Spring is coming and for a home buyer that often means it is time to start looking for a house to call home. Of course on the flip side of that is the house seller who knows that this is a great time to take advantage of the warmer weather and the insurgents of buyers hitting the market looking for a home. It is a busy time for real estate! If you are part of either of these groups then I’m sure your already thinking of the months to come and trying to devise a plan.
I would like to take this moment to talk about something I have noticed when interacting with real estate buyers and sellers. There appears to be some miss conceptions out there about Realtors, what they do, what it means to work with one, and how exactly things work. It has been something that has bothered me ever since I got my real estate license, and it is the perception some people have of Realtors. During my first year or so I was curious what this stigmas was and why it was out there. It bothered me that I was getting into a career where there was such a shadow cast. I became a Realtor for many reasons: one was because I genuinely like real estate, two because I wanted a career where I could help people, and three because it enabled me to fulfill my desire to be an entrepreneur. During that first year I realized that a lot of people have had bad experiences with Real Estate Agents. I immediately felt for them and empathized with them. You see my first home buying experience was with my sister and we decide to use a Real Estate Agent. The lady was nice, BUT I don’t remember her having a good conversation with us about how she was going to help. She never told us what she could help us with, and never really gave us the sense that she was there for us no matter what happens. I believe these things are why we ended up telling her we didn’t want to work with her anymore and why we ended up buying a new home on our own. A lot of this sentiment was echoed in what I was hearing others say about their experiences and their concerns. I did of course hear very good things about Realtors as well, but I’d like to focus on the issue at hand. As a Realtor I have had many instances where I’m talking with a home buyer who isn’t currently working with a Realtor and the minute I tell them that I can help them in their search they clam up and almost start running to the door. These interactions have created a strange anxiousness within me when I’m talking with customers. I want to help, I want them to understand what I am saying when I say I can help, I want to make a living at what I have come to be pretty darn good at, but I don’t want people to have such a reaction. I understand it is hard to know who you can trust, but you have to trust yourself, and know that if something or someone doesn’t feel right to you then you can say it to them. I’m not going to lure you into some secret spell where I force you to buy this or that. The truth is I can offer a home buyer an invaluable service. I don’t bind my buyers to some contract where they have to buy a house or else. I rarely even use a contract with my buyers only because it seems to scare them, even though I would never have anything in a contract that would obligate them to do anything they weren’t comfortable with. If I do use a contract it simply states what I’m going to provide for them in exchange for their word that ” IF ” they are going to buy a house they will be using my services. There are some out there who feel that having a Realtor would put too much pressure on them to buy ( a feeling of obligation ). I get it, but this isn’t just business to me, it’s much more. I really enjoy getting to know my clients, and I always try to ensure them that I have no expectations and there will never be any pressure from me to buy. If a buyer doesn’t find something they like enough to buy and they want to take a break from the process for a while, I say ” no problem at all. When your ready to start looking again, I’ll be here for you. Take your time. ” Realtors understand, we’re people too, and we know that buying a house is HUGE for people. This is also why we know we can help.
So… I guess what I’m trying to say is give a Realtor a shot. Don’t paint all Realtors with the same brush and colour. Have a real conversation with one and find out what they can do for you, what they expect from you and who they are. Don’t run to the door as soon as I tell you I’d like to help. You may be running from someone who can save you thousands and someone who can find you the home of your dreams before someone beats you to it.