Most listing agreements state the seller will pay the listing agent’s broker an agreed percentage before home is listed.

Don’t you love water cooler talk?  Do water coolers even exist anymore now that bottled water has taken over the world?  The other day I was visiting with other compadre Realtors and one agent in particular was posing the question, “Do buyers realize that their Realtor doesn’t cost them anything?”

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After our previous discussion on Realtor commissions, we thought we’d take the opportunity to let real estate professionals of all stripes flex their knowledge with two questions that we asked over two weeks that should be good advice for every buyer and seller out there.

So for our Aug. 10 and 17  Friday Questions, we asked real estate professionals to tell us what they wished everyone knew about the buying and selling process.

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Oak Lawn 2

What kinds of features sell homes? According to the National Association of Realtors 2013 Home Features Survey, upgrades, as well as extra space, will turn a listing into a sale.

“Deciding where to live comes with a lot of options, but buyers quickly realize that some features are more important than others when it comes to choosing the right house for them,” said NAR President Gary Thomas. “Buyers need to have a clear idea of what features are important to them and know where they are willing to compromise; in this respect, Realtors® can bring buyers home. Realtors® visit hundreds of homes with buyers each year, and have a unique understanding of what buyers value in their local markets.”

So what kind of features are more important than others? Well, 57 percent of homebuyers wanted a house with a fireplace, 78 percent put a premium on a garage, and 41 percent bought homes with basements.

As for us Southerners:

Southerners tend to buy newer homes; they were more likely to want a home less than five years old and in a wooded lot with trees when compared to other regions. Not surprisingly, buyers in the South also placed a higher importance on central air conditioning.

Can you imagine living in a home without central air? Me neither. Read more about the study below!

Home Feature Preferences Edited

What do you think? I spoke with one Realtor Monday who said, yes, buyers are already worried about buying on the Katy Trail, where there have been a rash of robberies and gunmen threats to “pop you”. Not just buyers, but sellers are worried about how this will affect property values. Talking to a real estate veteran today, he tells me there are some areas in Dallas where the mercury has burst and we have less than a one month supply of inventory. Condos and townhomes not quite as hot, and this robbery stuff is not helping.  Maybe give the guys an extra ten for hurting property values?

She’s looking for a property value of $2-3 M that must be showable without the lights on … great natural light is very important to these buyers, and isn’t that a smart thing to do? You know the standard rule of fare for showing a home is to get in there and light up the place BEFORE the potential buyers get there. Well, why not just tell them not to do that (and save energy)?

They desire an open floor plan which provides an open view of pool from kitchen, and that kitchen must be open to living areas for outdoor entertaining. I.E.: we keep an eye on our kids at all times.

Hello, DISD, I love this next wish because it says so much:

“Elementary schools are important… if private schools are needed, the budget for home will be adjusted for cost of private school.”

Boy, these buyers don’t want much, just God: “Comps must support price of property, and indication that values will hold for 5-7 years.”

Oh yes, they would like it to be move-in ready for June/July.

Here’s what I sugggest: Nancy Martinez’ 1.118 acres on Williamsburg and Valley Ridge. Corner lot, western peripherals of Preston Hollow. $969,000 is a freaking bargain for this acreage. Talk about light and bright…