Do Clearwater, Florida Home Buyers Get Full Service or is it Pump it Yourself?

By
Real Estate Agent with Charles Rutenberg Realty

 old gas station in clearwater beach florida

Clearwater Florida Home Buyers

I had something happen today in Clearwater, Florida that made my jaw drop and I just had to share it with you all.  It made we think about the extinction of Full Service Gas Stations.

How did it happen? When did it all start.....maybe it was when buyers no longer "valued" the extra service over price...we often discuss our services as Listing Agent, however today I'd ask that you answer wearing your Buyer's Agent hat?    

We had a potential buyer today, we'll call him Bob. Bob was referred to us by one of our past Tampa Bay real estate clients - normal enough, right? 

So one of the first questions we ask Bob is, "Have you been pre-qualified for your mortgage?" What Bob said next made me drop my jaw...

He said, "Yes, I was prequalified for a mortgage by "big national real estate company". Ok at this point I'm wondering why he's talking to us and not the other Clearwater real estate agent??? Well I didn't have to wonder long because what he said next blew me away...

He said, "Yep, they prequalified me and then just handed me a list of their properties to go and pick from" and then he said, "They just weren't very helpful"  - at this point I'm thinking that's an understatement, as well as poor professional performance in my opinion. This is a Tampa Bay Real Estate brokerage that gets paid for FULL SERVICE - but in my opinion is delivering PUMP IT YOURSELF service.   

So here's my question, we've all been discussing the Redfin interview and Real Estate commissions (explained so well by Broker Bryant)- usually as they relate to being the Real Estate Listing Agent, but what are your feeling about providing "full service" to your Home Buyers. At least Bryant Tutas makes his position clear - he only serves Home Sellers - I respect that he is straightforward and honest about it. I'm struck by the feeling that the original Real Estate company was also only serving the Home Seller - but they were still willing to take a "low hanging" commission if the buyer found one of their "listings", I mean homes to buy.  How is this good for the Home Buyer? 

Stephanie Edwards-Musa posted a great article outline 12 Steps To Buying Your Home with her.  

Clearwater Florida Buyers Agent

What services do you routinely provide Home Buyers you work with?

  • Do you find out what they're wants and needs are and then show them ALL the properties for sale that meet their requirements by all real estate companies and not just your brokerages listing?
  • Do you do CMA type analysis to consult with them on current market values for the homes they like?
  • Do you actually show them the homes they're interested in or do you have them call the seller?  
  • Do you advise them to pass on homes that are not realistically priced since they will get their escrow money back if it doesn't close but they'll never get the inspection monies, appraisal fees, survey expense and more back if it won't appraise, not to mention the emotional rollercoaster effect on everyone? 
  • Do you negotiate for them like it was your own money or they were your own family?

These are just a few of the things we do for the Home Buyers we work with. 

Jack & I are as passionate about working with Buyers as a Buyers Agent as Broker Bryant is about working with his Sellers. We bring great value to those we serve as Buyer's Agents - we definitely earn our cooperating brokerage commision.

As we get a look at how the public views Realtors and the job we get paid to do - we need to make sure we are always bringing value in the form of:

  • real estate expertise,
  • consulting skills,
  • specialized knowledge,
  • advocacy,
  • strong negotiations, 
  • managing all the details of the inherently complex transaction that when mistakes are made can be very costly for buyers and sellers alike;
  • and caring for our clients as people - that's what I believe they're paying for.    

I'm curious , what do you think your Home Buyers value most about working with you?

Clearwater Florida Real Estate

 If you or someone you know is looking for real estate in the Clearwater / Clearwater Beach / Sand Key/ St Pete Beach /Island Estates / Tampa Bay area ~ whether it's a home, condo, investment property, - Jack and I can help. 

We offer FREE Search of all properties for sale by all real estate agents in Tampa Bay, Florida area.  

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Rainmaker
550,069
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Yvonne, so good to hear from you my friend - I was just thining about you this morning. How's things in Vancouver? I know your buyers benefit from your care and attention to detail. Visit again soon.  
May 18, 2007 04:58 AM #34
Rainmaker
550,069
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes

Bettina, 

It is so good to have you visit. I respect that you are a pure buyer's agent - that is an awesome service you provide. We offer the majority of our buyers Single Agency and represent only them. The get a great value and service.  

May 18, 2007 05:05 AM #35
Rainmaker
588,955
Neal Bloom
eXp Realty - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

Cyndee,

I mostly work with listings...unless it is a listing going  into purchase then I have a buyers agent to handle that. Even though the market stinks..I still prefer the listing over the buyer..but that is why my partner deals with that part.

May 18, 2007 06:04 AM #36
Rainmaker
550,069
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Neal - Thanks for stopping by and visiting. We need realtors that specialize in listings too. I'll bet you're very busy with all the homes on the market in Weston Florida.
May 18, 2007 06:21 AM #37
Anonymous
Anonymous

as a lender who deals almost exclusively in realtor referrals and i am in florida.

 

in the old days when a realtor was new the broker often worried that they would make a quick sale. the worry was because they might think that selling real estate was easy and they would not spend the time learning what they needed to know in order to properly generate sales and give proper service to their clients.

in the florida market for a period of time simply being an order taker was enough and for many these habits are hard to break'

also the downsiide of the great information source, the internet, is that many individuals don't have or develop the interpersonal skills they need, and unfortunately don't offer a high level of personal service.

quite frankly for you it's their loss and your gain. though not appropriate maybe we should thank them.

as for your new client, hats off to him/her/them for not accepting inferior service.

on a personal note they seem to have been lucky to find you reward them with knockout service.

good luck 

May 19, 2007 02:40 AM #38
Rainmaker
550,069
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Thank you to Florida, Lender - well said! Thanks for visiting. 
May 19, 2007 05:01 AM #39
Rainer
48,228
Hildreth Barnhill
Specialists Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Team -
I have an aunt who will not use a real esate agent because of just that. All the agents she ever worked with just showed her thier properties and nothing else. That is absolutly abhorrid and selfish. If any one has ever done this you should repent and live up to the oath you took upon your becoming a REALTOR. I don't understand how anyone could sleep at night after doing this. This is why we have to fight for commissions.
May 19, 2007 08:21 AM #40
Rainmaker
550,069
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Hildreth - I'm with you - I couldn't sleep at night doing that. What a shame your aunt couldn't find a buyer's agent. Thanks for visiting, please come again soon!
May 19, 2007 02:26 PM #41
Rainmaker
391,461
BILL CHERRY
Bill Cherry, Realtor - Dallas, TX
Broker & Wealth Coach

 BILL CHERRY - MY 43RD YEAR

You did a good job with this.  I have never and I never will be anything but a full service broker.  I have more than enough ethical skills to handle both sides of the transaction and handle them well, and no one is going to scare me out of continuing that.

I've spent a lifetime in the real estate business, and I've never been threatened with a law suit much less had to defend myself in one.  And I am confident that's because I handle my clients' business just like I would expect mine to be handled.

 There are lots of us out there who practice this way.  And that's the way it should be.

May 19, 2007 03:05 PM #42
Rainmaker
550,069
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Bill, thanks for weighing in on this one. I bet you still remember "Full Service Gas Stations" - Wow 43 years - you must be doing lot right - obviously you have your experience but are also willing to learn new things like how blogging and internet can fit into your real estate tool kit. I'd love to see you back soon - Wise members always welcome... ethical pros applauded! 
May 19, 2007 04:51 PM #43
Rainer
47,378
Jeff Fulgham
T.U.P. Realty - Tupelo, MS
Broker E-Pro ABR
Those are not real estate agents those are order takers. BIG Difference
May 20, 2007 04:45 AM #44
Rainmaker
550,069
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Jeff - boy did you say it ALL! Please come back and weigh in anytime. I wish consumers understood the difference before the transaction instead of sadly figuring it out later.
May 20, 2007 10:37 AM #45
Rainmaker
1,240,758
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector
Online sure can have a negative impact on service industries. Compare the number of travel agencies 20 years ago, and how they are doing, to the ones today. Almost everyone I know goes online to get tickets, dealing with the airlines and hotels (even those overseas) themselves.
May 20, 2007 02:42 PM #46
Rainmaker
550,069
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes

Steven, You are so right. I think we all have to be aware of what value we're giving. I am seeing more and more buyers calling "online lenders" first - thinking all mortage services are the same and it's all about "rate". Unfortunately theres so much more to mortages than rate and so much more to real estate than, "What commission do you charge?"  

When consumers perceptions of value change - the market place changes - but not necessarily for the consumer or the traditional businesses.    

May 20, 2007 02:59 PM #47
Rainer
155,621
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

I bring a ton of experience to the table having done this job for so long.  I also don't try to intimidate my clients.  I always try to make the experience a fun one for my clients and they seem to appreciate the combination.

 

Bob Mitchell

ValueList 

May 21, 2007 06:09 AM #48
Rainmaker
550,069
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Bob - thanks for weighing in - ultimately it's all about the "experience" - that's  where we're found the referral come from - great experience = more business!  
May 21, 2007 07:49 AM #49
Rainmaker
145,798
Kaye Thomas
Real Estate West - Manhattan Beach, CA
e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
Cyndee- Very good post and something we all need to be aware of.. The main comment I get from my buyers is that I am very patient and always answer  all their questions.. this is very important for my clients.. they want to know they can ask me anything and I will always be there to give them an answer.
May 21, 2007 06:57 PM #50
Rainmaker
710,555
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro
Cyndee--What a great post! Missed it last week. I think my buyers like working with me because I assist them...hand holding required...through the process. My buyers don't back out of a deal as we have discussed and qualified them throughout. They understand that I am on their side as part of their team. They understand if dual agency does arise, there are options and that their interests will be protected, even if I have to find them another agent. My goal is never a quick sale, it is a good client and friend for life!
May 23, 2007 02:11 AM #51
Anonymous
ET
As a buyer it was good to read these blogs and Ms. Haydon’s observation about the way of the full-service gas stations. I think this is especially true for blind sales where the Internet is used to locate and purchase property.

Because there is no face-to-face secession during the process I see a lack of providing the buyer with full and complete information.  I also found that there isn’t the sense of strong negotiations as if it was your own money. My thought is they don’t want to upset the selling agent for they might need to deal with them again and probably never see the buyer for a second time.

As more and more information is obtainable on the Internet and the younger generation who grow up using computers turn to buying and selling homes using this media, will there be a need for more than a broker or title company if it is self service and no commitment to providing full service?


Jun 22, 2007 07:17 AM #52
Rainmaker
550,069
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes

Dear Local Buyer - thank you for taking the time to comment on my article. We find that people appreciate getting the information they want early in the process but then really appreciate the consulting we bring to the them - what's the property really worth, referrals to inspectors focused on the buyer not the seller, that we do negotiate like it's our own money and manage all the hundreds of transactional detail during the process. 

Our clients tell us they love the "high tech info" with the "high touch service" - we're excited about the future - especially with the service we provide our buyers.

If you ever know anyone thinking of buying property in the Tampa Bay area we'd love an opportunity to explain how we can help. We even have a toll free number to allow those referred to us to hear how we work. Just email me and I can send it to you.

There's never any pressure when working with us because we believe in helping buyers buy right! 

 

         

Jun 22, 2007 10:21 AM #53
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Cyndee Haydon

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