Words can be so revealing.
Recently at an open house, a home buyer said that he and his wife don’t have a buyer’s agent. Later, though, he volunteered that recently they’d written an offer on a property and had “used an agent“.
What does that tell you?
Most Silicon Valley real estate professionals would like to have established professional working relationships with home buyers and sellers. They want clients, not customers. Realtors put in a lot of time reviewing disclosures, pulling comps, analyzing the realty market, looking for red flags at the property and in the paperwork. The real estate salespeople or brokers want to go “all in” to help their home buying clients to buy their next home with the best price and terms possible.
But do home buyers want the same thing that their Realtors do? I’d say usually yes – but not always. Often you can tell how committed a home buyer is by the way he or she speaks, but sometimes only in the way that person behaves. For those of us working in the industry, it’s very important to understand the client’s motivation and loyalty; spend too much time with buyers who aren’t committed to working with you and you will be in the hole financially.
Probably 15% or so of San Jose area home buyers really don’t want a relationship with a Realtor. They’d rather go it alone. At another open house, someone said to me that she didn’t like “feeling obligated” to anyone, and found that if she did anything with any real estate agent, that person was expecting her ultimate business.
Yes, that is how it works. We only get paid if a sale closes.
In many areas of the United States, it is very common for Realtors to engage with home buyers using a Buyer Broker Contract (buyer broker agreement). Here, it’s not so common. We prefer to work on a handshake, we prefer to work for our clients with the faith that they will reciprocate our hard work with their loyalty. Silicon Valley Realtors want to guide and assist you all the way through from before, during, and after the sale. They do want to know that you will work exclusively with them – and not just “use” them. If that’s the working, professional relationship you have with your Realtor, it will give you benefits for years to come as that buyer’s agent can be an ongoing source of advice and guidance.