There is no doubt that the experiences of family and friends impact our decisions greatly. We value the opinions of those we love the most... and when they have a bad experience, it's easy to draw assumptions about the culprit, whether actual or misconstrued.
Real Estate Agents aren't above this. In some circles, we have a bad rap. But if you take the time to read this post, you'll learn quite the contrary about Real Estate Agents, our commitment to valued relationships and our field of expertise. Let's debunk the Top Real Estate Agent Myths.
1. Real Estate Agents are always late for appointments - Not so. No matter what the profession, being late is not acceptable. We don't appreciate lawyers, inspectors, Cable Reps or clients being late, so why would we practice habitual tardiness? Unless an unexpected mishap crosses my path, I am early to appointments and take my time to be thorough with presentations, showings, questions and closings.
2. The more you pay for a house the more the Real Estate Agent makes - Perhaps. While there are money hungry individuals in every industry, Realtors abide by a strict Code of Ethics. Altering the purchase price by a few thousand dollars, impacts my puse only slightly after commission splits, office dues, association fees and E&O contribution. I could care less about what I walk away with at a closing. My goal is to attain a happy client that spreads their good experience with friends and family.
3. The less commission you pay as a Seller, the more you make in your sale - Nope! Not only does a reduced commission lend to the idea that you do not value the livelihood of another person, you'll walk away with a different number... and a headache. Discount brokerages offer their services to a very select group of people that would ideally have a very specific situation in terms of their Selling needs. Many times these brokerages do not carry as much exposure for their listings as full service brokerages and you may find that the listing process can be drawn out with some.
4. Agents must show you homes on demand - Wrong again. We're not tour guides at beck and call, and unless we're under an agreement about representation, we're not likely to drop our daily to-do's to pick you up and cart you around town without having met. Let's work something out - if you're in the market, I'd love to help! Our time is just as valuable as yours. I'm sure we can find a time that works for both of us.
5. Real Estate Agents get kickbacks - False. This is against the law. We take tests and have mandatory education regularly, part of which highlights RESPA or the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act outlawing kickbacks since 1974. We don't get paid when you use a specific inspector, get a home warranty or close at the local Title Company. Nice try, though.
6. Real Estate Agents and Inspectors fudge the facts - Negative. Some Real Estate Agents are comfortable with a lowly inspector doing minimal work and having minimal interaction with their Buyer. Many, like me, offer a bullet proof list of inspectors that have come to be trusted and valued with years of service for you to interview and choose from. Agents and their Brokerages can be held liable for false information. I insist on a thorough inspection and go over the terms of an inspection report and what that would mean to my new homeowners. After all, why would you NOT want to know?
7. Real Estate Agents make too much money - Quite the contrary! The average income for a Real Estate Agent sits at $39,800 in 2013. When you take into account all of the fees that are associated with the business, you'll think twice. I'm talking office fees, MLS fees, Membership dues to NAR, TAR and MetroTex (Dallas County), lockbox and sign fees, gas, supplies, insurance, etc. It's a much less "fruitful" field than some would think.
8. Agents sell their own homes for more money than yours - Not even. We work with Sellers to understand our reasoning for informed and effective pricing - emotional ties and personal pride in a property interfere with your ability to see the market like we do. And with this, we practice what we preach. Why would we want to waste the time and effort of overpricing our home, if we're busy with your needs?
9. Real Estate Agents should tell Buyers about ethnic makeup, crime and schools in a neighborhood - Ain't so! Enter in the law, again. Protected classes (race, color, sex, etc.) are covered in the Federal Fair Housing laws and are not to be discussed. My best advice to a Buyer? Visit the property at all hours - try 8:00 AM Monday, 11:00 Saturday and all hours in between. Investigate online. You'll get to know the pulse and traffic of that neighborhood and whether it suits you or not.
10. Agents will say anything to make a sale - Absolutely not! Misrepresentation is a no-no. As with Myth #2, my goal is to create a happy experience and smooth transaction for you the Buyer, and all of your friends and family. Whether you like a house or not has no impact on my feelings... this is one of the most important financial decisions you will make! Let's make it a good one.
I conduct my business in honesty, and hope that you would give the thought of a Real Estate Agent another chance - we're not half bad once you sort fact from fiction. We've all made mistakes and all had the learning curve of experience in our careers, but the services that we offer are vital for a smooth transaction and your making wise investments for your future.