With the advent of technology and the mass flow of information on the Internet and its interactive nature, anyone can be a Real Estate Agent with or without a license.
Consumer internet sites such as Zillow, Trullia, Realtor. Com and Redfin to mention a few, provide you with the ability to find a property, list a property, find the value of your home and get tons of demographic information.
So who needs a Realtor?
Before you get all excited, just remember a little knowledge can be dangerous and it can cost you big time if you are not familiar with the business.
Agents know the finer points of purchasing and selling Real Property. They know where to look to find the important information you need to protect your most expensive investment. More importantly they know how to interpret the information to let you know what it means and how to take advantage of it.
Real Estate Agents generally get 17% more for a house then a “For Sale By Owner”
They come chock full of services and protections looking out for everything on your behalf including things you may have not even thought of.
Hiring a Real Estate Agent seems like it’s an easy task but it’s not as easy as you think.
Your cousin just got their license, your 70 year old uncle had his license but isn’t really active that much anymore, your girlfriend got her license last year to earn extra money or your bartender overhears you talking about selling your house and offers his services.
“Caveat Emptor” Buyer Beware, because even though you have family or friends with a license if they are not fully invested in the Real Estate industry they may not know how to protect you or negotiate on your behalf.
There are 47,573 active Real Estate licenses in Arizona with many thousands more that are inactive or expired. The average agent in Arizona earns $37,486 annually. 10% of the active agents conduct 80% of the Real Estate transactions. The average agents in this bracket are all earning 6 figures annually.
So who would you want to work for you, a fully invested professional agent skilled in negotiations and up to date with industry information, or your bartender?
Don’t get me wrong the interactive world we live in today gives us a more knowledgeable client and that is great for experienced agents but when it gets down to knowing how to move around the system, hire a professional agent not a part time one.
All of the above mentioned sites you may look at are what I call second tier sites. They get their information from some other original source and they get their money from companies and agents advertising their services and waiting for you to sign up to look for property. Not the property you find online mind you, because that may have been sold a month ago but to get you to buy another listing they may have for sale.
A Real Estate Agent initiates the listing on the Arizona MLS and all second tier sites copy that info to their sites. It may or may not be current.
The MLS is the most active and current site to look at for property. Your agent can set you up with a portal into the MLS for free. In today’s world you don’t need an agent to find a property, just the tools and the interpretation of what you are looking at on the internet, and that you can’t find online.
Look at the FSBO “for sale by owner” who looks online and determines that their property is worth $200,000. They put a sign in the ground and sell it in a month for $200,000. They are a genius until 3 months later they find out at a dinner party that inventories are extremely tight and prices are increasing and their old neighbor just sold his house for $250,000.
Or the Buyer who buys a FSBO and saved all that money on commissions only to find out the homeowner didn’t disclose a sinking foundation or leaky roof and no one told them to get an inspection or disclosure statement.
Or the Buyer who looks at a FSBO and sees a new water softener and Osmosis system to purify the water for their family only to find out after its sold the system was leased and the guy is at the door to pick it up or sign you on to a new 5 year contract at $200 per mo.
See a private owner does not have to disclose anything because they are not professional but an agent has to ask the appropriate questions to protect you and they become liable if they don’t disclose this information to the Buyer.
How do you know if the Seller even has the ownership to sell the property?
The exposure alone is worth it. If you sell your home yourself you put a sign in your front yard and only get the cars that drive by that are aware of you selling, most of them your neighbors and they don’t want to by your house. So you go to Craigslist and post it there and within minutes after your post it, it disappears on page 5 because there is so much activity.
When your agent lists your home 47,473 agents with clients looking to buy see your property, plus it goes to all those secondary sites so your exposure is immediate and expansive.
Let’s say you get an interested prospect that wants to view your property, you have to be on call all the time, by the way, and listen to the prospective buyer complain about the color of your carpet or the poor choice of your cabinets, and you have to follow them around your house making sure your personal property is secure. Let’s say they are interested and ask you if you are OK with FHA, Conventional or VA financing or could you do a wrap or carry back. Do you know the difference among them and what your liability may be? How would you know if they are even qualified to buy your home?
A professional agent prequalifies a buyer and asks the appropriate questions.
Having fun yet, are you saving money now??
Save time, sleepless nights and money and hire an experienced professional agent.