So, you’re looking for a real estate agent and you find one with a “Seller Guarantee”—If your home doesn’t sell in 6 months, I’ll buy it! Sounds a little too good to be true, right? When provided by legitimate agents, these aren’t scams, but rather a genuine option if you need to sell your home quickly.
With enough time on the market, a good seller’s agent, proper staging and a marketing plan, most homes will sell in a seller’s market. That “time on the market” requirement can be a hang-up for some sellers though. If you are moving on a strict timeline due to a new job, divorce, inheritance sale, or any other reason, a guaranteed timeline can be a win-win. On the other hand, the purchase will likely be lower than market price so if you can afford the time, selling to your agent could be a terrible deal.
Common types of Guarantees
- “Percentage of Value Guarantee”— The agent promises you a portion of the market value if the home doesn’t sell. Keep in mind that the promised percentage will be based on fair market value, fewer fees, and commissions, so it will come out to be a lower take-home percentage.
- “Timeline Guarantee”—The Agent promises to buy your property if it doesn’t sell in a certain length of time. Usually, timeline requirements go together with price requirements, meaning that you likely must agree to a specific markdown plan, so your agent has the price they want by the end of the timeline. Given this markdown schedule, you likely will receive less than fair market value for your property, but you can be sure that it will sell within the specified timeline.
- “I’ll Buy It Guarantee”—Usually, this type of offer comes from agents who work with a group of investors. Investors either want to re-sell your property or rent it out for profit, so you can expect to lose a percentage of the equity.
The Real Win-Win
You will always get the best results from choosing a real estate professional that knows your market and can help you sell your home at true market value or higher through good advertising, proper staging and curb appeal. However, if the timing is more important one of these seller guarantee options could be the better choice for you.
Thinking of Selling? Talk to your agent about all your options including any seller guarantees available to you.