Why Some People Dislike REALTORS, But Shouldn’t
When I began thinking about buying my first home, the thought of hiring a REALTOR made me cringe. I always disliked salespeople. All of them. Any time I’d walk into a furniture store and catch the salesperson out of the corner of my eye (it was important to avoid eye contact), I’d embark on a mission of trying to elude him (not to be sexist, but I’m going to refer to everyone as male in gender just for the sake of simplicity in this article) for as long as possible, ducking and dodging until, inevitably, he’d finally catch me somewhere and ask if I needed help. “Well, no, dummy. If I needed help, I wouldn’t have been running from you for the past twenty minutes.”… I’d think to myself. “No thank you, I’m just looking”, I’d say, hoping he’d vanish into thin air like the vampire he was. Needless to say, I despised anyone in sales.
My Strategy For Buying A Home
So when the time came to buy my first home, I decided, since I hated salesmen so much, I decided to become a REALTOR first and just buy my home myself. Seemed like a brilliant strategy. Now, knowing I didn’t know as much about real estate home buying as I needed to know, I thought it would be best to sell a few homes first, just so I knew what the heck I was doing. After all, I didn’t want to be responsible for making my own bad real estate deal first. So I began listing and selling homes. One thing led to another and I quickly became a top-producing agent in my real estate company. I probably sold a dozen or more homes before finally buying my own house. Was it a good strategy? Maybe, maybe not… but I learned some very valuable lessons by doing it myself. Most importantly, having an experienced REALTOR to help you buy or sell real estate is VERY important.
Did my opinion about salespeople change? No, not really. I still run from the guy in the furniture store. But admittedly I learned some valuable lessons about REALTORS that I think most first-time home buyers or sellers need to know:
- There’s a lot of risk involved with buying and selling homes. There are countless legal requirements that must be navigated before a home can be bought or sold. If you don’t know what you’re doing, lawsuits can and do happen, and you really don’t want to be on the receiving end of one.
- Knowledge of the local real estate market, trends, and customs is very important to getting the best deal possible. This includes networking with other real estate professionals.
- A REALTOR really can negotiate a better deal for you than most home buyers or sellers can negotiate on their own. Being highly trained in the art of negotiations, a REALTOR’s skill frequently pays off.
- Buying or selling a home requires a LOT of hard work, knowledge, and training. Much more than I ever thought.
- An experienced REALTOR can help you AVOID preventable problems. For more insight into this one, refer back to #1.
- In any real estate sales transaction, there is no such thing as an “As Is” sale. If you don’t understand this, ask a REALTOR.
- If a home purchase transaction is going to break down, it’s going to happen waaaayyyy later than you think it will. This, again, is where an experienced REALTOR can help you avoid problems and/or save the day.
- REALTORS work hard. It’s not an easy profession; it’s expensive and very demanding. Their commissions are well deserved, even if their paycheck is larger than what you spent on your last Disneyworld vacation. So don’t get upset if your REALTOR doesn’t discount his or her commission or give you a cut of it. They’re earning every penny of it.
- Going alone doesn’t always save you money. When a home owner sells “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO), the buyer knows the owner is trying to get a deal and the buyer wants to get in on that deal too. For Sale By Owner properties often result in a lower sales price than if a REALTOR negotiates the deal.
- Most importantly, in Real Estate, and unlike the salesman at the furniture store, all REALTORS have a FIDUCIARY DUTY to you, which means they have to put your financial interests FIRST. This differentiates REALTORS from most sales related professions, as they are legally required to maintain their relationship of trust with you. It’s not something they can choose not to do.
So in the long run, I went on a long and personal journey to learn some valuable lessons. Having an experienced REALTOR to help you buy or sell your next home really is important. If REALTORS weren’t needed, well, they just wouldn’t exist. REALTORS really aren’t slimy salesmen just looking to line their pockets with your hard-earned money. They have a Code of Ethics they have to abide by. They have ongoing education requirements. They dedicate countless hours to their clients, many times working late nights, most weekends, and many holidays. They sacrifice time away from their family to help you build yours. They give from themselves to help insure your experience in buying or selling a home is a good one. They are distinctly different from the guy at the furniture store or the slick-talking used-car salesman. They must put your interests first. That is why you should always use a licensed REALTOR to help you buy or sell your next home. Trust me, I’m a REALTOR, and I learned these lessons the hard way.