The Changing Face of Realty Sales

by : Jerry Clifford

If you are anticipating putting your home on the market in the near future, or planning to buy a house soon, you should know that many aspects of the property market have now changed.

The rules have been changed slightly because of legislation, foreclosures, short sales and a general tightening of easy borrowing. This may increase the amount of down payment that is asked or expected. Your real estate agent may have to work harder to get you qualified for financing, so the pace of sales will slow somewhat.

It is a fairly well accepted fact now that we have made the transition from the fast moving market, to the slower one; the seasonal change just escalated slightly and will probably stay for longer.

The real estate agent will need to cut back on his expenses, so advertising costs will need to reflect value for money. It is normal protocol to arrange a seller's realty contract with your agent and confirm in writing which marketing strategies will be used.

A marketing contract will usually itemize when and what strategies will take place. You will need a copy of this and you will check to ensure that everything happens in the order that it was agreed. If you feel changes need to be made part way through, you will need to have another chat with your agent and get his take on it.

Short sales are out there and gaining popularity. This is good news if you are a buyer, although sometimes the indecisiveness of these sales cause people to shake their heads and rush back to the traditional realty sales market.

A foreclosure sale is often settled more quickly, as with a short sale there are many people around the table, who all have to agree each step before you can all move on to the next one. If you have the time and the tenacity, you may pick up a bargain.

Many agents have had to 'cut their suit according to their cloth' due to the fall in sales. This economizing has been carried out by either giving the office staff other duties to perform, or by actually minimizing the office staff. If you are a seller, you may think that this means there is less efficiency in the office. In actual fact, it most likely means that there is more emphasis in attending to the prospective buyer, so your agent is still working for you.

Often when there is a plethora of prospective buyers, the house will almost appear to sell itself, and an agent with a lower commission will be able to push the sale through with the minimum of fuss,

However, in today's' market, the real estate agent will need to remover any obstacles from the sale of your home, and be available at all times to your buyer. It is not a healthy enough market for a buyer to choose a real estate agent by his commission rate, choose one that has a good selling history.

The last point is one that stands for any type of contract and in any type of financial climate. Read all the small print thoroughly on a contract and make sure you understand it all before signing! If you need clause explained, ask it to be written on the contract in layman's language, so that you are signing it in the way you understand it.