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Monthly archives for January, 2020

ARE TAMPA BAY REALTOR FEES WORTH IT?

TAMPA BAY REALTOR FEES

Are Tampa Bay Realtor fees worth it? Well, it depends on the value and quality of your Orange County Realtor. But as a general rule of thumb in South Tampa, New Tampa, Clearwater and Westchase real estate, like in all things, you tend to get what you pay for.

It?s a new year, and the coastal Tampa Bay real estate market is waking from its seasonal slumber. Neighborhoods soon will swell with eager buyers on the hunt for their dream homes. If you?ve been thinking about selling your Tampa Bay Home, now is a great time to get down from the fence and find an agent to list it on the market. But which agent should you choose, and how much should you pay them?

Across the country, the standard commission rate that a seller pays their listing broker for helping to sell their home tends to hover between 5 and 6%. According to?data from the National Association of Realtors?, the average commission in 2019 was roughly 5.7%. Since real estate commissions are not officially regulated, it?s up to the seller and their agent to settle on a fair fee. Therefore, it?s important for sellers to know what they?re getting in return for the agent?s cut. So what does your commission get you?

DOING THE COMMISSION SPLITS

The first thing to understand about commissions when selling your Tampa Bay home is how that money is divvied up. Say you agree to pay your listing agent 6% of the selling price. That 6% does not go straight into your listing agent?s pocket. In fact, he or she will likely only receive a fraction of that amount, maybe around 25 to 40%. That?s because, as the seller, you are actually paying both the listing agent?and?the buyer?s agent. But wait, there?s more! Let?s explore how a standard real estate commission breaks down.

First off, your 6% commission goes to the listing agent?s side. Per your listing agreement, the listing agent denotes what amount of that 6% they will pay to the buyer?s agent for making the deal happen, usually around 2.5 to 3%. Of course, the buyer has their own costs to worry about, from appraisals to inspections to insurance and more. However, they don?t directly pay their agent to help find them a home. Instead, the buyer agent gets about half of that 6% from the listing agent when the transaction is closed.

What?s more, agents on both sides of the transaction pay a substantial portion of their earnings to their parent brokerage. From the 3% portions designated for the listing agent and the buyer?s agent, up to half of that may end up going to their brokers. So, instead of 6%, or even 3%, the agents might walk away with 1.5% apiece from the total sale price. While that?s not necessarily a meager sum, as homes routinely sell for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, it?s a far cry from the glaring 6% that turns the stomach of many prospective Tampa Bay home sellers.

SERVICES RENDERED

So your listing agent doesn?t necessarily get a big 6% payday out of your closing price. Even so, if you receive poor, inattentive service from your agent, then any amount will feel like too much. What should your agent do to earn their pay? And what expenses does a listing agent accrue in the process of selling your home? Most marketing practices involved in listing a Tampa Bay home for sale do incur costs out of the listing agent?s pocket.

Successfully selling Tampa Bay real estate in this digital age requires a keen eye for web-based marketing. By 2017, up to?95% of buyers were using online search to find a home, and it?s only increasing. That means that professional media including photos, videos, social media and email marketing now play a critical role in improving your home?s visibility to the prospective buyers. Your listing agent should provide marketing multimedia which portrays your home in its best light, and your commission helps to pay for those professional services.

Of course, the ?new school? of marketing hasn?t replaced the ?old school.? Your Tampa Bay real estate agent should include print and mail marketing in their plan. Postcards, flyers and brochures all remain relevant marketing tactics to let the neighborhood know that your home is for sale. And each of those methods costs money for printing, postage, design, and so on.

Most of all, your agent?s commission pays for their time and expertise. Hosting open houses, managing marketing campaigns, coordinating vendors like staging and inspections?if done right, each of these aspects of selling a home takes considerable time and effort. A good agent will also spend the time to field your questions, devise a strategy for success, negotiate on your behalf, and ensure that you are comfortable and informed at every step.

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

As with any profession, there are good and bad apples among Tampa Bay Realtors. Just because John Q. Agent charges 6% doesn?t necessarily mean he?ll do a good job of selling your Tampa Bay home. However, from a purely mathematical perspective, an agent who provides a ?discount? service is simply unable to provide the personal care and professional marketing required to make your sale a resounding success.

Choosing an agent based on a low fee, or choosing to sell on your own (known as FSBO, or ?For Sale By Owner?), is much more likely to backfire than it is to save you any money. In 2017, FSBO sales accounted for 7% of homes sold nationwide.?The average FSBO sale price was $200,000, compared to $265,500 for homes listed with an agent.?While it?s not a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, the difference of over 32% is still quite jarring.

So here?s the big takeaway: when you?re thinking about selling your Tampa Bay home, there?s a number of criteria you should look for. ?Lowest commission,? frankly, shouldn?t be that high on your list. You should choose your agent based on their competence and experience. Their honesty and reliability. Their track record. By how well their personality and schedule fit with your own.

A great Tampa Bay real estate agent is worth every penny. Lucky for you,?we happen to know some of the best. We have dozens of happy client reviews, years of experience in your neighborhood, and a veteran team of dedicated admin and marketing staff. If you?re thinking about selling or buying a home in Tampa Bay, or if you just want to discuss the current Tampa Bay real estate market,?get in touch to start a no-pressure conversation. We?re always happy to hear from you.

THE DANGERS OF OVERPRICING YOUR TAMPA BAY HOME

Whether you?re in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, or elsewhere, the dangers of overpricing your home are the same: It just won?t sell. Simple enough, no? Well, if you?re still curious, then read on to explore the reasons that pricing your home too high for the Tampa Bay market is perhaps the worst thing you can do when trying to sell.


Say you love the old tile smattered over your split-level floor plan. You feel the pool you installed for six figures was an excellent investment. Your afternoon naps simply wouldn?t be the same without those blaring trains. You love everything about your home, so it must be worth a little extra, right? Not necessarily.

An all-too common mistake by those selling a home in Tampa Bay (and literally everywhere else) is that they overvalue their property. Maybe they want to recoup their investment on costly improvements. Maybe their personal taste doesn?t match with market trends. Maybe they did some misguided research, or maybe they?re just going with their gut. Whatever the reason for an unrealistic sense of their home?s value, they can all be deadly to a listing?s chances.

Inevitably, a portion of Sellers?will heed poor advice from agents who will say anything to sign a listing. Others may scorn the advice of a good agent. But what really happens when a home is overpriced?

MORE IS LESS

Ironically, if your listing is overpriced, it?s more likely to sell for?less?than if you had priced correctly at the outset. Buyers are often reluctant to offer a ?lowball? price to an overpriced listing, for fear of wasting their own time or possibly offending the sellers. Sure, some bold buyers might decide (or be convinced by their agent) to bid low, but many more of them won?t even bother.

When a listing is priced too high, buyers will move on to spend their time and energy on the reasonably priced listings in the area. They don?t want to waste their effort. That leads to decreased competition for the overpriced listing, and in the end a lower sales price. Good agents can spot an overpriced listing from a mile away. When they spot one, they will know that their clients needn?t worry about getting stuck in a bidding war. A seller who has overpriced should expect to see lower bids and fewer of them.

LOSING STEAM

Your first days and weeks on the market are the most crucial. When your listing goes live on the MLS, it triggers a cascade of events meant to help drum up interest in your property. Notifications are sent to buyers and agents through automated MLS alerts and search websites like Zillow,?when a home that meets their criteria hits the market. If your listing is overpriced, those alerts won?t get a second look. In fact, if your pricing is way off, those alerts won?t even go to the ?right? subset of buyers at all. Either way, you?ve wasted an opportunity.

As soon as your listing goes live, open houses and broker tours will populate on search sites, and your agent?s marketing plan should be in full swing. Snail mail, email, social media, agent networking?everything is full-speed ahead to supercharge your entry into the market. But, if you?ve priced too high, then you?ve stymied that effort from the get-go. Overpricing is?an exercise in self-sabotage.

GOING STALE

Once the initial marketing period is over, an overpriced listing will continue to linger on the market. And linger. And linger. And linger? you get the point. ?Going stale,? in industry lingo, means being confronted with two options. First, you can simply wait. Perhaps you have the time to wait for conditions to improve. You?re not in a rush, and at the very least inflation will catch up to your unrealistic expectations eventually, right? Some sellers choose to pull their home off the market, but many don?t have that kind of time to spare, or they don?t want to live in listing limbo.

Your second option is a price drop. Sometimes, a price drop is a perfectly reasonable course of action; if it?s spurred because of a shift in market conditions, then you?re at least somewhat insulated by the fact that everyone else is floating in the same ebbing tide. However, if you must drop your price due to your own initial mistake, then you?ll turn into easy prey. Much like the lion that hunts the sickly gazelle, buyers will identify your listing as fundamentally weak. Offers will come in low, and buyers who see multiple price drops will just wait around for the next one.

HITTING THE SWEET SPOT

The dangers of overpricing highlight the importance of finding an agent who you trust. You deserve a real and honest discussion. At?the Antonakos Luxury Group, we apply our experience in all areas of Tampa Bay and beyond to fit your needs, and we offer guidance based on the realities of the market?good or bad, up or down. We are your trusted advisor in selling or buying a home in Tampa Bay. If you?re considering making a change, reach out to start the no pressure conversation and we?ll discuss all your options.