30 Secrets Your Real Estate Agent Isn’t Telling You

That big commission check doesn't go straight into my pocket

 money in hand Malochka Mikalai/Shutterstock

While it's no secret that real estate agents make a decent profit when a house sells, their commission checks aren't full profit. Commissions are split between the buying and selling agent, as well with the brokerage. Agents also pay their own expenses, such as advertising, signage, lockboxes, membership, and MLS fees. If you're buying a house, these are the 13 things you can expect to pay for before closing.

It might make more sense for you to rent

FOR RENT sign with house behind it, copy space on signdora modly-paris/Shutterstock

Even if you qualify to buy a home, it might not be the best financial move for you. On paper, you might have the buying power for a home, but your monthly budget might not be able to handle a mortgage payment, property taxes, and the typical fees that come with owning a home. Renting might also be better if you aren't ready to plant your roots. "When you're young, buying a house can tie you down to a location before you're ready," writes Zina Kumok on Money Under 30.

Your neighbors make you look good

Suburban residential street with red brick housesElena Elisseeva/Shutterstock

When potential buyers view your house, they aren't just looking at your house. Your neighbors' homes make a huge impact too. While you can't groom the whole neighborhood, you can offer to clean up the yards around your home. Another good idea is to schedule home viewings when your neighbors are at work if they have a lot of cars or noisy children.