I wanted to explain some of the myths and confusion that sellers and buyers seem to encounter when dealing with "us" real estate agents. I know it is not always easy to understand our world - but I hope I can put an end to some of the fuzzy areas. These are some actual questions/statements I have received from buyers and sellers:
1) "If I go to the listing agent- I will save on the real estate commission." - FALSE - You will NOT save any money if you go directly to the agent listing the house. You will pay the same amount of commission money, if you use the realtor that has been showing you homes for the past several months, or if you walk into an open house. Once the home is listed on MLS the commission has been established. Wether you go directly to the listing agent, or having an agent bring you into the house - the commission has already been established. You will not be paying half the commission by using the listing agent.
2) "You just want to make a deal - and sell my house!" -- TRUE. You have come to me to sell your home. I take my job very seriously. I will do my best to get your home sold at the REASONABLE MARKET VALUE - if you let me!! Most real estate professionals understand the market, have a very good idea what you will actually get for your home; Not always but most of the time. Even though you NEED "x" amount of money - that may not be what the MARKET VALUE of your home is. Listen to what your realtor is telling you. They are out shopping the market and have a very good idea of the MARKET VALUE OF YOUR HOME!
3) "Why do all realtors just want listings?" - That is the foundation of our business. Listings are like food in a restaurant. If you walked into a restaurant and they have nothing to serve you - would you go back? Our business is the same. Listings are how we get additional business - that is the basis of our business!
4) "What price will the seller actually take for this house?" I always answer: "We know the seller will take the list price." On Long Island most of us work as sellers agents - we are negotiating and are working for the seller. Make an offer - try not to be insulting, and no - people are still not giving homes away. In the past several months we have seen the market pick-up dramatically and it is not unusual to see multiple offers on homes priced correctly (MARKET VALUE). If you like a home and you feel it is for you - put an offer in.
5) "Is this a good neighborhood?" " Are the schools good?" " Are there young people in this building?" - These are all questions we are not allowed to answer. We can certainly steer you in the direction to find the information that you are seeking but we cannot tell you this information!
6) "Is this a busy street?", "Family neighborhood?" - all questions you need to investigate on your own. If I grew up on a 100 acre farm-house, the road I currently live on would seem like the NY thruway. What is busy or not busy, loud, or annoying to me, may not be the same for you! As a buyer coming into an area that you are not familiar with; you should go to the local library, the grocery store, visit the local recreation center, gyms etc... Spend an evening having dinner at a local restaurant. You are considering living there and spending lots and lots of money on a home - put the time in to make sure it is a place you want to live in!! You are not just buying a home - you are buying a community!