We need to create some legislation that allows a buyer's agent to acquire a retainer, much like attorneys.....seriously!
Many years ago (so I've been told), buyer clients use to work with a realtor because we were pretty much tied in exclusively to MLS listings via print, in the form of daily or weekly books with the new and existing listings.
The agent would constantly be checking these books for property that matches their clients needs and make showing arrangements.
With the advent of the internet, those MLS listing books are now extinct and not only are all of the MLS listings on the internet for the agents, but they are all out there in real time for the buyers also, in the form of public sites like Realtor.com, Zillow.com or ZipRealty.com, etc.
And this has in turn created the world of internet leads that are generated from these sites.
Well, what this has done is, in the minds of the buyers, change to role of the realtor from the all-knowing professional to somewhat of a door-opener. In other words, the buyers know everything about the property already, and they just need a realtor to open the door for them!
I believe EVERY one of us has had the experience where we've received a contact from a prospect that saw a property online and requested information from you, and like magic!!.......they have an agent already.
Or they have you work with them via email on property searches for weeks on end and then...poof! Never to be heard from again.
We need to enact some legislation that would allow us to collect a retainer, much like an attorney, for the work that we do with buyer clients.
MANY professions do it, and I think due to the evolution of our industry with technology, it's time to take a long, hard look at putting something in place that is similar for us.
Some people may think that it will not be consistent with the principles of RESPA, but I say absolutely not. All this means is that clients should be very thoughtful, and mindful of taking the time to select an agent to work for them in finding a home. Do whatever you like, put us all through interviews much like a seller would. WHATEVER! Just respect the fact that after you have chosen a buyer's agent, they will be doing a heck of alot of work for you.
The how and why's can be ironed out, but I seriously feel the time has come.
We've been robbed of some of our integrity, and have been thrown into an all-new prostitution ring and need to regain that respect and integrity that most of us that are still here have worked SO HARD to develop.
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