By Laura Rubinchuk Schwartz
I met with a very nice couple looking to retire and relocate out of the area, which means selling their home of 20+ years. It had been many, many years since they needed the services of a REALTOR® or learned of the new way things are being done to sell a home, prepare for listing, and the paperwork involved in the process. After a brief tour of the home and some chit chat about their situation and goals for selling their home, we got down to the nitty gritty details, like commission.
After discussing commission rates and such, they asked my favorite question of every listing appointment: “Well, what would your commission be if you sold the house?”
My answer: “I never do dual agency. I think it’s a conflict of interest. I represent you and your interests in this transaction, and at the end of the day, I want to make sure you’re happy and you feel like you got the best deal possible. If I am representing both parties, I don’t think that’s possible.”
With total blank stares, and then a smile, the wife said, “You’re too honest.” My response? “I’m honest, but I also think agents have a bad reputation and we’ve earned it. It’s not about the paycheck in front of them, it’s about the long term happiness of both parties.”
I am sure this is bound to stir up some strong opinions on both sides of the argument, but I wanted to lay out my thoughts on dual agency:
- Agency relationships mean I sign a paper that says I represent the interests of the seller. I am trying to get them to meet their goals with this transaction. I always keep that in mind when reviewing offers and be sure to point out specifics that may be issues for them.
- I always show the property when asked, regardless of representation. Continue reading »
By Jennifer Klein
The current real estate market is tricky to understand. In this video with Steve Ostrom, we discuss who is obligated to whom, both in a short sale and in the case of bank owned homes. Understanding who our agreements are with as agents will help buyers better navigate the market.
Jennifer Klein is a REALTOR® in Northern California who is experienced in short sales, investments, and property management. Connect with Jen at RosevilleAndRocklin.com, JenKlein.com, and @JenKleinSac.
By Chris Nichols
About a week ago, I had a young couple looking to buy their very first home come interview me. I was quite impressed they were actually doing an in-depth interview to find the right agent to represent them in such an important transaction. It was a welcome surprise, and brought back memories of my experience with a consumer focus group that NAR had me observe. Those buyers had realized they hadn’t interviewed potential representation and had simply gone with the first agent they met.
I was really impressed with the preparation that this couple had put in to asking the right questions. We spent almost an hour together and I enjoyed every minute of it. One of their questions was of particular interest to me. They asked me if I was willing to give up some of my commission if they found the home they wanted to buy on their own and I just handled negotiations and contracts. I explained to them that I was not willing to do that. I told them that where I earn every penny of my commission is in the negotiations, the contracts and in protecting them throughout the process.
I continued by explaining that very rarely do I even get involved in the home searching process, that buyers know what they want better than I do and that using the various online tools allow the consumer to do that quickly and easily. I also made the point that someone who didn’t feel their services were worth every penny and would give up some of their commission for the most important aspects of the transaction, probably wouldn’t be the best negotiator on their behalf.
Fast forward a week… Continue reading »
By Subhi J. Gharbieh
A week or so ago, I was approached by a long time friend who I have known since elementary school. We grew up in the same neighborhood, went to the same high school, and even graduated from the same university. I remember as kids, we would always talk about how successful we wanted to be when we grew up, and how we were going to help each other become successful.
He called and asked me a few real estate related questions. He said that a relative of his had a property in mind that he was ready to move on, and needed some consultation. I thanked him for the referral, and gave his relative a call. We met, discussed the whole buyers representation process, and everything went pretty well.
A day or so later, I received a call from this friend of mine, saying that his relative was going to approach this property representing himself, without a REALTOR®. I respectfully accepted that and didn’t think too much about it. Immediately following that, he calls me again, this time saying he would convince his relative to purchase the property with myself as his REALTOR®, only if I gave him 50 percent off my commission. (The subject property listed at a little over $2 million dollars.)
Just remembering the friendship that this person and I had as kids, this “offer” felt like a slap in the face (I’m 22, it wasn’t that long ago). I explained to him that it might seem like he is dropping a large amount of money in my lap, but the process to acquire a property of this value takes a lot of time, knowledge, negotiation, and liability. He wasn’t convinced. Long story short, I declined to represent the buyer. Continue reading »