OK, to be honest, some Realtors do suck. I have often muttered to myself that my profession is not filled with brain surgeons. Realtors consistently show up on the list of least respected professions along with lawyers, politicians and used car salesman. But think about it, in any profession, you have the good, the bad and the ugly.
This is the biggest financial transaction most of you will make in your lifetime. Take a few moments to vet your Realtor before committing. Ask about experience. How many years in the business? How many deals have they done? Can they provide references? You can check whether any Realtor has a current license and whether they have faced disciplinary action at http://www2.dre.ca.gov/PublicASP/pplinfo.asp
What a good Realtor brings to the table.
1. Realtors are where the market is. - In 2013 88% of home buyers and sellers used a Realtor. If you eliminate transactions between friends, neighbors and family members, that number is closer to 99%. If you are a seller, is it worth it to exclude 99% of the market in order to save a commission? If you are a buyer, the reverse is true, 99% of sellers are in contract with a Realtor. There is no advantage to not using a Realtor unless you can strike a deal with a For Sale By Owner, less than 1% of the market. Don’t pass up dollars to scramble after pennies. Take advantage of a Realtor.
2. Time Management. - Buying or selling a house is like a part time job. Constant monitoring of new listings, arranging viewings, going to open houses, researching neighborhoods, all takes a deceptive amount of time. Once you get in contract, there are hundreds of details to attend to. There are contracts, disclosures and reports to understand. There are always issues and trade offs to consider. A good, experienced Realtor can save you tons of time by helping you organize the process in a way that deals with the critical issues effectively.
3. Pricing Strategy and Expertise - A good Realtor will not only know what price your property will sell for, but also how to price the property and manage offers in order to maximize the value. A Realtor can also suggest low cost improvements to help your home sell quickly and for top dollar.
4. Negotiation Skills - I often tell my clients to prepare for 3 rounds of negotiations. First and most obvious is the purchase price, but be prepared for a request for credit for repairs. To top it off, especially in an appreciating market the property may not appraise for the purchase price. A skillful Realtor will have a plan for each phase and implement smoothly.
5. Keeping you out of trouble - Although most Realtors are not lawyers, inspectors or contractors we have the experience and training to recognize the danger signs and call in the experts. Every neighborhood, every type of sale and every type of property have their own typical set of issues. We help you recognize the issues quickly so you have time think about it and react from an informed perspective.
6. Process Management - From start to finish there are literally hundreds of details that need to be taken care of. There are many people involved; Buyers, sellers, agents, loan officers, advertisers, appraisers, escrow workers, title workers, inspectors and contractors to name a few. There is a mountain of paperwork to complete and extensive records to maintain. If all these details are not managed promptly and correctly, it will cost you money, create doubt on the other side of the transaction and may put your goal of buying or selling in jeopardy. Your Realtor becomes your project manager, making sure all people and actions are managed and coordinated in an effective and timely manner.
In summary, a good Realtor will increase your chances of buying or selling at the best price possible. We can save you tons of time and effort and counsel you toward best practices to avoid conflict and potential legal hassles. Using a Realtor is safer, less stressful and may even save you money. It is kind of a “no brainer,” don’t you think?