Totally hits the nail on the head!!! It is a pleasure to work with so many educated buyers right now BUT the bad part is that they often over complicate the process for themselves. I always try to help them find great deals, show all possibilities and be realistic with what they are qualified for.
The most important thing I can tell Buyer's agents: make sure your clients know that you can show them ANY home on the market and make sure your Buyer's Agreement is easy to understand.
The best advice for Buyers: Find an agent who is ready to work, Internet savvy, and is knowledgeable of your local market and required inspections. Sad to say sometimes if you do it yourself, if something goes wrong there is no one to blame but the person in the mirror! You do not pay the buyer's agent's commissions in VVirginia and West Virginia. Buyer's agent do not get paid unless they close the deal, so interview a few agents and hire the one that you like best!
Have you seen the movie musical The King and I? There’s a charming scene where the King, as played by Yul Brynner, defends his kingly tradition of having many wives by singing a short and sweet song to Anna, as played by Deborah Kerr.
To fly from blossom to blossom
A honey bee must be free,
But blossom must not ever fly
From bee to bee to bee.
Lyrics from The King and I
This is how certain homebuyers search for homes, as if they’re blossoms flying from bee to bee to bee. Instead of contacting one real estate agent, they contact the listing agent of every house they wish to tour, meet with the agents individually, and if they happen to like any one agent’s listing, make an offer.
At best, these independent-minded buyers have turned home buying into an unnecessarily difficult process. At worst, they might ultimately complicate the purchase in ways they never anticipated and unnecessarly do themselves a disservice.
This is how independent buyers work ~~
- Either they know someone in the industry so they can tap into the local MLS, or they rely on Realtor®.com and similar websites to locate houses of interest.
- They call the listing agents of each house and arrange multiple appointments.
- They meet with each agent individually, either at their offices or at each house.
- When they find the perfect house, they will use the listing agent to finalize the purchase.
In Florida unlike many other states, it’s perfectly legitimate for the listing agent to also bring the buyer by acting as a transaction broker rather than a dual agent. Still, I perceive many problems with buyers going this independent route.
- Unnecessary work for buyers - By contacting agent after agent after agent to arrange separate showing appointments, independent buyers are putting in a whole lot of effort that a single agent, whom they like and trust, would ordinarily do on their behalf.
- Extra time and hassle for buyers - If the agent is diligent, he or she will ask independent buyers come into the office, which expands the amount of time needed to see the property but is a necessary step for the listing agent, who wants to make certain the buyers are serious.
- Wasted effort for agent - Whether or not the buyers come into the office or meet the agent at the house, the agent will try to establish a some sort of relationship, even if it will last for all of one showing appointment. The agent will necessarily attempt to financially qualify the buyers, offer to e-mail free listings directly from the MLS, and give out information, pamphlets, and a bunch of smiles. Trying to develop rapport or trust with buyers on the part of the agent doesn’t always work since the buyers are only interested in access.
- Time doubled or tripled for each showing - In each case, independent buyers must explain their preference for working alone and briefly outline their needs while explaining repeatedly why they choose to search for a home on their own and not work with any one agent.
- Distrust on both sides - Even while the agent is trying to diligently establish a working relationship, however fleeting, independent buyers usually stand their ground.
- Good business relationship? NOT - It soon becomes clear to the agent and the buyers that the situation cannot foster a strong business relationship since it initially begins with distrust. In the end, aren’t independent buyers really saying they don’t trust an agent to represent their best interests?
- Missing out on agent’s strong suit - A good agent can intuit what their buyers are looking for, even when the buyers don’t verbally express their underlying desires. Buyers, for instance, might say, "4 bedrooms, 3 baths," but they’re also looking for privacy, openness, accessibility, calling distance between family members, and safety. Sometimes, just by putting together comments and body language, a perceptive agent can read their buyers. However, this can’t happen with one brief meeting, and the buyers will never know what they’ve missed out on.
- Luck of the draw - When the independent buyer finds the house they wish to purchase, it’s very possible they might not gel with the listing agent and won’t want to work him or her. It’s only human nature for buyers and agents not to establish affinity or a place of trust. Establishing that rapport ought to happen before buyers are ready to make the biggest financial transaction they have ever made. But now they’ve backed themselves into a corner, and they could very well be stuck with an agent they don’t feel right about. Of course, they could dump the listing agent and go back to one of the other agents they met previously, in which case the listing agent won’t be particularly pleased, and the new selling agent will be placed in an awkward position.
In the final analysis, independent homebuyers who practice real estate without a license aren’t looking out for the best interests of their 'clients' and ought to resign in favor of someone who can.
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Florida Licensed Realtor® and Sales Associate
Certified Negotiation Specialist (CNS)
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
521 E Mitchell Hammock Road
Oviedo, FL 32765
Specializing in Short Sale Solutions for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure
To put your home on the market, please feel free to reach me at (407) 227-7763. Questions about the Orlando real estate market always welcome.