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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Debunking myths about Real Estate agents

Everybody knows a few things about real estate agents. Obviously they
must love houses, and condos, and building sites. But there are other
things we think we know, and which turn out to be urban --or suburban

• “At the top of the list,” said Nikki, “agents are not cut-throat
competitors. In almost every transaction, there’s an agent for the
buyer, and one for the seller. We have a common goal, and nothing’s
accomplished unless we synchronize our efforts. Sometimes we’ve
worked together in the past, and thus have a history of filling in the
potholes—and doing it quickly.”

• More than a few people think agents can cherry-pick the best
deals, grabbing up bargain properties as soon as they hit the
listings. Or maybe even before. “This is more than a myth,” said
Nikki. “It’s a violation of the agent’s license. Of course agents
occasionally buy homes for their own use, but in these cases they’re
obliged to observe some strict regulations. Such transactions don’t
take place on the QT.”

• Having signed a listing contract with an agent, what if the seller
finds an acceptable buyer on his own? Would you say the seller has no
obligation to the agent? “This problem rarely arises,” said Nikki.
“But if asked to consider it, many people would say no. The agent
didn’t do any work to earn a commission. But the agent’s contribution
to the sale began long before the listing. It began as the agency
built up the solid reputation and string of successful sales that
first attracted this client. It continued as the seller used the
agent’s time and expertise on marketing advice. In short, the
contract signed by the seller does carry some obligation.

• After getting a lot of help from a local agent, the buyers end up
acquiring a house out of town. And using out-of town agents. “The
myth here,” said Nikki, “is that although the buyers apologize
profusely, they think there’s nothing else to be done. However, the
agent should let them know that there’s a way they can help offset her
already-devoted time and knowledge. That’s by making sure the
out-of-town agents are advised they’ll be asked for a referral fee. At
no cost to the clients.”

Most real estate agents would love to see these myths debunked—as well
as a few others. “But the upside, “ said Nikki, “is that this is a
business where you build lasting relationships. There’s almost always
time to correct false impressions.”


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