As many of you are aware, a buyer in California is suing her real estate agent for failing to help them with their due diligence on a property. She felt that she was hiring a professional and as such expected professional guidance. Whether her case is valid or not is up to courts. I know I don’t have all the facts, so I will withhold judgment.
What this issue brings up for me as a real estate professional is…what is it that we do? What is at the core of what we provide for clients?
There are many tasks that we do for our clients that are a convenience for them, but really are not at the core of what we do. We set up virtual tours, take out ads, hold open houses, set up showings, etc, but those are conveniences. Just like some people hire a maid to clean their home, or a lawn service to maintain their yard, people buy back their time and pay for services. People can do many of the “mundane” tasks of marketing a home themselves, but it’s a matter of how they choose to spend their time. I don’t see these tasks as being the essence of what we do. People don’t hire me because I can take a good picture, put together a virtual tour, or have a MLS keypad. That convenience is just a part of the package.
What we bring to the transaction differs slightly for buyers and sellers.
For sellers, they are counting on us to know HOW to market a home. What is the most effective strategy? How are home buyers looking these days? They are counting on our objectivity in walking into a home and seeing what needs to be done. They are counting on our expertise on the local market conditions. They are counting on us to be up on real estate laws and help them be in compliance. They counting on us knowing WHAT to do, in order to get the home sold.
Buyers count on us to know what to do as well. In a previous blog, I talked about my experience with a buyer. My first time home buyers were looking for small acreage. They wanted to see an older home built in 1935 that needed a lot of work. It is also located on a hilly, treed area. Before we went to see that property, I had 9 of the following questions already answered.
- Any additions or remodels on record with the city or county?
- Original septic of 1935?
- New or older well? Any water table issues in the area.
- On a hill, landslide risk?
- Any restrictions on removing timber from the property?
- Rural land may mean farming requirements or other zoning changes
- Any plans for annexation into city?
- Is it within city limits which means additional taxes
- Are their any old underground tanks on the property?
- Is it cost effective to remodel this home?
- What inspections need to be done (septic, well, chimney, soil, engineering, etc)?
- What do the comps say for pricing?
- What is the resale potential of this home?
None of these issues has anything to do with how well I work a keypad and unlock doors for my buyers. While I am adept an opening doors, people hire me because I have knowledge and expertise in how to negotiate and maneuver through a transaction. I don’t have the answers to all of the questions, but I know what questions to ask when, who to consult, major red flags, and things to be concerned about.
We spend day in and day out staring at market numbers, reading about local issues, understanding lending markets and national impacts. Our time as agents is spent developing our expertise in understanding our local markets. People hire real estate agents because they are counting on us to to know WHAT to ASK, WHEN to ask it, and WHAT TO DO about in the purchase and the sale of a home. That is at the core of what we do.
If you are thinking about relocating to Salem-Keizer Metro area and need more information about what our city is like, please call or email me for more information. If you are considering a purchase or sale of a home, I’d like to discuss your real estate needs with you.