When buying or selling a home, any advantage could be helpful to make your decisions easier and more profitable. Few are more experienced and better positioned to provide homebuyers and homesellers with a meaningful advantage than an expert Realtor. That’s because seasoned real estate agents hold access to a literal wealth of information, which can be leveraged for your benefit.
So how can ordinary buyers and sellers reap benefits usually earned by years—and sometimes decades—of first hand real estate experience? Plus, what is it that Realtors know that might help your decisions, make your life easier and your real estate transactions more lucrative?
Find out in this helpful podcast titled ‘How to Take Advantage of Your Realtor’ by clicking here, or on the audio ‘play’ button above.
Taking Advantage of Your Realtor
Let’s be clear about what it means to ‘take advantage’ of your Realtor. Here’s a useful definition of the term ‘taking advantage:’
Whenever you consult a Realtor with the purpose of buying or selling a home, it’s usually best to utilize that agent’s services to the fullest possible extent and that’s what we’re talking about here. What we’re not talking about is exploiting others, which is an altogether different thing and of course, not recommended.
The ‘Win-Win’ Concept
In most relationships, business or otherwise, there’s some usual ‘give and take.’ In the end of such encounters, both sides typically benefit, making the situation a ‘win-win’ outcome for those involved. And that’s why ‘taking advantage’ of your Realtor as a helpful resource needn’t be adversarial. Instead, providing counsel and information is what expert real estate agents do best. And leveraging that professional assistance to your maximum advantage is typically a wise move.
In other words, working with your agent needn’t be a ‘zero sum’ game, where in order for you to win, someone else needs to lose. When interests overlap, that’s where those involved can all come out ahead.
Every profession has its ‘secrets,’ or those helpful pointers not always obvious to others. In fact, many advantages are not always obvious. For some helpful insights on some Realtor secrets, check out our prior program titled ‘Secrets Your Realtor Knows.’
So along with improving your own ‘bottom line,’ there are some other benefits real estate agents bring to the table that you might not have considered. Here are just five such benefits, although we could easily list more.
An expert Realtor can save you a lot of time. By using an expert agent’s appropriate ‘shortcuts’ and ‘know how,’ buyers & sellers can shorten their ‘learning curve,’ spend less time on their home search or home sale, while at the same time getting a better deal.
2. Mistakes Happen
Mistakes can be very expensive. Sometimes the clean up afterward, like attorney fees, false starts, opportunity cost and the like, is far more than you ever bargained for. Avoid common real estate pitfalls by working with an expert for whom this is not his or her first rodeo.
Realtors are ‘plugged in’ to many valuable resources. Knowing an experienced Realtor is like carrying a Swiss Army Knife in the real estate wilderness. An experienced real estate agent has a host of proven and helpful resources. These includes plumbers, electricians, home inspectors, mortgage lenders, appraisers, roofers, remodelers, surveyors and more. Need a good reference for mold remediation or oil tank removal? Those are hardly the kinds of things most people spend much time dealing with…unless you’re a Realtor!
Real estate agents are in the enviable position to know which professionals are time-tested, the ones who aren’t always so reliable, or those who might charge an ‘arm and a leg.’
4. Market Knowledge
Experienced Realtors know the market and deal with it every day. They can tell you what that house down the street sold for, what the prior owners paid, how long it was on the market, if there was a ‘sale fail,’ or if the home was a ‘fixer.’ Agents also have access to tax records, property history information and countless other data sources. Therefore it makes sense to rely on someone whose job is dedicated to providing what you want.
5. Negotiation Expertise
When you work with an experienced real estate agent, you’ve just put a professional negotiator on your side. And besides negotiating a great amount, veteran real estate agents know which concessions are customary, which are unusual and when you might want to consider ‘splitting the difference’ with another party. For example, a buyer once requested to spend stay overnight at a home I had listed for sale. I was able to explain to the seller how unusual this is (very), along with prospective liability issues.
Your Duties As A Buyer or Seller
Realtors have many duties. As a Realtor client, it’s important to realize that like any healthy relationship, interaction is a two-way street. Here are a few of your duties.
Be Honest (& Being Real Helps, Too)
If you truly have your heart set on a 4 bedroom home, yet tell your agent that 2 bedrooms are fine, understand your agent can’t read your mind and otherwise may not be showing you the right homes. Similarly, don’t tell your Realtor that you’re pre-approved if you’re not. to foster mutual trust with your agent, honesty is truly the best policy. So if trusting your real estate agent is important (and it usually is) be yourself, be real and be honest.
Be A Willing Student
Be prepared to talk with your Realtor. Also make sure you feel comfortable with your agent’s communication style. Then be prepared to listen. You don’t have to agree. But if your agent suggests a property you like that’s located next to a busy road might cause you problems upon re-sale, it’s often a good idea to at least give that Realtor’s point some consideration.
It’s similar to paying your doctor, but not taking his or her advice. Why engage a professional unless you thoughtfully consider their input? You may think you know a lot about real estate and perhaps you do. But unless your agent is just beginning, chances are good that you can learn something helpful.
Buyer’s or Seller’s Hat?
When interacting with your Realtor, bring your questions. It also helps to realize that you may have a subjective perspective. Realtors try to work through this by having their buyer clients put on their “seller’s hat” and having their seller clients put on their “buyer’s hat.” Having perspective of that other party across the table, can provide keen insights. That’s because where you stand in a transaction affects a great deal of what… and how…you see things.
Whether it’s the current real estate market, how best to negotiate your transaction, or how to handle a home repair issue, realize your agent may provide information worth considering when you make decisions. Expert agents can also be good ‘sounding boards.’
Some real estate factors you may have assumed incorrectly, or just never considered. So let’s use one simple example to give you an idea of the kind of information that Realtors know, which others probably don’t, which you can use to your advantage.
For example, did you know that Realtor ‘open houses’ are not typically a great manner for selling a home? While there are of course exceptions, it’s true and known by many agents. For a variety of reasons as noted in an article titled ‘5 Ways an Open House Can Actually Hurt Your Home Sale,’ along with the infographic below, a clear case can be made that ‘open houses’ are sometimes a detriment to home selling, as they present some significant down sides.
So why do Realtors hold open houses? Often to placate homesellers and pick up buyers for other homes. Listing agents usually don’t ‘sell’ the home they list. What usually sells homes is being in the appropriate multiple listing system, which then ‘feeds’ real estate information via the Internet.
Consider that an experienced Realtor has handled the purchase and/or sale of hundreds, sometimes thousands of properties. This is an abundance of knowledge that you can tap into! And this knowledge is Oregon-centric, meaning you can most benefit from it.
A Question to Ask Your Realtor
One of the most helpful questions to ask a professional you hire, whether you’re speaking with a dentist, engineer, attorney or Realtor is: “What would you do in this situation…and why?” That answer is likely to reveal a sound rationale for what may be your best option moving forward.
Buying or Selling An Oregon Home?
For a free consultation, contact Certified Realty using the convenient form below.