One of the most common misconceptions I see among home buyers today is that the real estate agent assisting them is the one who should locate the property to view first. This was true 20 years ago, but not today. (A spin on this is “I found the property first. My agent has no value!”)
Let’s get this huge misconception addressed right away. Anyone can find homes for sale on the web; the real estate community opened this up years ago and syndication made it even more pervasive.
Realtors are no longer the gatekeepers of the inventory. Most of the time, both the agent and the home buyer are going to the web to see possible matches. Your agent may happen to see something before you do, or may find something in an area where you aren’t looking, but the odds are that you, the hyper motivated home buyer, will see the home online first.
Why is that? For one, as a home buyer, you are likely obsessed with finding your next home. Your every free moment is spent scouring real estate sites for listings. Secondly, while you’re doing that, your agent might be showing properties, staging a listing, meeting inspectors, having photos taken of a listing, attending a sign off (settlement), getting keys duplicated, giving relocation clients a tour, etc. And your Realtor is working with LOTS of home buyers and home sellers. So most likely, you will see it first. Finding the home is not your real estate agent’s main value. In other words, commissions aren’t “finder’s fees”. They are much, much more than that.