Some Common REALTOR® Myths

Dated: December 18 2014

Views: 712

Upon entering this industry, I was shocked to learn that, at one point in recent history, real estate agents were among the most despised professionals, along with lawyers and politicians. Given that I became a Realtor to help people, I couldn’t understand this disconnect. Throughout the years I’ve ran into all kinds of agents; the good, the bad, and the in between. Having a better understanding of what consumers go through, I’ve laid out some common myths and complaints regarding our profession, and give my take on what a good agent would do. At the end of the day, buying or selling a home is a stressful event, and you want a Realtor that you can not only trust, but enjoy working with. MYTH: Realtors are only in it for the money. This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions around. As with all industries, there are many reasons why one decides to become a real estate agent. Flexibility, building one’s own business, room for growth, involvement in community; these are all big factors when considering this career. But make no mistake, there are risks involved. Agents earn a commission only once a property is sold, and building clientele is crucial. Most new agents spend 2-3 years creating the framework for their business, and usually the one’s that provide the best service to their clients, and community, are the ones that end up successful. MYTH: Realtors will always want you to pay more, thus raising their commission. This is another biggie. And also, largely false. For the most part, your agent wants to help you find the property that meets your needs, and gives you as many “wants” as you can get, within your budget. Considering that the commission difference between a $300k property and a $310k property is about $150, and you’ll start to see why agents don’t focus solely on price. When it comes down to it, the best agent will show you properties that match your criteria and budget, and will help counsel should you need guidance on which property is right, regardless of purchase price. MYTH: Realtors will cut their commission just to get your listing. OR, the less you pay to list, the more you make. When it comes to selling your home, you get what you pay for. Discount brokers might advertise that they will save you money, but top producing agents that excel in this business don’t have to discount their services. Why? Because their service stands for itself, and they don’t have to. Anything less than a full service agent will provide you with lower quality results, given they don’t have all the bells and whistles full time agents do. Saving 1-2% on your realtor fees probably won’t save you much if your property lacks full market exposure, thus resulting in less offers. When selling your home, it’s worth paying the full realtor fee to ensure you get the highest price possible, and have someone in your corner when it comes time to negotiate. MYTH: Agents will say anything to make a sale. This goes back to #1, however take a minute to consider the “shady agent”. Given that top producing agents rely on a solid reputation, it would behoove realtors to practice honestly and truthfully. As we all know, bad news travels faster than good. Realtors rely on good word of mouth and client referrals to continue to grow their business. Making misrepresentations or false statements is against the law, and realtors that break fiduciary relationships or fail to disclose material facts can lose their license. The Realtors that care about their business and livelihood will always tell you the honest truth. MYTH: Real estate agents must work for you on demand. Unless you have a signed contract with an agent, or you have a working relationship, don’t expect to be able to call an agent at a whim to see a property. Most realtors require lender pre-qualification letters before they will show you properties, because this is the best indicator of a serious buyer. When a fiduciary relationship is established, agents will work diligently to arrange showings at your convenience and within the mercy of your schedule. However, keep in mind that like everyone else, most realtors have other priorities, and work hard to keep a balance between business and their personal lives. MYTH: Real estate agents should tell you about the crime rates, schools, and the ethnic make-up of a neighborhood. Federal Fair Housing laws prohibit agents from discriminated against a number of protected classes, which automatically prevents realtors from disclosing anything relating to those protected classes. Most consumers are shocked to find out that an agent is not responsible for informing you of crime rates, school ratings, or the demographic makeup of a certain area. However, if that is important to you, your realtor can provide you with resources to seek out that information. MYTH: Realtors aren’t necessary resources; you can do their jobs by yourself. While buying and selling real estate isn’t limited to professionals, it is worth having a relationship with a trusted agent. Having someone in your corner who is experienced in the intricacies of a transaction is vital, given that purchasing or selling is a complicated process. And just like a banker or insurance agent, Realtors can help you keep track of your largest asset; your home. Since agents rely on good community standing, they can usually be called upon as advocates for homeowner rights. When treated as a partner, you will find your agent can provide you with invaluable service for years.

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