Sellers Commonly Asked Questions

I’m selling my home.  Should I agree to let buyer’s agents show my home?
Although only you can decide whether you want to permit buyer’s agents to show your home, remember the greater exposure your home gets to qualified buyers, the more likely you are to sell it quickly and at the highest possible price.  The majority of sellers and seller’s agents let any agent help sell the home.  Sellers typically don’t care who brings a buyer or how the broker splits the commission as long as the home sells.
If a buyer is using a buyer’s agent, do I have to pay the buyer’s agent a commission?
Practices vary by area.  Check with your agent to learn about your choices.  As the seller, generally you can indicate on the listing agreement whether the seller’s agent must split the commission you pay with the buyer’s agent.  Most sellers choose to work with a broker who splits the commission with a buyer’s agent even though that agent does not represent the seller’s interest.  This, of course, maximizes the number of potential buyers for your home.  Because the listing broker already is prepared to share the commission with a seller’s agent who produces a buyer, most sellers don’t mind when their broker instead shares the commission with a buyer’s agent.
How and when will I find out who an agent is working for?
Most states require real estate agents to disclose to buyers and sellers their agency relationship.  The National Association of REALTORS supports disclosure laws requiring real estate agents “to provide timely, meaningful, written disclosure to consumers of all possible agency relationships available under state law and the most significant implications of choosing one type over another.”
This “disclosure” should take place early, certainly before either a seller signs a listing agreement, a buyer is shown any properties, or the real estate agent is told any confidential information.
The consumer usually signs a form acknowledging the agency disclosure.
How can a seller’s agent help me buy a home and what can’t they do?
Since the seller’s agent is required to share with the seller information you provide, you may want to keep certain financial and other confidential matters to yourself.  Common sense should be your guide.  For instance, you may not want to say you’re willing to pay more than the price you’re offering, or that you’d agree to pay more points or closing costs, or that you’re especially motivated to buy.
Remember, the seller’s agent can’t offer an opinion of the property’s condition, the value if improvements, any urgency the seller may be under to sell, and if the seller will accept a price below the asking price.  The seller’s agent assisting you also must respond to such questions as “What do you think I should offer?” and “What do you think the home is worth?” with the answer “I can only quote the listed price.”  When it comes to price and terms at the negotiating table, you must be your own representative.
The seller’s agent will present your offer and bring back to you the signed contract, a rejection, or a counteroffer.
You are free to respond as you see fit.