I was talking with my daughter and realized there is a lot of misunderstanding as to the role of a REALTOR in the home buying process.
She and her husband think that they must pay for a REALTOR to help them search for a home and assist them in their home search. I explained the details to them about Buyer's Brokers, Transaction Brokers, and non representative brokers. How many REALTORS earn their commission from the sellers not necessarily the buyers, and how a buyer's contract would work.
After talking with her, I came to the conclusion that our young public has not been educated as to our various business models and the business of our business.
I was further working with a young couple searching for their first house, along with the husband's mother. When I first met with the couple, he asked me what my commission was for the sale. I explained that my commission was not a thing to be concerned over as it was set by the seller. When his mother joined him she asked the same question. She seemed to feel that I was going to show them homes that gave the highest commission only and not all the homes they could qualify for. She then accused me of not wanting to show them short sales because they took a lot of time and that I may not be paid for them.
I explained the Code of Ethics as it applies to REALTORS and told her that our business is based upon customer trust and referrals - she seemed to feel otherwise. When I also explained that the time for a short sale was not my concern but could be her children's concern to include the fact that while waiting for a bank approval they could be edged out by another offer, she seemed non-plussed.
Although we as REALTORS are doing our best to get the word out as to our capabilities, our duties to our customers, and our commission structures - it seems we've forgotten to tell our clients and customers that there are differing business models out there, that one business may have a different way of bringing an end result to a client/customer than others - and that the rules in one state vary from other states and areas.
I work to educate my customers, family, and friends about the business and what we do, especially the new and potentially new buyers - I hope all of us do this as it adds more credibility to our business and is the foundation of trust we so sorely need when people think of Real Estate Professionals.