What do Realtors REALLY do?

You don’t really need a Realtor in the Seattle real estate market to help you find a home to buy.

But there are three things a Realtor can do for you that you can’t do for yourself. Most people come to me because they think. “I need someone to help me find a home”, but you don’t need a Realtor to help you find a home. 

I talk a lot about this in my book, Shortchanged by Shortcuts?: 44 Surprising Ways People Rip Themselves Off When Buying or Selling A Home. If you want a free copy, keep reading, I’ll tell you how to do that. 

But most people think, “I need a Realtor to help me find a home,” but it’s not true. You don’t need them to help you find a home. Why? Because the internet has democratized information. 

OK, there are a few ways a Realtor can get you homes to see that you might not be able to see yourself.  For sale by owner, houses are out there. The expired listings are out there. There’s a few ways that a Realtor could help you but for the vast majority of people, you do not need a Realtor to find you a home. In fact, counting on your Realtor to send you the home that you’re going to buy is really unlikely because your criteria tends to change subtly as you search in ways that it’s very difficult to tell your Realtor what you want. 

Most of my clients just browse on the internet, finding a home and then sending it to me. Almost all my clients send me the house that they want to buy. It’s just not important to have a realtor to help you find a house.

What is important about having a Realtor? What do Realtors do? What does a good Realtor provide for you? Well, there’s three things that a good Realtor can provide for you. I put them on my business card because they’re so important. Ready? These three things, educate advocate, negotiate. Those are three things that you cannot reliably do yourself. 

First, educate. Educate you about what? Well, how about the home buying process? Home buying is just one of those things that people are supposed to know how to do, except you don’t. Even if you’ve done it before, you haven’t done it yet recently, you haven’t done it in this market, the way it is today, right? The way it is today, isn’t the way it’s going to be in five years. So, educate you as to the best way to do it right now. Educate you as to how to win an offer in a bidding situation, educate you as to how much discount you can expect to get, educate you as to the process, educate you as to what’s actually happening in the market, educate you as to the quality of the house. Educate, educate, educate. That is one thing that you do need a Realtor for. 

Advocate. You want someone who’s got your back. Someone who’s not going to let you make a mistake. Someone’s going to say, “You know what? You don’t want to buy that house. I know you’re in love it, but there’s three things that you will not be in love with it later and it’s going to wind up biting you in the butt.” Someone who’s going to go to the wall with the other agent. This is why you never use the listing agent. I mean, why would you ever want to walk into a house and use the listing agent who has a fiduciary responsibility to advocate on behalf of the seller? And then you’re going to use that agent to advocate on your behalf? How is that going to work? So, it’s very rare that you can get that relationship to work. Sometimes, but almost never. You want someone who’s going to go to the wall with the seller and with the listing agent to make sure you and your rights and your value is defended. 

Negotiate. Then to negotiate, you have no idea how poorly Realtors tend to negotiate. It just happened to me this week again. It’s got to happen to me twice a month, where I put in an offer on a house representing a buyer, and then the listing agent will call me and say, “Sorry, you didn’t get the offer.” Not, “Hey, would you like to come up?” Not, “Hey, listen, you’re matching the other offer. Would you like to come up any?” No, no, no, no, no. Just “Sorry, you didn’t get it.” What? Are you kidding? You just left money on the table. All they got to do is call every single person that put in an offer and say, “Hey, we got competing offers here. Would you like to come up in value?” Nope. They don’t do that. They don’t negotiate. They just collect offers and present them. If you’re listing a house and you don’t find out how much over asking price they average and you don’t compare thatto local averages, then God bless you, but you are leaving money on the table. Happens every freaking time. Unbelievable. Negotiate. You want someone who’s going to negotiate on your behalf. I just bought a listing today for a client, $10,000 under asking price in this market. $10,000 under asking. Negotiate, when it comes time for the repairs. Negotiate, someone who’s going to do that for you. 

Educate, advocate, negotiate. There it is. Educate, advocate, negotiate. Those are the three things that you want to find in an agent. If you want to know how to find that agent, Shortchanged by Shortcuts will show you, 44 surprising ways people rip themselves off when they’re buying and selling their house. I’ll get you a copy for free. Here’s what you do. Comment below that you want this for free and I will mail you one, you just pay for the shipping. If you’re in Seattle, I’ll bring it to you. 

Let me know what I can do for you. If you’ve got questions, comment below. Subscribe and share this with people. I want to get the word out because there are ways that you can avoid yourself getting ripped off. So, let me know what I can do for you.

 

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