But I found the house firstOne 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.

The agent’s main value is far deeper than locating a home for you to purchase which is widely advertised on the web. (Article to read: Who Needs A Buyer’s Agent? I Can Find It All On The Web!) It is understanding the market (someone who knows what’s happening with multiple offers, concessions), understanding local issues (some red flags that you may not know about), whether relating to neighborhoods, construction issues, lending pitfalls or other items), being able to negotiate not just the purchase contract but the myriad of other details as well, understanding the nuances of the real estate contract, finding great inspectors to help you (rather than picking a name out of the proverbial phone book), navigating appraisal challenges, etc. etc.  A good, experienced Realtor will help you every step of the way and even after the close of escrow.  But he or she probably will not tell you about a home you want to see first.  You will see it first.  That’s how it is across the country now.  If you are expecting your real estate professional to locate the property first, you will be upset and disappointed because your expectations are all wrong.
A little more reading for the truly interested:

How to get a great buyer’s agent in a seller’s market (when most Realtors would rather assist home sellers)

 

 

 

Author

  • Mary Pope-Handy

    Silicon Valley Realtor, selling homes in Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose, Silicon Valley, and nearby since 1993. Prolific blogger with a network of sites.

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