What’s your real estate agent doing for you anyway?
Help wanted: Real estate firm seeking a really friendly person to drive clients around to houses all over the place and use their realtor card to open lockboxes and front doors. Immediately respond to clients and be available at a moment’s notice to show houses. Write offers and negotiate win-win deals. Requirements: must be breathing, have a real estate license, driver’s license or Uber account and have financial ability to pay dues to the local and national real estate associations.
What buying real estate is today: Buyer has nearly total control over the beginning stages of the buying process. You want to buy a house? Type in your password on your iPad. Tap your app of choice. Find 3 million homes online. Find homes that are in your desired school district – or near your favorite dry cleaner or pizza joint – that look amazing. Weed out the ones that are not priced according to what the app says is “the number”. The listing has a bad front photo? Swipe; next house. Too many personal photos of Grandpa Bill on the built-in bookcases? Swipe; next house. Arial Google Map shot reveals a scrap metal demo plant in the backyard? Swipe; next house. Narrow the list of homes to only those you want to see in person. Send the list to your agent to arrange access to see homes in person. And…you’re off!
So, since you’re doing all the work, what’s your buyer agent doing for you besides getting you into the houses you want to see? You should ask them what their value is!
What seven and a half things, among others, should you hear as a response?
1. Your agent is a fiduciary. The agent doggedly fights to negotiate on your behalf and defend your best interest in every moment their representation of you.
2. Your agent is a master at building rapport with the listing agent in order to have access to the agent in any situation. Think Ph.D. level rapport builder. Your agent’s rapport building skills allow them to gain information so that you have the leverage in a negotiation.
3. Your agent is an expert market analyst. As a result, you will know exactly what price to offer given the market conditions.
4. Adding on to #3, your agent takes complete advantage of the market conditions in order to negotiate the best deal for you.
5. Your agent systematically crafts, presents, negotiates and wins offers on behalf of their clients.
6. Your agent has access to world-class professionals who perform at an expert level for home inspection services, lending services, title services, tax services, probate issues, “doomsday” legal services and more.
7. Your agent is not emotional. They do not use words that describe highs and lows or other nonproductive feelings. Your agent is positive, upbeat and surgical in their approach. These are traits of a great agent and you will appreciate these more than you could ever know. Your emotional dream of home ownership is buoyed by the agent's sound, reasoned, analytical and calm approach.
7.5 Your agent expertly knows how to evaluate house structures and systems so that you can gain leverage to negotiate the best deal.