When hiring or working with a broker or real estate agent, there are certain things that remain hidden. You probably suspect that there are things your broker or agent isn’t telling you but you don’t know what those are and all you can do is imagine things. We decided to expose some of those secrets and to reveal the true aspect of the relationship between a real-estate agent and the client.
Brokers don’t work for the buyer.
You might be tempted to think that the client is the one that dictates everything when working with a broker. Well, that’s not exactly true. The reality is that real estate agents do not generally represent the buyer but the buyers think they do and this way confusion appears. So the next time you contact a broker remember that this person is employed by the seller and doesn’t represent you as a buyer.
The open house is a long-term plan.
Another mistake people usually make is thinking that the purpose of an open house is to attract buyers. In reality, it’s almost certain that the open house won’t provide any serious buyers. These receptions are in fact the agent’s long term plan and don’t have much to do with the seller.
The commission is negotiable.
Even though most people think that the 6-percent commission is the standard, as it turns out, the commission is absolutely negotiable. So don’t be afraid or ashamed to bargain. You might be able to get a better deal. The commission should be high enough to motivate the broker but doesn’t necessarily have to be 6 percent.
The zoning pains that come with your home.
No real estate agent will willingly warn you about all the zoning problems you’ll have to deal with after you buy the property. So if you plan on making changes, inform yourself before you buy. The only situation when the real estate agent would be completely sincere with you about all the pains that await you is if he/she is your friend and the chances for that to happen are slim.
You can BYOB.
Not many people are aware of the fact that, when working with an agent, you can also bring your own buyers to the table and this will allow you to get around paying a commission in case one of them turns out to be a serious buyer. It’s best to discuss this aspect up front and before you hire a broker.
You can’t rely on their home inspectors.
As you might have suspected, every real estate agent has a home inspector close by, ready and willing to catch small problems and to ignore big ones and this is almost never in the client’s favor. You can’t rely on what the inspector actually says so, as a buyer, it’s best to select your own licensed inspector. At least this way if you have a problem later on you’ll know it’s because of you and won’t have to blame somebody else.
You can sell the house yourself.
Of course, no real estate agent will tell you that you don’t need their help to sell your house. But in reality you can actually do that. You can list the house online, find possible buyers, arrange meetings, make a deal and save lots of money. Now it’s easier than ever to do so thanks to all the internet sites designed specifically for this purpose.
The contract you sign doesn’t protect you.
Very often, people sign contracts without fully understanding the implications. The contracts include a provision in which it’s stated that the buyer is not relying on any verbal statements of the seller or real estate agent and this contradicts what the buyer actually knows and relies on. So make sure you thoroughly read the contract before you sign it and optionally have someone with you to watch your back.
Brokers favor fast sales.
In some cases, it may not be in the agent’s interest to wait for the very best offer and so the agent will try to push towards a quicker sale. Even though you’ve heard the broker talk beautifully about your house and all the wonderful features it has, in order to get a quicker sale they may come and tell you that you should drop the price because of the old roof or various other reasons. To avoid that, be clear and make sure your broker understands that you won’t change the asking price.
The warranties don’t actually offer any protection.
When building a new house, developers and agents often offer warranties. However, those aren’t something you can actually rely on. They are extremely carefully worded and most claims and up null and void so it’s best not to find much comfort in those. It’s best to get your own lawyer in such cases.