I went to the dentist recently and while I was sitting there in the chair, staring into the light, mouth agape, my mind wandered. I thought about the hygienist doing her work on my teeth. She clearly was trained and experienced and knew her way around a mouth. She stepped away for a moment and I looked at her tray of utensils, and thought “I could do this myself.” If I had the correct tools, I could just copy the process she was using in my bathroom at home. One step further; I could become the dental hygienist for my entire family and oh! The savings! Absurd isn’t it? Yes it is. But this is exactly what many people do with the largest investment they will ever make.
I’m talking about Real Estate, of course. There are trained, educated, experienced professionals whose job it is to assist you in the purchase or sale of homes, land, buildings, multi-units, and businesses. The legal aspects, the hidden pitfalls, the paperwork required are all daunting enough that rational people would want a professional to guide them through the maze. But amazingly, scores of citizens will attempt to conduct the entire process on their own. Did you know? According to a national survey done in 2007, that over half of real estate transactions conducted without the help of a Realtor ended up in some type of litigation or legal dispute. The average price of home sales made with the help of a Realtor is around 10% higher than those conducted without a Realtor. The standard commission rate for Realtors is 6%. I’m no math major, but 10 is bigger than 6. Realtors assume the risk, do the work, know the dangers, and keep you out of court. Why would anybody want to do it alone?
Just like the dental hygienist who told me I needed to take better care of my mouth, your Realtor may have to tell you some bad news. It’s news you probably already knew – that your house smells like a zoo, that your gold-foil paisley wallpaper is not cool, but ugly, and that your overgrown lawn is not “natural looking” it is a sign of your procrastination. If you want your house to sell, then you should listen to the learned and tested advice of your broker. We want to sell your house as quickly and for as much as we can. Sometimes people just think they know better. They think their collection of 1,000 cat figurines is not clutter, but “homey.” Nope – just claustrophobic and hurting your efforts to sell the place.
When you are looking for a house and your Realtor shows you several homes in your price range and they don’t meet with your approval; you may have to adjust either your expectations or your price. But many buyers will trawl Craigslist thinking they can find a 2,500 square foot foreclosure in the best neighborhood and in perfect condition for a song. Here’s a hint from your buddy Scott – there’s a reason the foreclosures sell really cheap, and it’s not because you just have a knack for finding bargains. It’s because they’re in really bad shape. If they were in really great shape, the bank would hire a Realtor to get full market value for them – not post them on Craigslist or auction them off on the front steps for pennies on the dollar. Think about it.
I just want to help. Do I get paid for helping? Yes, but I still really like helping people sell or find a home or piece of land or building for their business. The equation will work out in favor of using a Realtor 90% of the time. Let us do the work, and we will steer you well.
All Real Estate. All The Time.