Choose one REALTOR® and stick with them
Choose one REALTOR® and stick with them
Or fire them, but please don't use more than one at a time!
By Christopher Oscar
You're ready to buy a home. Most buyers start by looking at the inventory of homes, not the inventory of REALTORS®. That's how I started when I bought my first home. So what's wrong with that? Well, nothing really. The beauty of shopping for a home is the freedom to choose. You choose the town you want to live in first, then you choose what part of town, the price home you can afford, then you start to get even more detailed and set up a list of needs and wants for your perfect home. Next, your are off to the world wide web and your local Real Estate Guide. Chances are, once the weekend comes around, you go out to open houses and tour the properties that match your criteria. So far so good. Except, the home you just really liked on Sunday now has an offer and it's only Monday! How could that be? Truth is, the chances of you grabbing that perfect home at the price you can afford more often than not can mean you are in competition with other buyers looking for that same home. By the time you get to see it, the other buyers have had their REALTOR® take them through it the first day it appeared on the market. That is why, days later, it already has an accepted offer.
So how do you get into the homes before they are open on the weekend? Hire a REALTOR®! How many REALTORS® should you have looking for homes that match your criteria? Five, four, three, two, how about ONE! Believe it or not, some buyers have not grasped the true concept of our job and think that the more REALTORS® you have out there working for you to find you a home the better. Truth is, REALTORS® only get paid if they are the ones who work with you through the close of an escrow. Not every buyer falls under this category. Buyer's who have already established a relationship with a REALTOR® through previous real estate transactions most likely stay with the same person from their previous transaction. However, there are some buyers that need to recognize how wrong it is to try and use more than one REALTOR® when searching for a home.
What's the solution? Well, for starters, my writing this article will hopefully help to educate the buyers in the world that do not know how a REALTOR® gets paid. You see, when you ask us to find you a home, we start working for you. We put in the time to search for properties that are, or are not yet on the market. We door knock, we cold call, we search the inventory at all hours of the night. We are your eyes and ears 24/7. We want you to be the first one at the home the minute it comes on the market, or even before it comes on the market. We only get paid if we are the ones who are there with you when you make an offer and the property closes escrow. We need to know one thing, are you as committed to us as we are to you. So, set up your search criteria, but also remember to set up your criteria in a REALTOR® and stick with them. I actually recommend that you interview REALTORS® first, but you must remember to fire the ones you did not choose. Otherwise, they may still be using their valuable time on you. It's not ethical for you, and it's not fair for them.
Example of what not to do - I was working the floor desk at my office a couple weeks ago when a call came in for one of our listings. The buyer who called was very interested in seeing the property and wondered if I could schedule a showing for them. You can imagine my excitement. This is every REALTORS® dream, a buyer calling to see a property that is available for purchase. Yahoo! So I proceeded with my first question. "Are you working with a REALTOR®?" Her answer was, "Well, sort of". Okay, so I asked, "What does 'well sort of mean'?" And she says, "Well...I'm in contract on a short sale but it has been taking so long that I just don't know and I would really like to see this property your company has advertised." So I say, "Well, if you are buying a short sale property, then that means you are working with an agent. What you will need to do is contact your agent and let them know the property you would like to see. It is fully available. Sound good? Okay, thanks. Goodbye."
These types of calls and encounters are all too common in our business. That is why I chose to dedicate my article to this subject matter. As the title says, Choose one REALTOR® and stick with them, or fire them, but please don't use more than one at a time!
Thank you and good house hunting!
Christopher Oscar, REALTOR® DRE License # 01343785
President of the Sonoma Valley Chapter of REALTORS®
CENTURY 21 Wine Country 707-287-2285