I received an email this week from the “For Sale By Owner” company known as “The Property Guys”. They are a company that sells you signs to post on your lawn in an effort to attract buyers to your home. If you want to pay more they will even put a picture on the MLS with a sparse description of your home, no guarantees on its accuracy. In their email they purport to dispel myths about real estate and in this email they write:
This week's myth: "Agents are professional negotiators.".
Truth: Agents have a license to sell real estate, not a degree in negotiating. Furthermore, when they do the negotiations their own interests are being considered, often above yours. When you do your own negotiations, your interests are all that matter and you are in full control.
I found it very interesting to see them slander real estate agents so freely in an effort to make themselves appear more trustworthy (you know the kind of people that say bad things about others to make themselves feel better). I felt compelled to write something to dispel this nonsense so that you, the reader, will have true information on which to base your decisions on. Where I stand, a well-informed client is a repeat client, that’s the kind of clients that builds my career.
They state it as a myth that “Agents are professional negotiators.” and support it by stating “Truth: Agents have a license to sell real estate, not a degree in negotiating”. So far I don’t see any conflict but it is an interesting generalization that we don’t have a degree in negotiating. In my case I don't have a degree although I have taken many courses in the subject from professional negotiators and have negotiated dozens and dozens of deals from a few thousand to multi-millions of dollars. So assuming I don’t get paid to do that I would be an amateur and not a professional (yes, I do get paid).
The slanderous point is when they state that when real estate agents “do the negotiations their own interests are being considered, often above yours” which is entirely contrary to the code of ethics every real estate agent must adhere to. Agents represent either the Seller or the Buyer and must put the interests of them above those of themselves. The first form ANY agent should show you is the Working With A Realtor form which clearly states “When a real estate brokerage represents a seller, it must do what is best for the seller of a property.” for a Seller or “A real estate brokerage representing a buyer must do what is best for the buyer.” for a Buyer. Read my earlier post about representation and what it means.
They carry on to say: “When you do your own negotiations, your interests are all that matter and you are in full control” which is entirely true however you are at a distinct disadvantage in the negotiations. You are an expert on your home and only your home. Agents (and buyers) have viewed ten, twenty, a hundred or more homes and agents know not only what they were priced at but what they sold for and why. In negotiations experience and information matter and there is a saying for lawyers that could also be applied to this situation, “A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client”.
A savvy agent will be able to price, market, bring buyers, insert and delete clauses, disect contracts and negotiate a price that not only covers the commission but also NETS more to the sellers. In addition they get expert, up-to-date knowledge in a variety of area’s home owners typically don’t have access to such as recent legal precedents, environmental issues, pricing, best use of time and money to attract qualified buyers as well as protecting your property and freeing you up to do what you excel at.
For expert advice and representation that works in YOUR favor...call me.