5 things your Agent probably DIDN’T tell you (Seller’s Edition)

emily berdon listing agent

Are you wondering what your Real Estate agent ISN’T telling you? Have you bought or sold a home in the past and been frustrated when things came up that you wish you had known about ahead of time? I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen again! 

My name is Emily Berdon and I’m a Real Estate Agent in the Conejo Valley. I try to make sure my clients know exactly what to expect during the process of selling their home, so there are no “surprises” along the way. 

In this blog, I cover 5 things that many agents won’t bring up in their listing presentation, but knowing them ahead of time, will set you up for success when you go to sell your home.

Now, if you are looking to BUY a home, check out my Buyers Edition of this same blog. Right HERE.

Alright, let’s get to it!

#1 In California, as the seller, you pay all the commissions.

Now there have been some lawsuits this past year, which may end up changing this in the future, but as of now, the seller pays the listing agent and the buyer agent commissions. AND the commission is negotiable. Currently, the industry “standard” commission in our market is 5% (2.5% to each agent). Out of that, each agent pays: a percentage to their brokerage and/or team, pays the marketing expenses, pays taxes, and pays MLS board fees. Your agent’s takeaway is actually much less.

If you negotiate a reduced commission, just keep in mind that part of marketing your home, includes marketing (to the buyers agent) what their commission will be. And if you reduce the buyers agents commission, they may be less enticed to sell their buyer on your home.

If you are paying the full commission, be sure to ask your agent what you are getting in terms of marketing and service offerings. This brings me to the 2nd thing your Agent probably didn’t tell you…

#2 Not all Realtors do the same thing!

A lot of sellers assume that all Realtors offer the same services and marketing, but they don’t! Be sure to interview and ask if they pay for:

Professional photos – this is a must.

Professional video & drone – another must.

Targeted digital marketing – this is huge in today’s market, and many agents don’t do this, or don’t know how to do it correctly. 

Staging – staging makes a huge difference, find out if your agent will pay for full or partial staging.

Is there anything else they offer that makes them standout among their competition? Ask them!

#3 The buyer is going to ask you for repairs or credits

The 3rd thing your agent probably didn’t tell you (and This is one that catches many sellers off-guard) The buyer is going to ask you for repairs or credits.

It doesn’t matter how old or new your home is or how recently it was remodeled, the inspection reports are going to be lengthy. Be prepared for your buyer to ask you for thousands of dollars in credits or repairs.

You can get ahead of this by spending maybe $1000 to do all the inspections yourself, complete necessary repairs, and disclose the rest to your buyer, letting them know upfront, that no further repairs or credits will be given.

Most sellers don’t want to do this, but they should. It saves you money and headache. 

#4 How much you are going to “net” from the sale of your home

Many agent’s do their listing appointment and don’t bring a “Sellers Net Sheet” possibly because they don’t want you to see how much money they will make.

But you can’t make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life without seeing the numbers!  So ask your agent for a net sheet. It will break down all your closing costs after your mortgage is paid off, and show you what you will “net” from the sale.

#5 Proper Pricing is imperative to fetch top-dollar

Oftentimes a seller will have a number in mind that they want for their home, and the agent will agree to list at that dollar amount in order to get the listing, but this is a mistake. I talk more about this in my blog on How to Sell your Home for Top Dollar.

For the best outcome, your agent should price your home in-line with the comps. What are the comps for your home? Not necessarily your neighbors home! Both your prospective buyers, and the appraiser (when it comes time for an appraisal) are going to look at homes with similar square footage, same beds and baths, and ideally in the same tract or subdivision, to come up with a value. If you are selling a 3000 sqft home, and your next door neighbors home is only 1800 sqft and sold for $700/sq ft, this is NOT a comp for you. You need to comp your home against homes that are within 10% of the size of your home. So based on my example, you would look for recently sold homes that are around 2700-3300sqft.

Keep in mind that price per square foot can be deceiving:  larger homes sell for a lower price per square foot and smaller homes sell for a higher price per square foot.


If you’re considering selling your home in or around the Conejo Valley, reach out so I can send you a copy of my 14 step marketing plan, which will get more eyes on your listing, resulting in the highest price and best terms for you. Also be sure to check out my other blogs on preparing your home to sell. I’ve linked them HERE and HERE

One last thing. When interviewing agents, keep in mind:

The way an agent markets themself is a reflection of how they’ll market your home.

Reach out anytime. I look forward to hearing from you!


CALBRE #02166248

Aviara Real Estate

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