Are Realtor fees included in closing costs?

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, there are closing costs that need to be considered. One question we commonly hear is, “Are Realtor fees included in closing costs?”

The simple answer is yes, Realtor fees are included in closing costs. When a home is sold, real estate agents earn a sales commission which can vary from Realtor to Realtor, company to company and state to state. Usually, the percentage is around 6 percent. In most cases, the fee is paid by the home seller.

In addition to the Realtor’s commission, there are several other fees that make up your final closing costs. Below are some of the more common closing fees found in a typical real estate transaction. Please note that these fees also vary from transaction to transaction and are just a general guideline.

Fees paid by the home buyer

  • Loan origination fee
  • Credit report fee
  • Underwriter fee
  • Appraisal fee
  • Home inspection fee
  • Title search fee
  • Survey fee
  • Taxes
Fees paid by the home seller
  • Closing fee
  • Attorney fee
  • Title transfer fee
  • Taxes

Again, it’s important to reiterate that closing costs will vary, and that all closings are different. But that’s where your Realtor comes in. An experienced Realtor will talk you through every stage of the real estate transaction, including the closing, and answer all of your questions along the way.

If you want to learn more about closing costs and answers to common questions such as “Are Realtor fees included in closing costs?”, we found a great article from zillow.com that offers a lot of detail: “How closing works and how much you’ll pay.” Our own blog also contains a lot of great information on this topic: check out previous Olear Team articles about closing costs here.

 

Olear Team at MJ Peterson to Participate in Fall Open House at Brookdale Orchard Glen

Sally Ball Conover, a licensed real estate broker with the Olear Team at MJ Peterson, will participate in an open house at Brookdale Orchard Glen on Saturday, September 23 from 1-3 pm. Brookdale Orchard Glen is located at 6055 Armor Duells Road in Orchard Park.

The open house will provide visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the facility, as well as gain valuable information about topics and resources available to older adults and their caregivers. As a Seniors Real Estate Specialist, Sally Ball Conover will be present to talk with attendees and provide insight and advice on the real estate needs of older adults.

Light refreshments will be served and attendees have the chance to win $50.00 gift card to Wegmans (two gift cards will be given out).

The Olear Realty Group, Inc. is organized as a sub chapter S corporation and supports the Olear Team/MJ Peterson Corporation in the sale of residential real estate throughout Erie and Niagara County. Visit olear.com to learn more about the Olear Team’s work assisting older adults and their families.

Brookdale Orchard Glen is an Orchard Park, New York senior living community that provides an independent living lifestyle for seniors. Visit brookdale.com to learn more.

How to find the right Realtor to sell your home

If you’re thinking about moving, it’s important for you to know how to find the right Realtor to sell your home. Finding the right Realtor to work with can make or break a deal. For starters, you want someone with knowledge and experience, great communication skills and no shortage of integrity!

But how do you find the right Realtor to sell your home? Here are some tips to get your journey into the real estate world off to a good start!

How to find the right Realtor to sell your home

  • When interviewing Realtors, be sure to talk with previous clients. Ask questions such as:
    – How long was your home on the market?
    – Did you get your asking price?
    – Were there multiple offers submitted?
    – How was your home marketed?
  • Is your real estate agent licensed and credentialed? If so, have there been any complaints filed against him or her?
  • Is this their full-time occupation, or just something they do on the side to earn a little extra cash?
  • How long has your Realtor been practicing? Are they a novice or a seasoned professional?
  • Does your Realtor have a solid reputation for high sales? Have they earned industry awards for their sales efforts?

Another step to find the right Realtor to sell your home is to test their knowledge. Look at their current listings and ask, for example, how they determine asking price. Also ask them to compare your home to similar houses in nearby neighborhoods to see if they really have a feel for your community.

As a home seller, don’t select a Realtor simply because they want to list your home for the highest price or are willing to work for the lowest commission. Both of these items should be considered red flags.

Regarding price, your home should be priced similarly to homes that have sold in your neighborhood. Remember, you want to attract multiple bidders, not scare them away. 

Proper pricing is an art, and your goal with your Realtor should be to receive a serious offer or offers within 30 days of listing. Price the house too high and you could find yourself waiting a long time for an offer. Price it too low and you could be throwing away a lot of money.

As for commission, a low commission could also mean that your Realtor plans on doing the least amount of marketing on your behalf. Is your Realtor offering staging advice? Taking professional photos of your property for various online listings, including the multiple listing service? Creating colorful flyers or brochures? Hosting open house events? Having conversations with other Realtors? Negotiating on your behalf? 

Remember the old saying: You get what you pay for!

If you narrow your search down to two Realtors with very similar success records, experience and integrity, then consider looking more closely at their commission rate.

So if you want to find the right Realtor to sell your home, don’t be afraid to do your homework. Your extra effort will likely be rewarded down the road.

Town of Amherst NY requiring sewer-related inspection prior to property sale

If you reside in the Town of Amherst and are thinking of selling or downsizing your home, there’s a new code on the books that you need to know about.

On June 19, the Amherst Town Board passed an amendment to its local sewer use law. This amendment requires a time-of-sale inspection of all residential properties constructed prior to 1975 and located in the town’s sanitary sewer district. Compliance with the new amendment will be determined by inspections conducted by employees of the Amherst Engineering Department.

To be in compliance, a property must have its sanitary sewer flow separated from storm-water and groundwater flows. What does this mean? In a nutshell, inspect your downspouts and basement sump pump to ensure that they are not illegally connected to the town’s sewer lines. If they are, they will need to be disconnected and redirected.

Why is this happening? Well, the Town of Amherst believes that the commingling of these flows is causing significant issues in the town’s sanitary sewer system, leading to sewage backing up in some basements. And that’s a headache that no homeowner wants to deal with. Ever!

An application fee of $25 will be due at the time an application is submitted when the property is placed for sale. Homeowners, their agents or attorneys would then need to call the Town of Amherst Engineering Department at 716-631-7157 (Monday through Friday8 am – 3 pm) to schedule an inspection with 48 hours advance notice. The homeowner or a responsible adult must be present at the time of inspection.

The Town will issue a compliance certificate if the inspection is satisfactory. The certificate is good for only 180 days from when it is issued.

Defining power of attorney when your goal is to sell your house

Defining power of attorney when your goal is to sell your house

What is power of attorney, and how does it impact you if you’re planning to sell your house? Let’s break it down into some simple bullet points.

  • Power of attorney gives someone the power to act on your behalf. It also allows you to choose who will serve on your behalf and what, if any, limits will be placed on their future actions.
  • Power of attorney may be limited to one activity (limited), such as selling a home, or be much greater (general).
  • General power of attorney grants an agent authority to oversee a wide variety of decisions such as selling a house or car and accessing financial accounts. 
  • Power of attorney can take effect right away, or you may choose to have it take effect when you are unable to act for yourself.
  • Power of attorney can be revoked.
  • Laws governing power of attorney vary from state to state.
  • If you do not have a power of attorney and are unable to manage your affairs, a court may appoint one for you.
  • More than one person can be granted power of attorney.
  • No special qualifications are required to serve as power of attorney, although it cannot be granted to a minor.
  • In most states, power of attorney remains valid until death or revocation. However, some agreements are written to contain a termination date.
  • An individual with power of attorney has a fiduciary responsibility to act in the very best interest of the person who granted power.

No matter the circumstances, anyone granted power of attorney would benefit from consulting with an attorney, especially if you have any specific questions or concerns related to your duties. When real estate is involved, you may also find it beneficial to contact an experienced Realtor for professional guidance and assistance.