What real-estate agents do for buyers
First-time homebuyers research online but use real-estate agents for complex tasks.
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Homebuyers, including first-time buyers, usually use the Internet for the preliminary work of finding homes for sale and collecting information on neighborhoods and recent sales. But those buyers, particularly if they are first-timers, often use real-estate agents to identify long-term value in properties, negotiate prices and ensure that deals go through. (Bing: Information on buyer's agents)
Functions of real-estate agents
"Many first-time homebuyers will not be purchasing their dream home as their first place, and (they) often have difficulty seeing the true value in homes," says Ben Hoefer, a real-estate agent with John L. Scott Real Estate in Seattle. "Since many of these buyers will be moving in the future, I think it is a good idea to think about resale when the buyer is purchasing. Buyers may not be aware of things like the problem of living on a busy street, or know to check on issues with homeowner-association covenants."
Hoefer says a real-estate agent can point out potential issues that could affect the resale price of a home and suggest small changes to increase the home's value.
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"I have a three-legged approach to working with buyers," says Mark Lesses, an associate broker and vice president with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Arlington, Mass. "I start by getting to know what the buyers want by picking up on the hidden signals that a prospective buyer shows when they see a home. They may not know what they want, but they can feel what they want. When I'm showing a house that absolutely does not work, I dig into why it doesn't work. When we see other houses that may be a better fit, we discuss what does work for them and why."
The other two parts of the approach are negotiating a transaction and bringing that transaction to settlement.
"The most important function of a real-estate agent is negotiating a good deal on behalf of the buyer and educating the buyer about the market," says Brian Block, managing broker and branch vice president of the Block Real Estate Group with Re/Max Allegiance in McLean, Va.
"First-time buyers should rely on their Realtor to provide them with data about comparable homes that have sold, how long a home has been on the market, what homes haven't sold and all the activity that has been happening in the local real-estate market. Ultimately, it is the buyer's decision what price and terms they wish to offer. However, buyers should be able to rely on their Realtors to guide them toward an educated offer on the home."
Block points out that negotiation occurs not only at the beginning of a transaction over price and terms, but also possibly after a home inspection, an appraisal and at other times between contract and closing.
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Fair-housing laws and real-estate agents
While real-estate agents can help buyers in myriad ways, there are some things they cannot do.
"Fair-housing laws prohibit discrimination," Block says. "Thus, an agent cannot steer a client to or away from particular neighborhoods based on their knowledge of an area's demographics. Further, agents cannot explicitly describe a neighborhood based on racial, religious, age or other demographic criteria. The agent can point buyers to websites and other reference sources where buyers can discover this information for themselves."
As Lesses says, "Our job is to talk about the house, not the people."
Working with other professionals
First-time homebuyers need to recognize that they must work with other professionals during the homebuying process, such as an attorney or title company representative to review legal documents, as well as a mortgage lender.
"Agents are not lawyers, home inspectors, mold experts, financial advisers or tax advisers," Block says. "While a real-estate agent can give some general background information in each of these areas, they cannot claim to be an expert and must suggest that the buyer retain the services of one of these other professionals should the need arise."
The biggest concern for most buyers today is whether a home will keep its value. An experienced real-estate agent can provide a buyer with the local market knowledge needed to make an informed decision about what to buy and how much to spend.
Nope, kid, not lying. I drove/bought said items. Buying lunch/coffee/etc is just being nice...try it sometime, if you can. I understood you weren't a realtor, you said that in your post...it's your folks, I got it. If you ever get the chance (or when you aren't popping off about a profession in which you aren't directly involved), speak to a doc and ask him about the relationship between the people who own the hospitals, the insurance companies, and the people who actually treat the patients...and how the money gets divided. Good luck in your chosen field.
PS You still come off in your posts as a dweeb. Grow up.
My Realtor is awesome! I get to see her beautiful face every day when I look in the mirror! SOLD!
My rule says use a realtor like you would use a Used Car Salesman. You don't buy a car because you happen to like someone.
Find the house you want on your own and then if it is listed with a realtor go to the selling agent and make your deal. More room for the commission to be slashed. And if they don't slash the price, simply move on to the next home.
The whole concept of loyalty to an agent is ludicrous and guaranteed to cost the sheep that follow that broker shepherd thousands of dollars out of their wallet.
Treat these morons like the paper processors they are and you will be the winner.
On the sale of a 100k house, as a buyer's agent, the commission is $3000. The broker gets half, & there are other fees involved too. When it's all said & done, you walk away with about $1200. That is not alot of money considering all the time & gas you use showing the buyer 40+ houses.
this article is a joke and written by the NAR perhaps to say they wish their members did this.
Most (Make that 9 of 10) realtors look for the quick payoff with minimal effort and will cross any ethical boundary to make that happen. They push properties on both the sell and buy side that offer them the greatest $$$ commissions and on balance do none of the value-added services alluded to in the article.
Real estate agents rank right up there with personal injury attorneys and used car salesmen when it comes down to dealing with employment categories that hire folks without any moral compass outside of their own wallet.
IF and I do preface my response with a big IF; IF real estate "professionals" actually performed these services they would be worth what they are paid. However, after doing this for more than 40 years both as a homeowner, landlord and investor, I can say without any reservation that this article does NOT represent the majority of so call real estate professionals! Let me ALSO point out that IF these so call real estate professional had in fact performed their contractual obligations to the buyers, there would have NEVER been a real estate bubble or what part of that do the realtors across this country not understand?!
Moreover, I can point to locations around the country where the real estate bubble did not take hold because
the local property owners knew that the prices being demanded for properties were unrealistic and unsustainable.
Lastly, this article is nothing more than a ruse by the Association of Realtors attempting to justify there need
to the public. When the masses finally wake up, the so call real estate professional will be extinct and no more. Just try and justify how a real estate professional drives up the cost of a new home with upgrades that if done by a sub AFTER the purchase cost just a small fraction of the pumped up costs charged by the
developer/builder; yet you have a real estate "professional" standing there telling buyer after buyer what a good decision adding granite or whatever will be to their home. This article is total B.S.
Buyers and Sellers alike WAKE UP and do it yourselves. Hire an accountant or even a lawyer to review the
contracts and go over pricing and contractual obligations. Take time to educate yourself about how to buy a house much like most people do when they buy a car or other major purchase. Go to a bank BEFORE you make your purchase so that you know just how much you can afford to spend so that you do not end up in
foreclosure. Talk to people who have purchased homes not one home but several and learn from what they tell you about what they would have done differently. In other words, grow up and do your own homework.
Realtors are not worth what they are paid to open a front door and show a property. Another problem not discussed is take note of how many listing agents NEVER show up when the property is being shown by another agent. So who exactly is watching out for the seller? Not the listing agent. And let's not leave out just how much is stolen - including meds from homes today. Yes, I have a problem with real estate agents and their profession - it is a bloody joke - expensive but still a joke..
Im with Kudzu Kid. Too many who are "professionals" in Real Estate who believe they and their friends know best or believe Realtors are there to suck the life out of them.
I'm also entertained by these fsbo websites who make false claims on what they "save" a seller, when in fact they normally sell their properties 10-20% less - losing several thousands over the commission doing it themselves. Most properties I looked over and had watched fsbos sell would have put 2-10k more in their pocket and the commission would have also been paid with the loss they incurred selling themselves.
Lets be realistic. Its easy to buy or sell a property. It takes a considersable amount of work to make sure the purchase or sale is done correctly so it benefits both parties - its legal and protects your best interest. As stated earlier, that's why professionals use professionals. They also know how easy it is to get screwed over if you dont know what you're doing to protect yourself - and each state is different.
This business isnt like the days of old where properties sold before the sign went up. Realtors are here to help. You have to be selective because where there is help, there's also an element. We are working to catch those who take advantage of their Realtor status, and you can help. Only use those who hold the Realtor designation. Not all sales persons are Realtors. Know the difference. If your Realtor is not working ethically, then go to the local board for help.
Also, Sellers need to understand that it is a market. Sellers can set unrealistic goals and find a sales persons all day long who will tell them what they want to hear to get the listing.
Do your homework and find a realtor who will tell you the truth. There are Realtors who work for their clients and make it a point to educate them so they're realistic in their expectations. Not give them hope for a high return and spend the next few months making excuses.
Wake up! Just because you failed to do your homework and become realistic doesnt mean its the Realtor's fault your an idiot. Greed takes a considerable amount of work to fruition in today's market, and doesnt make your property the diamond amongst the stones.
A good Realtor gives you the truth about the market, your property, and the time that is needed to sell or buy a property at what you wish regardless of whether you consider the truth or decide to push the market unrealistically.
Real estate agents are crooks!
They lie through their teeth to shove more money in their pockets while trying to do as little as possible.
They make lawyers and this administration look ethical.
I really can't see a realtor doing ANYTHING that justifies 36K so I can buy a 600K house. and if I hear another realtor say "you don't pay me, the seller does"...the whole industry is lame, and no amount of warm-and-cuddly ads (much like insurance ads) will make me think otherwise.