The unrepresented homebuyer is a customer, not a client
As an established real estate agent I get more and more listings. With listings, all the work is at the front end. It actually takes me about a week to properly get a house on the market. I want everything to be ready to go when the listing goes live. There is nothing worse than a new listing getting uploaded to realtor.ca missing pictures and other important information, like room sizes. Those two things seem to be the most important to potential buyers.
But that is an aside.
Going it alone
With my recent listings I have had the opportunity to meet several people that are going it alone – house shopping without an agent.
Now some of these are just getting started and you know I think the best way to start anything is to start. Beginners have to start somewhere and there is no better way than to visit some open houses and if there aren’t any open houses or if you want a private viewing to call the listing agent of the listings that you are interested in.
Buying a house is a process and a big part of the process is physically visiting homes that are for sale. One of my 365 Rules about Real Estate is that you cannot buy a home on the internet, not yet anyway.
But after the initial beginner stage is over, it astounds me that home buyers who consider themselves serious are still out there alone, by choice. This is a very tough year to be a home buyer and I’ve shown houses to people without agents who have pleaded with me to do up an offer for them today instead of waiting till the assigned time that the sellers have stated that they will be taking offer.
I can’t do that. It is not fair to everyone else.
I’ve had buyers tell me that they always do it this way.
That’s fine but times change and you have to change with the times.
And I’ve had buyers tell me that they think they may be able to get a better deal by working directly with the listing agent because he will cut his commission or have insider information on the seller and other offers that he will share.
His relationship is with the seller, not a random buyer that he just met. He may have previously agreed with the seller that if he brings the buyer, the commission will be reduced by 0.5%. But the seller is getting that, not the buyer.
And as for sharing inside information, he will get in big trouble if he gets caught doing that.
I can think of a lot of responses to these ideas and questions that agent-less homebuyers have, but I’m a busy realtor so I just say, “Yes, you could be right.” And leave it at that. Clearly these potential home buyers are innocently unaware of the benefits of working with an agent. But soon, if they are serious buyers, they will quickly learn the difference between a customer and a client.