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AR's community takes the time to leave honest and transparent reviews of their experiences
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Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
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Ask a Real Estate Question
Here's another avenue for you to build relationships with others. Share your expertise with someone searching for answers.
Play the teacher role and help someone out today
Your Homepage will alert you of new questions in your state
A wonderful way to open a door to a possible new client
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These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
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Farm your niche market and cover all the happenings in your neighborhood
The real estate market today isn't what it used to be a few years ago. Worse than that, it isn't what it was a few months ago!
Everything changes so fast these days that it's difficult to keep up. With new laws and regulations, with HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Government, state legislature and local jurisdictions changing the rules almost on a daily basis, knowing the in's and out's of a even the simplest real estate transaction is no longer simple. In fact, it's just about impossible for a Realtor to memorize all these changes because by the time they do, those changes will be outdated!
The irony of course is that most sales, particularly distressed properties, require a certain amount of legal knowledge, a trait that although may seem advantageous to a Realtor is actually ILLEGAL!
Yes, you read that right. Realtors are not allowed to give advice to their clients on several subjects. The two that are generally out in the forefront would be legal advice and tax advice. While I respect and even support the notion that tax advice is better suited to come from a CPA than a Realtor, and legal advice is better suited to come from an attorney, answering a simple question from your investor buyer shouldn't get you into trouble.
For example, you've been working with a particular investor for some time, and they've finally found a property they like. Your client asks you, "Can I write off mortgage interest on my tax return since this is an investment property?" You would think the answer is "Yes", right?
Wrong. The answer is, "I'm sorry but I cannot give you tax advice. You'll have to discuss that with your accountant." Now my hope is that there are a few of you reading this who are thinking to yourselves... "Gee, that seems silly." Silly or not, that's the law.
Don't like that one? Okay, here's another. You're working with a seller on a Short Sale. Years ago, the seller refinanced their loan from the bank. Now the bank approval letter comes in and the terms are vague at best. Your seller asks you, "Can they come after me for a deficiency later?" Now anyone with access to the internet can answer that question, so certainly a Realtor can, right?
Wrong. The answer is, "I'm sorry, but I cannot give you legal advice. I can give you the contact information for a few attorneys, or you can find one on your own. But that's really a question for an attorney who specializes in real estate or foreclosure laws." From personal experience, I've seen the frustration this causes with the seller, but what else can you do? The law is the law, and putting your license at risk certainly isn't worth it.
Other questions that can't be answered can range from "Is that mold?" to "How much will it cost to repair that leaky faucet?" or "Can I write off HOA dues?" and so on. The irony is, most people actually know the answers already, and some of them just want to feel comfortable that the person representing them knows the answers too. When you look at it that way, it puts everything in a different light.
So a Realtor is supposed to know the answers to all these questions so that they can guide you through the process of buying or selling a home. Yet at the same time, they have to do this without actually providing the answers to any questions that may be considered "crossing the line". They have to stay current on all the regulatory changes, new lender guidelines, governmental changes, as well as adapting to a market the likes of which no one has ever seen before (at least not exactly like this one). They have to have the skills of a psychologist, a politician, a negotiator, a contractor, an interior designer. They have to have computer skills, understand contracts, be able to design web marketing, have great people skills, and be able to incorporate all these skills and summon them at will at the speed of light. Are you kidding me? Does that sound like a job that most people would want? Oh, and by the way, they have to hear people talk about how much money they make. In my opinion, you couldn't possible pay a Realtor enough for the job they have to do... and do with a smile.
It doesn't take a genius to tell you that this is near impossible, yet I still hear Realtors often compared to "used car salesmen". And although a Realtor doesn't get paid an hourly wage and generally only gets paid when a deal closes, to assume that they would close a deal at any cost is like assuming a judge would make an improper ruling and put their license to practice law on the line simply to make a point or further their own agenda. Is that really what everyone thinks? Because if it is, then maybe we all need to be a lot less cynical and little more understanding.
A Realtor is there to help and guide you through one of the most important purchases in your whole life. They are my heroes, and I'm proud to be one. Maybe they should be your heroes too...
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.