Need an agent?
There are people out there, like my neighbour who can put on and take off his own snow tires. I’m impressed. My neighbour also fixes his own brakes and changes his own oil.
There are people out there who cut their own hair. I know bald guys do this. I suppose that counts too.
We have services to open and close our swimming pools, plow our driveways and even pick up restaurant meals and deliver them to our homes.
There are a lot of things that we could do ourselves that we choose not to.
There are a lot of things that we could do ourselves that we should not do.
One of the things we could do ourselves that we should not do is buy and sell real estate. Of course I’m going to say this. I’m a professional Realtor. I know so many ways that the amateur can go wrong.
DIY for dummies
I suppose most people like to do things themselves for the enjoyment and the satisfaction of doing them. Cooking is like this for many people. But most people attempt to buy or sell property without an agent because they think they can save money. They might. They might not. I would advise against it. I admire your confidence but it is a risky move on your part. Here’s why I think so.
The stakes are high
Financially, buying and selling property is the biggest decision most people ever make. If you go wrong, it will cost you a lot of money.
We have platforms and processes on the internet and services that will help you sell or buy property. The problem is that the process, the language and even the typical social behaviour varies from city to city, by province and certainly by country. You may be able to find all sorts of information on the internet, but it may not be very accurate to your local real estate market.
Malcom Galdwell had a book that talked about the 10,000 hours needed to become great at something. Call it muscle memory or applied practice, but truth is the more you do something the better you get at doing it. The first time you do anything is almost always a little awkward. Ability and experience are two things you cannot fake.
Knowing vs thinking you know
You may be confident but you don’t know what you don’t know. Do you really know what is happening in the market? You don’t know what to do with multiple offers. You don’t know about disclosures.
There is no I in team
You also don’t have the network of professionals that you will need to get through the process and can turn to for advice and help when needed. Home inspectors, mortgage brokers and real estate lawyers are my three go to professionals. But contractors too are so important to know. You will need to have people on your side who will take your phone call and give you a moment of their time when you ask.
The many ways to reach the summit
Finally, agents know what to look for. We know the lay of the land, the curves in the road and the where they hide the shrimp at an all you can eat buffet. We know what is going on because we have been through the process so many times before.
Starting off with a bad assumption
When I meet buyers at open houses who tell me that they always work with the listing agents, I just shake my head.
“I’m going to save his 2% commission”.
Don’t they know that the home seller has a much stronger relationship with the agent already? A buyer working with the listing agent is putting himself in a weak position in relation to the seller and the seller’s agent. And don’t they now that most homes sell for within 3% of list price and that they would save 2% just through normal negotiations?
I suppose not. How could I know what they don’t know when they don’t know what they don’t know.
And when I meet private home sellers I always marvel at their technique. I nod my head and smile and then walk away. Nuff said.