New Venture Escrow Advises Real Estate Agents on Communicating Costs to Their Clients

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San Diego escrow provider shares common hidden costs when selling a home.

Tips for Real Estate Agents

Tips for Real Estate Agents

It’s very important that real estate agents make sure sellers understand the many ‘hard costs’ and ‘intangible costs’ related to the sale of their property.

In 2014, rising home prices are encouraging millions of Americans to put their houses on the market. Many first-time sellers (and even veterans of the process) need guidance and education on the costs involved in the selling process.

That’s where expert real estate agents come in, says Casey LeBlanc, president of New Venture Escrow. “It’s very important that real estate agents make sure sellers understand the many ‘hard costs’ and ‘intangible costs’ related to the sale of their property.”

Hard Costs

First and foremost is the cost of any renovation in the house. Real estate agents know better than most of the level of expectations buyers have these days. They expect the house for sale to be, in most cases, “move-in-ready.” What this means for the seller is the need to renovate older areas of the house (especially the kitchen and bathrooms). In general, a fresh paint job for both the interior and exterior is necessary as this helps present the property in the best light.

Next up: Staging. Every real estate agent has his or her opinion on the benefits of home restaging, but it should always be considered (and the costs outlined to the seller).

“Staging helps would-be buyers to envision themselves living in the house,” LeBlanc notes. “It also helps generate the best marketing materials (photography, fliers, etc.). A professional stager can do wonders with a house that otherwise presents poorly, so it may well be worth the money needed to hire one. It may even help boost the asking price.”

Inspections represent another significant expense. Some real estate agents advise sellers to pay for an assessment of the house before putting it on the market, especially if the property hasn’t been inspected for a long time. This helps avoid any unpleasant surprises later on.

Clients should be fully apprised of the commissions they’re expected to pay to both their own agent and the buyer’s agent. There are also these frequently incurred expenses:

  • Extra homeowner’s insurance in the event the house is vacant during the sales process
  • Additional utilities (heat and lighting) if the sellers move out
  • Title search fees and notary fees
  • Closing costs, including escrow company fees, property recording, and transfer tax (where applicable), etc.

Intangible Costs

“Here is where real estate agents can perform an invaluable additional service to their clients,” LeBlanc says. “Give them an approximate idea of the intangibles relating to the selling process—the time required to show the property, expenses they may incur while they’re out of the house, the time and effort involved in communicating with you and others involved in the sales process. Most sellers underestimate the time, money, and energy the sales process entails.”

He adds: “The process of selling a house is complicated enough, without throwing in a lot of unpleasant surprises. When you provide your clients with an accurate picture of the time and expense involved, you’re demonstrating the best kind of service available. Their favorable experience translates into loyal, repeat customers—and what’s better for your business than that?”

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Casey LeBlanc
since: 02/2012
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New Venture Escrow

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