FAQ's About Buying or Selling a Home with Nebraska Realty
Nebraska Realty’s growth is primarily due to the unique way we encourage and empower our agents, and the common sense approach we take in servicing our clients. All of our associates are treated as if they own their own business, because they do! Real estate licensees are not generally “employees”, they are independent contractors. While most companies treat their agents as employees, we provide all of the training, support, marketing tools, technology, facilities, and contracts they need, but we allow them the freedom to run their businesses they way they choose. This has been an attractive alternative for many real estate professionals, and has been one of the primary reasons we have grown so much in such a short period of time. We have always been ahead of our time with our ideas, and how we treat our REALTORS® and customers. In a rapidly changing real estate industry, Nebraska Realty has stayed ahead of the curve.
Nebraska Realty has taken a unique, yet common sense approach as a real estate brokerage company since day one. We are a forward thinking company that is always looking to improve the products and services we offer our REALTORS® and our clients. We realize that real estate companies don’t sell homes, agents do. The name on the front of the sign, how many decades someone has been in business, or the number of agents a company has is not going to sell your home faster, net you more money for your home, or get you a better deal on the home you are purchasing. It is about selecting a good agent to take you through the process. That is not to say the company is not important. At Nebraska Realty Realty we provide our REALTORS® with the training, support services, marketing, technology, contracts, facilities, and guidance they need to service their clients in the best possible manner. And unlike many other companies, we do all of this by giving our agents the flexibility to run their business the way they want, and without charging them extra fees.
Not true. REALTORS® from competing companies find and show homes to buyers that they’re working with based on the search criteria given to them by their client. This criteria is entered into the MLS system, which is a database for properties that have been listed by any company that is a member of the Omaha Area Board of REALTORS®. Agents want to find their clients the best home for them. Eliminating listings based on the listing company would be unethical, and not in the best interests of their client. Unfortunately, this is an old fear-based sales technique still used by a few agents to try and get your listing.
There are great agents at every company, but no one can say they have better REALTORS® than Nebraska Realty. The fact is we offer over 250 training sessions per year, mentor programs, on-line training, and support seven days per week to assist our agents. No other company in town offers as much training and support for their REALTORS® as Nebraska Realty.
A “discount broker” is typically defined as a company that offers very limited service for a very small fee, and probably someone that you will not have much interaction with. A “discount broker” should not be confused with a company that allows its REALTORS® to negotiate their own fees for service. We are a full service real estate company, but our REALTORS® have no fixed or set commission unlike some companies that dictate what their agents will charge. If all of the brokers in town got together and said they would all charge the same commission rate that would be against anti-trust laws and considered illegal. Our associates are able to work with their sellers to create a marketing plan and commission rate that work for all parties concerned. Nebraska Realty REALTORS® are only paid when you accomplish your goal of buying or selling your home.
Each REALTORS® fee structure may differ slightly, but generally commission rates range from 5% – 7% of the purchase price. This will vary based on the individual agent’s programs, marketing plan, price of the property, condition and salability of the property, and the needs of the client. Also, keep in mind that usually 40% – 50% of that commission is paid out to a cooperating agent for bringing a buyer, and the commission also includes reimbursement for the out-of-pocket marketing costs incurred by the agent and broker to advertise the property. Your REALTOR® does not get paid until your home closes.
Over-pricing the property, not using a REALTOR®, and not listening to the advice of their REALTOR®. A home is worth what the market is willing to pay, not how much the seller wants or even needs out of the house. The price of the home will depend on market conditions, inventory, condition of the property, location, recent comparable sales, as well as other factors. A REALTOR® will help you price your home properly so you have the best shot of selling it for the most money, and in the shortest amount of time. Your REALTOR® will also have a comprehensive marketing strategy, knowledge of all contracts and addendums you will need, they will negotiate on your behalf, help coordinate inspections, follow-up with the lender and buyer’s agent to avoid surprises and ensure a smooth close, provide experience and advice, coordinate walk-thru and closing, help convey and arrange all other details such as repairs, receipts for repairs, keys, utility transfer, deed set signing, and more. REALTORS® will offer advice on where to price a home, certain repairs and upgrades that should be done prior to placing the home on the market, and advice during the negotiation process of a contract. Sometimes sellers decide not to take the advice of their REALTOR®, and consequently may end up getting less for the property, have an extended market time, or both.
Having an agent and a real estate company, whether large or small, that can meet your needs should be your primary concern. Nebraska Realty is one of the largest and most progressive companies in the metro area. We understand that the agent you select is even more important than the company, and this shows in our philosophy of allowing agents to do what is in the best interest of their clients. One good indicator of how well a company is performing in selling homes is by looking at the average days on market. Nebraska Realty has tracked average days on market since 2004, and each year since then our listings have sold faster on average than any other major real estate company in the Omaha Metro area. Nebraska Realty agents are honest with their clients about the home’s price and condition, even when it is something they may not want to hear. Price, condition, plus the marketing and advice a professional REALTOR® provides will determine how much you ultimately get for your home and how fast it sells.
People that try to work in negotiating room by over-pricing their property typically end up getting less than they would have if the home was priced correctly to start. The best market time for a home is within the first three weeks. If a home is not priced correctly during this time, especially in a buyer’s market, the property is missing out on the best prospective buyers. By the time the price is adjusted, it may have been on the market for several weeks or months. At this point buyers are asking “what is wrong with this property”, or “it seems like a good home for the money so why has it been on the market this long?” Some buyer’s next thought is “They are probably desperate to sell by now so I am going to offer them less.” The bottom line is by over pricing the property you will usually end up chasing the market, and netting less for your home than you would have if it were priced properly at the beginning.
This is not usually the best strategy. You will generally get a seller to negotiate more on the price of their home by making a reasonable offer, as opposed to offering well below the market value of the house. If you offer too low you may offend the sellers and make them less likely to negotiate on price. An offer is not all about price. The terms of an offer have a lot to do with how acceptable it is to the seller. Closing costs, closing date, inspections, financing, and repairs are just some of the items that need to be considered when writing an offer. Your REALTOR® will advise you during the contract processs.
Careful! Some agents may throw out over inflated list prices just to capture the listing. Statistics still show that a home’s optimum days on the market are the first 21-days. If your home price starts too high the buyers that were looking for a home just like yours may miss it because it’s priced out of their search range. By the time it’s reduced down to a fair market value, you may receive lower priced offers based on the extended days on market.
Building a home can be a very involved process. There are many things that go into building a home from selecting the right builder, finding a lot, getting the construction financing that is right for you, including all of the features and amenities you want in the contract, determining allowances and overages, how much money will be given to the builder during construction and when, keeping the process on track for a timely closing, changes during construction, and much more. A trained REALTOR® will help you through this process, and also offer support and guidance during what can, in some cases, be a stressful time. Also, check out OmahaAreaLots.com for complete new home construction information.