I've been a Real Estate agent for 12+ years and you might be surprised at how often I hear this question or better yet, when I hear someone’s vivid opinion of what they think a Real Estate agent does (or does not do).
The value of a Real Estate agent is slowly diminishing in the eyes of the consumer and you know what? We have no one to blame but ourselves.
We have allowed the buyers and sellers of the world to believe that all we do is put a for sale sign in the yard, hold open houses, take them to view homes they found online or send them a link to our website so they can create their own home search or check the value of their home, etc.
When every Real Estate agent is speaking the same language, using the same marketing tactics and succeeding at removing themselves as much as they can from the transaction, consumers have every right to question, “Why do I need an agent?”
Let's be real for a second! If you’re a buyer, you’ll most likely start your home search on Zillow. Why? Because most home buyers do. Zillow has created a simple user experience and they made window shopping in your pajamas convenient. If you’re interested in selling your home. Yup! Zestimates are the go-to for potential sellers. Again, because Zillow makes it simple, convenient and potential buyers and sellers don’t have to talk to a Real Estate agent.
Why am I not afraid to admit this? Well, because I know my value as a Real Estate agent and I know that my true value lies in none of those things mentioned above. Yes, I can help provide a more detailed estimate of your home value by showing you how most agents in the area will explain the value of your home to their clients. An algorithm can’t take small intricacies and specific local market knowledge into consideration when comparing apples to apples, at least not yet.
As a buyer, I would consult with you and ask many detailed questions about the home you desire. More than just the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, etc, but more in alignment with why are you moving, where would you like to live, do you like to entertain, do you want an open floor plan, is there a specific school district you want, do you work from home, what are your goals for this home, how long do you plan on living here, and so on.
A Real Estate transaction has many moving parts and as the agent at the center of it all, it’s our job to quarterback the deal and make sure everything is moving forward. Most transactions have agents on both sides, lenders, appraisers, inspectors, transaction coordinators, title and escrow officers, assistants and a shit ton of paperwork. Then there are always fires that need to be extinguished, poor communication that can derail a deal, one person dropping the ball and endangering the hopes and dreams of a buyer or seller. It can be messy.
The next two are my biggest and favorite value propositions as a Real Estate agent: