, but it’s easy to forget about that while your property is being marketed. You may not truly feel the impact of the brokerage fees until it’s time to sign the closing papers. Here you see all of your fees taken out of your sale proceeds, this will include the brokerage commission and may also include any inspections or reports pulled on your property that you agreed to pay for.