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How savvy are you about real estate? Take our quiz.

A US flag decorates a for-sale sign at a home in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington in this August file photo. A great real estate agent can make all the difference in buying or selling a home. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters/File)

You hire a real estate agent to help you buy or sell your home, your largest financial asset, but how do you know if he’s doing his job well? Even more worrisome, how do you know his financial incentives are aligned with your interests? As we show in our new book Inside the Sell, the best way to navigate the potential minefield of residential real estate is to find a great agent, but consumers are often asking the wrong questions. Take our quiz to test your real estate savvy:

- Hans and Steve WydlerContributors

1. Your listing agent is a “neighborhood specialist” with dominant market share in your neighborhood. That’s:

While neighborhood specialists can be great agents, when listing a home, they sometimes have incentives that are at odds with their clients’ interests. The problem arises because a neighborhood specialist is more likely to have buyers for that particular neighborhood and, if they are able to marry their buyer and seller in the same transaction, they in effect double their commission. This potential conflict can provide a disincentive for the listing agent to market the home broadly.

While neighborhood specialists can be great agents, when listing a home, they sometimes have incentives that are at odds with their clients’ interests. The problem arises because a neighborhood specialist is more likely to have buyers for that particular neighborhood and, if they are able to marry their buyer and seller in the same transaction, they in effect double their commission. This potential conflict can provide a disincentive for the listing agent to market the home broadly.

Great

 

Questionable

 
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