Q: My agent told me that to sell my property faster I should offer to pay the closing costs for the buyer.

It seems that my agent is aiding the buyer over doing his job and helping me sell. I feel like he should be getting the best sell price for me. Is it common for the buyer to pay closing costs?

A: When you’re in a very slow market, with plenty of competing homes for sale, you have to differentiate yourself from the other houses on the market. One way to do that is to offer a cash bonus to the agent who brings the buyer. Another way is to offer to pay some or all of the closing costs for the buyer.

There are other ways to market your property and make it seem better and different than your competitors. It sounds like your agent has assessed the local real estate marketplace and found that your property isn’t as competitive as it should be. Paying the closing costs is one way to boost your profile. But I suggest you might also want to offer a cash bonus to the buyer’s agent. That, at least, will ensure that every eligible buyer sees your property.

Now, let’s talk about your agent’s job. You hired your agent because you supposedly felt that he or she knew more about the real estate market than you did and would put in the time and effort necessary to get it sold.

But you have to help out your agent by pricing your house competitively. Your agent is supposed to get you the “best price” but that’s the best price in a particular neighborhood at a given point in time.

Right now, we’re in the worst seller’s market in more than a decade. In fact, some industry observers believe we’re in the worst housing market since the 1940s. If you want to sell, you’ll have to drop your price or offer up some bonus to the buyer. That’s where the closing costs come in.