Quote of the day – I heard this while listening to a seminar entitled Real Estate 2.0 –
The more educated the consumer, the more likely to use a Realtor.
I thought this was interesting because usually one would conclude the opposite – the less sophisticated or informed, the more apt to use a real estate professional.
A majority of buyers that I am working with these days are searching for and many times finding their property on their own. I can find out further details on a property and may see it hit the market a bit sooner, however, information on residential housing is now easier to acquire than ever. In the past, it seemed as though Realtors were the gatekeepers of information. Now someone with a computer and an internet connection and a little time on their hands can do much of the leg work on their own. I even find many clients really enjoy hunting for a home or next property. Many have commented, “I love looking for and at home… I should get my license.” And many no doubt do – the market is saturated with Realtors (I think I figured out that one out of every ten people in CA have a real estate license).
You may be asking in the back of your mind, “Why then do I need a Realtor to buy a home?” Or I’ve heard many comments like, “Your job is easy,” and “Soon no one will use agents any more to buy their home.”
Finding a home is the fun part and just a small portion of the job. Realtors are no longer the “gatekeepers” of information. For a buyer, I believe that you need an agent primarily for:
1) Consulting – To have someone as a sounding board, someone to give objective feedback, and someone who can assist you in making an educated decision is invaluable. This is the same reason why a struggling couple will usually not be able to fix their relational problems – they need an outside, unbiased counselor to speak truth and help develop skills for a successful partnership. Oh by the way, run away from the “desperate agent” – the one that will attempt to sell you anything and everything. Find someone who listens well and acts upon what you have told them.
2) Negotiations – Find an agent that is a skilled negotiator, one that will act diligently on your behalf to find and get you the best possible deal.
3) Contractual Guidance – Getting the best deal and navigating through the transaction with grace and the least amount of hassle are two separate things. Most people are not aware of the deep legal issue that can ensure over lack of contract knowledge.
4) Orchestration – A good agent has built a network of associates that will facilitate putting the pieces of the transaction together. This factor is indispensable and has helped save many deals that would have gone sour.
One recent transaction almost fell apart because the buyer (whom I represented) wanted the pest report cleared, and the company that performed the report wanted upwards of $10K to remedy the problem. Neither side wanted to pay this money to have the work done. We were at a standstill. I had our contractor, that we use for all of our property management jobs, come in and do the work and clear the pest report for almost half price. I negotiated with the buyer and seller’s agent to split the repair work.
I have saved many deals through sound consultation, timely negotiation, and a strong network of professionals that will assist in making each transaction as fluid as possible. Contact me to discuss your situation in more detail.