Wonder What Your Realtor Does Behind Your Back?
We're not talking about anything felonious, here. What we're talking about what they're doing on a daily basis in this hectic, stressful world of buying and selling real estate. Here are a few of the multiple things we do routinely.
For every hour an agent spends in your presence, he or she will spend an average of nine hours out of eyesight working on your behalf. Why? Because we don’t get paid if we don’t close the deal! Unlike lawyers who bill by the hour, agents won’t receive a penny until (or unless) a sale comes through. It’s all a gamble, in which they could shoot snake eyes and come away empty-handed. Statistically, one out of every 3 contracts ends up not closing. And those are deals that actually made it into escrow to begin with. It doesn’t even take into account the contracts that are written up and not accepted. This is the business.
So if you’re wondering what that 6% commission (which is usually split with a cooperating agent) is actually going toward, here’s a partial list:
They shop property online – I’m sure you do too. But our research goes well beyond oohing and ahhing over a few photos. I personally spend a minimum of 2 hours each day researching potential properties for my clients. I’m looking up flood zones, schools, potential appreciation – always looking to protect my clients investment as it’s part of my job to take the emotion out of the buying process. This is a big investment and I’m here to help you protect it.
Listings come and go fast in our market so I have to also check the MLS throughout the day to be sure I’m not missing anything. Yes, I use an automated search feature that notifies me of changes (you probably use one too) but I screen all of mine before I send them to my clients so you are not inundated with properties that do not meet your criteria. Sometimes I work with clients for years before we find the perfect home. It goes with the territory.
Before actually showing a house, I try to preview it for my clients as there’s nothing like seeing a house in person. The pictures are one thing but seeing the house and its surroundings often tells another story. There are weekly property tours available but it’s most often a matter of going to see houses on a daily basis on my own with very specific clients in mind. Property tours are great for hitting a number of houses at once but it’s too broad spectrum to really benefit one specific client. It does, however, provide a good networking opportunity for me and if I have a listing in the area of the tour, I certainly make sure I attend to give it additional promotion (as well as making sure it gets on the tour early in the marketing phase).
In addition to not getting paid until a deal is done, agents also spend their own money on marketing. Photographers, staging, property tours, open houses, ads, flyers – an agent can spends thousands on marketing a property without ever recouping a penny if the property doesn’t sell.
Agents write up offers and counteroffers which are vital to the process as this can save or net you thousands of dollars on a sale. Getting to the right price often requires multiple negotiations, most in writing with each one requiring communication between the agents and their clients. Plus you have to keep track of all of it with best practices: keep track of it all in writing.
Once the deal has been struck, we then organize and coordinate the inspections which often means not only contacting the inspectors on behalf of our clients but setting up all the appointments and then attending the inspections, with or without our clients. We then assist our clients with reviewing their inspections and advising, based on experience and inspector recommendations, whether or not additional professionals should be called in to evaluate the property. This often results in additional negotiations with the Sellers to extend the option period. And then perhaps renegotiated the contract itself. And we must do this without causing any undue alarm for any party. Just part of the process…..
Very few transactions go smoothly; they all hit snags and experience rough patches but good agents will shield their clients from the high drama unless there’s a reason to fill them in. It’s called “putting out fires”. We solve issues every day that most buyers and sellers are never even aware of.
Our job is to not only work with you to find you a house (or sell your house); our job is also to be a problem-solver and make the entire transaction as stressless as possible. It not only takes a lot of time, it also takes a lot of emotional energy.
To be successful in this business, you have to have a “servant’s heart” and take joy and pride at helping people achieve home ownership – whether it’s their first home or their final home. We embrace this concept so call us today at Hillhouse Realty and let us help you with your real estate goals.
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