Who’s Looking Out For You?

Is Your REALTOR® Really Working for You?

I am sure if you have ever bought or sold a house, you have asked yourself this very question.

When the offer has been accepted, all the conditions removed, and the emotional roller coaster ride over with, many wonder if they really got the best deal (aka representation) that was available.

When you hire a real estate professional, you should be absolutely clear on what your representative is going to do for you and on your behalf, and equally clear on what they WILL NOT do. This goes for both buying and selling property.

When you have listed your property for sale through a real estate brokerage, there are duties and obligations that your REALTOR® owes to you.

Some of these you not doubt are quite familiar with, such as providing you with an opinion of the current market value of your property, and developing an effective marketing plan to ensure you have success in your sale. In addition to these, your seller representative should also:

• Keep you up to date on properties in the area similar to yours that have been listed and sold
• Prior to receiving an offer, determine a strategy to get your property sold on your terms
• Ensure that full disclosure is made of all material facts and any other legally required disclosures. In this way, help minimize expense and trouble for you that might result from needing to correct deficiencies.
• Make arrangements with you, the Seller, to show your property. They should counsel you on how to present your property in its best light.
• When you receive an offer, assist you in evaluating the terms and conditions included in the offer, and formulate and evaluate any counter offers you make or receive.
• Help you determine if seller financing is appropriate, if requested.
• Help you obtain the best (highest) price, on the best terms for you.
• Assist you in completing the necessary steps up to closing, to ensure completion of the sale.

I have emphasized this last point, as I believe this is the most important duty, and one that I find not all REALTORS® provide to their client. At the same time, it is one that can have the greatest effect on your sale.

On the flip side, when you are buying a home, you have a choice of being represented by a REALTOR® or of receiving ‘Customer Service’. The difference in these two methods is huge. If you decide you don’t need or want to be represented, you need to be aware that the REALTOR® helping you with your purchase is working for the seller, focusing on the seller’s needs, and sharing any information you may provide to them, to the seller, to assist the seller in obtaining the highest price possible for their home.

On the other hand, if you decide you would like the assistance of your REALTOR® and enter into a Buyer Representation Agreement, your REALTOR® will help you find the right house for you, and negotiate the best possible terms on your behalf. In addition to these activities, your Buyer Representative will also:

• Act as your advocate, putting your interests first.
• Provide you with information on properties that meet your needs, and present a realistic picture of the current market, from your perspective.
• Make arrangements for you to view properties, and point out to you the pluses and minuses of the properties viewed.
• When you select a property to buy, they will prepare a Market Evaluation of the property to help you formulate an offer, and help you determine strategy for counter offers.
• Present your offer, in person, in order to best negotiate on your behalf.
• Obtain the best (lowest) price and best terms for you.
• Counsel you on types of mortgages, terms, and financing available to help you make an informed decision regarding financing.
• Discover as much as possible about a property. Recommend inspections; prepare contract conditions; advocate that deficiencies be corrected at the seller’s expense.
• Assist you in completing the necessary steps up to closing, to ensure completion of the sale.

As you can see, there is a long list of duties your representative should do, but unfortunately not all REALTORS® are fully aware of their responsibilities to you, or chose not to perform all their duties.

As a buyer, I know sometimes people are leery to enter into an agreement with one REALTOR® as they believe they can maybe get a better deal working with the listing representative, or want the freedom to look on their own until they find the right house.

I hope that in reviewing the duties that a professional REALTOR® performs for their clients, that you see value in entering into a Buyer Representation Agreement. Keep in mind, when you work with a Coldwell Banker real estate sales representative, you will also receive the Ultimate Service Guarantee, so you don’t need to worry about being tied to someone who won’t do their job. You can fire them! It’s in writing!

I hope this has given you something to think about when you start your next home buying or selling adventure. Be sure you get the representation you are entitled to, and the best possible service available.

The one sure way to do this is to call a Coldwell Banker Pinnacle sales person. They will meet with you, and spend the time to find out what you need and want, and demonstrate to you why they are the best possible choice for you.

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