The real estate industry is a wild tale of crazy sellers, picky buyers, and stories so outlandish they have to be true. But in this tumultuous profession, there are a few things agents and brokers wish buyers and/or sellers knew. It would probably make life a lot easier for everyone involved.
Here are some actual agents and brokers and what they wish you knew about the real estate profession.
Preston Russ- Gulf Coast Homes and Properties
“Just because you know someone doesn’t mean they should be your agent”
This is probably the most common mistakes many people make. Sure, everyone’s gotta start somewhere but if you’re using your Aunt Susan’s ex-husband’s brother just because he needs the business or you’ll feel guilty if you don’t. STOP! This is thousands of dollars we are talking about here. Make sure you use someone you trust, has experience, and knows the market you’re in. Many of those agents don’t understand the micro-market of your area and can either charge you too much, leave money on the table, or give away your home
Jean Wawrzyniak-Fry — Mesa Realtor®
“You may not find your dream home right away — and that’s okay”
Many buyers, especially first time home buyers think they are setting out to find their dream home while in reality, dream homes usually are found when you aren’t looking. Don’t assume your first home will be the home of your dreams but it may be the perfect home for the time being. Choosing a starter home first to build equity is a great way to gain enough of a down payment for when you do find a home you truly love. This is not to say you shouldn’t love your first home, just don’t be disappointed if it’s not everything you dreamed it could be right off the bat.
Barry Vincent — South Nashville Real Estate Team
“Finish with the same agent you started with”
There is nothing more frustrating or discouraging in the real estate industry than a client you’ve worked with for weeks or months all of a sudden buying a house with another agent. Listing a home is a little different as most sellers sign a listing contract but that’s a grey area with buyers. I can work with a buyer for weeks only to have them write up an offer with another agent. It can be very upsetting after spending dozens if not hundreds of hours without any payoff. Unless you hate your agent or they are non-responsive and you’ve done everything you can to communicate your concerns with them, stay with the agent that’s put in the time for you.
Mitzi Cameron — Camano Island Real Estate Agent
“Get pre-approved before looking at homes”
This is the first question I ask buyers, “Are you pre-approved for a home loan?” Unless you’re buying the home with cash and can prove it make sure you have spoken to a lender and have an idea of how much you can afford. Buyers can be devastated to find a home they love only to discover after the offer than they can’t afford it. Know how much you can spend before looking at properties.
Tina Saporito — Palm Desert Realtors®
“We want to know who’s all involved”
I’ve come down to the appraisal process only to discover the seller actually doesn’t have the legal right to sell the property. Or vice versa, where the buyers find the home but then they have co-signers or someone else actually on the title. Be upfront with your agent and lender letting them know who’s all involved in the buying or selling process. If you have in-laws, friends, adult children or anyone else involved in the property, we need to know right away.
Kenny Raymond — Brickell Miami Realtor®
“Please don’t speak to the buyer or seller directly”
After closing, the buyer called me and asked where the appliances were as they said the seller said they would leave them. This was not written up and there was no agent present during this conversation so it did not hold up.
Don’t speak to the buyer or seller without your agent present. Very little, if anything, can be negotiated verbally and there should be no direct communication between buyer and seller unless one or both agents are present. Let your agent be the go-between.
Dale Corpus — San Ramon Real Estate Professional
“Use a qualified, professional inspector”
I’ve seen too many people assume they can inspect the home themselves or use Joe Blow or an in-law to look over the property. Unless they are licensed and qualified, you should never trust the amateur eyes of a novice inspector, even if they claim to be a contractor. Only trained inspectors know what to look for and yes, it may be more expensive initially, if they find something serious it could save you thousands later on.
Karen and Frank Baker — Sunset Beach Realtors®
“We’re just as stressed about closing the deal as you are”
Buying and selling can be stressful and no one knows that more than an agent. We understand that we are not the ones living in the home but we still have just as much invested when it comes to time and energy and we know how exciting it can be to close and we know the heartbreak if something falls through. We are on your side. You win — we win. We want you to succeed!
Peter Westbrook — Sacramento Home Buyer / Investor
“Some agents can be very unethical”
I’ve been an agent and now I buy homes to flip and one thing I have learned is that not all agents are on the up and up. This is why I stress getting an agent that has years if not decades of successful experience full time. Many agents don’t know the rules, are unethical, steal client’s and literally don’t know how to do the paperwork. If you find one of those… run.
Bob DeYoung — Colorado Springs Real Estate Agents
“Photos bring in buyers, staging brings in offers”
Great photos literally make or break a real estate deal. You must insist on professional photography and listen to your agent when they tell you to stage. These two things are guaranteed to bring a higher price and more buyers… PERIOD.
Bruce Simon — West Bloomfield Realtor®
“You probably don’t need to see 100 properties to find the right one”
About half the time, buyers go back to the first house they saw — usually because it’s the one we feel fit the search criteria and price the best. This is also why you need to know what you want so we can track down great homes that fit the bill. By the time we get 50 miles from the original desired area and the search criteria is way off, you’re not going to be finding a home you really like. Often, 3–10 home showings can offer the best of all worlds and help you find the right property. Trust your agent.
Don Payne — Columbus Area Realtors®
“Stop telling me Zillow is accurate”
With the onslaught of online real estate outlets, buyers and sellers assume what they find online is accurate. Zillow is NOT accurate and if it happens to be, then it’s a one in a million. Please, please trust your agent when it comes to price. We know the current market which can change on a dime and we know how to price your home if you really want it to sell and we know when to offer higher, when to go lower, and when to walk away from a deal. However, clients are also more informed than ever before and really do their research, which is a great thing!
Erika Rogers — St. George Utah Home Advisor
“Please tell us everything you know about the home”
We don’t want to get hit like a deer in the headlights or a lawyer that learns something about their client while on the witness stand. Tell us everything! We can help you put it into words in the seller's disclosure or help you write up the right offer but if you leave something out, try to hide something financial or are just trying to be sneaky, chances are it will come out one way or the other. Just be honest so we can offer you the best possible service.
Erika Phalen — Orlando Buyers Agent
“We don’t make as much as you think we do”
People often mistake real estate as a lucrative business, and while it can be for some, most agents don’t make as much as you think we do. We sometimes have to put in hours of work, our own money, gas, time and energy and then we may lose the client or things may fall through before we’ve been paid. There are often hundreds of hours that go into a real estate transaction that many buyers and sellers just don’t see.
Hopefully, this will make you a little more aware the next time you buy or sell a home.