As a Realtor and/or ‘real estate professional’ or ‘real estate practitioner’ or…well, there are some that cannot be repeated here, but I digress….I have been known to get dragged into some philosophical discussions about real estate or the market or the some other aspect of the overall industry of real estate.
Well, it happened again. And this time it was about my job!
I was being interviewed by a potential buyer and I was asked in so many words, how I could justify my fee when some combination of an attorney, appraiser, home inspector and the internet could basically do the same thing for a lot less. It was not framed in a malicious way (as it sometimes can be), rather, it was more engaging…almost a debate. It was kind of fun.
As any Realtor who has been at this for some time can tell you, they have been asked this question in some form. I heard an old broker joke that he had been in real estate so long that ‘he couldn’t do anything else’ and that ‘he had no marketable skills.’
I believed him more than he knew, but that is a different story….
Here is the deal. Realtors fall into two distinct classes. Those who do and those who know.
If you feel your agent is being paid for what he or she does, then get an attorney, appraiser and inspector and hop online. You are doing your own detective work.
What you need is an agent who is getting paid for what they know. You will know if you have a “do-er” or a “know-er” very quickly. The difference revolves around saving or making you money.
The Know-er has a skill called “valueterpretation.” “Valueterpretation” (and yes, I did make up this word, but it is a good one) is the ability to look at all of the things going on in the market and understand its effect on the specific decision you are trying to make. “Valueterpretation” turns a “do-er” into a “know-er.”
Valueterpretation means being able to look more than 1 day into the future.
It means being able to recognize when historical trends should continue at the same pace, change pace or change directions completely.
It means knowing when to stand still and when to move.
It means knowing what the board of supervisors is doing.
It means knowing what the interest rates are doing.
It means knowing the builders are doing.
It means knowing what the banks are doing.
It means knowing where the historic districts are.
It means having a rolodex full of people to answer the questions that they do not know so you, the buyer, can get accurate information quickly.
And above all else, it means having the ability to recognize the buyer’s needs and communicate the applicable market factors in a way that guides the decision.
It means impacting the decision positively.
If you can find an agent that does all of that, then pay them and keep them happy. They will make you more money that you will ever make them.