Statements are not necessarily fact. We should do what we say. Actions speak louder than words. Testimonials support actions. Due diligence is highly recommended.
If you are a home buyer, seller and landlord or tenant, the chances are you’ll be needing the services of a Realtor for buying, selling or renting. That’s not to say you cannot do it all on your own because you can. Most people don’t have the time for it and are quite happy to hire a Realtor to take on the work of selling a home, buying or renting. Unless you have an agent in mind for the job you might need to go out and find a Realtor to help you. I’ve talked before about how many home owners turn to the internet to find a Realtor to sell a home and the same is true for buyer agents.
Before exploring the types of Realtors you can choose from it’s important to know we are all bound by the law of real estate agency, and Realtors are bound by our Code of Ethics. I know that compliance does not happen all the time, agents make mistakes and other agents deliberately don’t care and therefore don’t comply. The final part of that last statement is what gives all of us a pretty bad name and that’s not fair.
A Realtor As a Salesman
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Our business is one of sales. When real estate is sold, people get paid. It is a business that drives a huge amount of money into the economy. From Realtors to lenders, title companies, home inspectors, warranty companies, appraisers, Attorneys, cleaners…..I could go on with many more. Realtors or real estate agents and brokers are paid commission for a sale. We are not salaried at all. No expenses paid from a company, no minimum wage to keep us going, in fact we pay money for the privilege of working in a brokerage and then have to recoup those costs. We need to sell to make money and that immediately puts the pressure on us to become a “salesman”.
Yes there are plenty of agents that function as salespersons. They take you to homes you have no interest in. You’ll be shown properties above your stated budget. You get the pitch about how wonderful a property is and why you should make an offer. They tell you if you wait you’ll lose out. A salesman will talk up any object to get the buyer to pull the purchase trigger. Houses, cars, it’s all the same.
What an awful way to sell real estate! Is it any wonder the consumer thinks we are all driven purely by the paychecks at the closing table.
The Service Agent
Then there are the agents and brokers that consider what they do as a service. It’s a better way of approaching the client and agent relationship. Realtors are there to provide the service that helps sell your home. A buyers agent is there to provide the service that helps you find the right home. There’s still an element of sales. We need to sell ourselves to you, it’s the reason why you’re going to choose us over a competitor.
I like to think an agent that is considering themselves a service agent is not going to pitch you, at all. They’ll act more as guidance, taking cues from you about what properties are right to look at, not ramping up the price and not pushing you to a decision. Explaining their service and letting you decide if we are right for you, not the regular presentation and pitch about me, me, me…..Sounds better that’s for sure.
Yet isn’t there anything better than this? Are agents still driven by desperation? Is it because the average agent sells 4 or 5 homes a year and makes less than $30,000. (Barrington area – that number can be drastically less where median home prices are $150,000). Regardless of what the consumer thinks, most agents do not make a lot of money. There are some that do and then there are some that barely scrape enough money to pay their dues to remain in the business. The serviceman still needs to be paid for servcies rendered and so the sales aspect has not gone away.
Hire The Protector
What is a protector? Why are they different? How would you find one?
A protector is someone all agents are supposed to be. If we were salaried it might be easier to accept but being driven by a paycheck at the end, it’s unlikely to be real. A protector is someone who really will set aside the compensation issue in favor of the client. No pressure to buy, no pressure to accept an offer. No ongoing pressure to shuffle a transaction through to the end game. No unethical or illegal behavior!
Granted a lot of transactions are smooth. Both savvy buyers and sellers are not easily persuaded to do other than what they believe to be right. Emotions play a part though in every real estate transaction. Buyers fall in love, sellers HAVE to move, and many more scenarios will drive a transaction forward.
Real estate agents as protectors are looking our for their client as the primary function in their role. They cannot work both sides of a deal to be a true protector. Think about it, how can you protect a buyer and seller at the same time. YOU CANNOT! A protector will put you first, transaction next because of you, the opposition next but only because of your transaction, and compensation last. They are not afraid of losing a sale! They are not driven by closing the deal. They really do want what is best for their client.
And if anyone tells me I cannot be an effective Realtor for either buyers or sellers because I don’t push, well I will push; right back at them for telling me a load of rubbish! That’s as bad as saying introverts cannot be good Realtors. But don’t get me started.
Yes we do still need to be paid for our week. We have mortgages to pay, mouths to feed and business expenses. We are however driven by a job well done for our client, not a sale closed and numbers added to production numbers.
Realtor Testimonials and Due Diligence
How do you establish the difference when looking for a Realtor? After all if you’ve never met us before, and it’s time to put 100% of your faith in us, you need to have some level of comfort. That’s difficult for anyone to do. I know I don’t.
Realtors need to be transparent so you can truly learn about us. We need to have our resumes for you to learn whether we might be the protector you need. You can research many of us online in total anonymity. Look for protectors that service your type of real estate.
Testimonials are the best part of a resume because it’s spoken by another and enforces that we did what we said we would. Actions always speak louder than words and clients are always happy to enforce our spoken word if we acted as we said we would.
I work only in the capacity as a protector. My testimonials support it, you can read those here. If I were working only as a salesman type Realtor I would likely close more homes, so many in fact you’ll just be a number in my annual production data. If I worked only as a service agent I might be less inclined to give my opinions on a good buy or a good offer. It would be functional and not salesy but not 100% open. As a protector I don’t sell as many properties but I do work with clients who are as dedicated to me and what I do for them, as I am to them and what they hope to achieve.
If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate here in Barrington look out for the protectors in our industry. Do a little due diligence, research the type of real estate agent that fits your needs. We are not a one type fits all and the morals of some are far superior to those of others.
Contact Corinne if you think you need a protector, she can be reached at 847-363-3686.