When it comes to real estate, whether you're buying or selling, there's a lot of work you're going to have to do before you even get started. Buying or selling real estate is no easy task. If you're not up for the amount of work you're going to have to put in to get your house ready or all the things you have to get done before you even go to your first home showing then it's best to just put your real estate dreams on hold for now.
However, if you are ready then it's time to get started. The first thing you need to do is hire a real estate agent. You can buy or sell real estate without the help and guidance of an experienced agent but you would be putting yourself at a disadvantage. Much like you would be in your decided on doing renovations without checking out the contractor first. Real estate agents bring a lot to the table and they will do everything in their power to help you sell as quickly as possible if you're a home owner looking to sell or provide you with everything you need to help you buy real estate if you're a prospective home buyer.
Some people don't want to hire a real estate agent because they feel it's a waste of money. If you look at a real estate agent's commission as not being something worth paying for then you're not looking at it the right way. A real estate commission might end up being the most important purchase you make throughout your real estate process.
What you pay your agent in terms of commission is a deal made between the two of you. Most agents charge a different commission fee amount. Usually you aren't paying more than 10% of what the final sale price on the home you're buying or selling ends up being. So, if you buy a home that costs $70,000 you're looking at a commission of $7,000. Again, 10% isn't the going rate. In fact, a lot of real estate agents charge between two to seven percent, which is a steal of a bargain for the amount of work they put in.
Real estate agents have to research the current market trends, see what homes have been selling for in the past, put on home showings or take you to home showings, help you come up with a listing price for your home, etc. Not too mention the wide range of contacts they have such as real estate lawyers, home furnace technicians, home stagers, and other real estate agents. Once you sign a contract with an agent you are obligated to pay the commission fee the two of you agreed upon. You'll find that once everything is over and done with that the commission your agent charged you was totally worth it.