Over the weekend I wrote a post about What Realtors Do for Buyers. Many commented and emailed that they have worked with Buyers who couldn’t figure out why we got paid if all we did was drive around all day. Several Buyers had commented that they can look at houses themselves, that they really didn’t think they needed a Realtor. If you have been selling real estate longer than a week, or if you looked at the list in my previous post, we all know it’s just an uneducated statement that we can’t really be offended by.
You want to look at houses, Mr. Buyer? Great! Feel free to do that! Feel free to look at them yourself. The fact of the matter is, my real job starts when we have identified a property in which you are interested.
Don’t get me wrong! I put many hours into finding out exactly what it is you’re looking for, what your needs and wants are; doing research on the computer; calling other agents to find out if this home might fit the specifics of what you need; figuring out if the price is reasonable with others in the area; sometimes previewing so as not to waste your time while you work your real job that is going to pay for your new house; driving around for hours viewing and inspecting and dissecting and rejecting houses that don’t work for your family or your needs. But you’re absolutely right. You don’t need a Realtor to do that. Be my guest, go look to your heart’s content.
Then you find what you’re looking for and you’re ready to make an offer on the house of your dreams. The house that you have just divulged to the Seller’s Agent is everything you have been looking for for six months, and you don’t care how much you have to pay to get it. Then what happens? You think the Seller’s Agent is going to cut you a deal if you aren’t using your own Realtor? Not likely. The commission was agreed upon between the Seller and his agent (I don’t think I saw your name in there) at the time the Agent took the listing. That Contract between the Seller and his Agent usually includes how much the Agent will charge with an Unrepresented Buyer.
Then are you planning to fill out the new 18 page Contract, the legally binding agreement that you will present to the Seller’s Agent? They aren’t called a Seller’s Agent for nothing. They are likely a trained professional who will eat you for lunch and pop the bag. Shall I mention the hundreds of other pieces of legally binding paperwork that will need to be filled out during the course of a transaction?
Fact of the matter is, Mr. Buyer, you are correct; you don’t need us to look at houses. While it will make your life much easier if you have someone who is trained to represent you, who will represent you for FREE, you don’t need us for that. I can show you one house or I can show you one hundred houses (I would sincerely rather not). But no matter how many homes we look at, my job really starts when you hire me to negotiate the best deal for you, and then to navigate you through the dozens of legal landmines that are much more likely to blow up on you without professional representation.