I am not sure that the general public understands the way in by which REALTORS® get their business and are paid. I don’t mean that as an insult to anyone. Before I bought my first house or obtained my real estate license I was definitely in that category. I often get sideways looks when during conversation someone finds out that I am not a salaried employee of my broker, and that I indeed do not get a paycheck until I successfully help someone buy or sell real estate. Additionally, there is a lack of understanding when it comes to who pays who upon the closing of a property, or there are a lot of people out there who simply don’t care. During the Christmas break I ran into one such confused couple.
While entering a Mexican restaurant/Sports bar/Karaoke club (got to love small town conglomerates) I received a call about one of my listings in Pagosa Lakes. The lady on the phone and I begin the home buying question answer routine….”Who’s the builder?” “What are the taxes?” “Is the plumbing copper or poly?” “How big is the lot?” ” Is it 2 baths or 2.5?”- I reached into my mind to remember the details of the property and also gave her advice on 2 other homes in that subdivision and a place in one other area. During the conversation she dropped a few hints that she had been in a house or two, so I asked her if she was working with another REALTOR®. She said that she had been shown a home by an agent but that she was not committed. During that showing she had picked up a flyer and called another REALTOR®, and also picked up my flyer and called my office and spoke with Jon my associate. Now she is talking to me. For those of you keeping count, I am the 4th real estate professional (that I know of) that this couple has been in contact with in 48 hours!
Let me be clear hear. Without proper paperwork between a customer and any broker, the sky is the limit in communication with different real estate agents. She did not violate any ethical rules. I am a firm believer that there are ethics, and then over and above that, THERE IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. Let’s take this beyond the theoretical and dive into the practical.
3 Reasons to be loyal to your real estate agent
1- By building relationship your needs and desires are known.
Flying through the ranks of agents without giving proper time to any one person severely depletes you chances of truly having your needs understood. Anyone who has spent a week previewing homes with a single agent knows this. The homes being shown on day 3 more than likely fit your needs a lot better than the first 3 homes you were in. Each feature that you like or dis-like is mentally bookmarked by a good agent, and put into the decision making process for future choices. It just makes sense that you would not want to re-set this process of relationship building over and over.
2- The commissions are the same.
This is a big factor with many. Here is a simple breakdown of how real estate commissions are paid.- Someone selling a home contracts with a Listing Broker to help them sell. There is an agreement of commission percentage between the two parties. For my example we will use 6%. That means probably 3% goes to the Listing Brokerage and 3% goes to the Selling Brokerage, assuming there are 2 agents involved. If there is only one agent involved there is still a 6% commission paid. Sometimes a Listing Broker may give a discount for services if he or she is handling both sides of the transaction. This would be done with the Buyer’s permission. Usually the commission is paid by the Seller. That means, as far as commission goes, it makes no financial difference to use an agent to go to bat for you while purchaseing a home….which takes me to my next reason-
3- By having a REALTOR® work on your behalf you have an advocate in the process.
By choosing an agent that you can work well with and sticking with them, you will have a professional to help you in every step of your home purchase. It’s not just about working through price and signing on the line. It’s negotiation, understanding offers, counter offers, purchase contracts, lending, inspection issues, addendums and disclosures. It’s having the research savvy to quickly and with certainty find out about taxes, land information, utility issues, county records, liens, parcel history, sales history and survey information. It’s having the experience to know about HOA issues, special assessments, CIC documents, the ever-changing price of utility services and the many many named fees of our beloved water and sanitation service!
This is just 3 of the many ways that it benefits you, the buyer, to find a trustworthy agent and give them that trust to help you in your home buying process. Seek out an individual who has character, knows the area in which you are looking and you find easy to communicate with. Then lean on them as your agent and let them know that you believe in them. Working this way, you will discover far better results than dialing the number printed on every sign you pass or flyer you pick up.