I can’t think of a more boring topic to start my blog…  but I will anyway!  No, I don’t hate my readers.  So why do it, you ask?  Because it’s important, REALLY IMPORTANT.

Most people throw around the term “agent” or “real estate agent” to mean nothing more than “a person to help me buy or sell real estate”…  But it’s so much more.  Agency is a real thing.  It’s a term to define a relationship.  See, an agent OWES you things.  They aren’t just someone helping you with something.  An agent acts on your behalf and owes you things like confidentiality, and honesty.  They have a fiduciary responsibility to you.  That’s a $10 phrase to mean they should treat your money well and always strive to get you the most bang-for-your-buck and make you the most possibly money.  This stuff is important.  Here’s why…

Real Estate agents today have a bad name.  They get compared to used car salesmen (sorry used car salesmen) and politicians.  The bad agents make us ALL look bad and bring a noble profession down a few notches when they have the attitude:  anything for a commission.  These people are out there, some are very successful.  Some will list a home at 20% more than they know it will sell for, just to get the listing and try to “work you down”.    They attempt to “sell” you a home.  If you’ve ever worked with a pushy agent, you know what I’m talking about.  A little secret for you…  Agents don’t sell homes.  No agent EVER sold a home.  Homes sell themselves.  Agents can point out features and good agents can relate a home to a buyer’s needs but you can’t “sell” a home to a buyer if it’s not a good fit.  Can’t be done.

Another little secret…  You don’t NEED a real estate agent.  (I’m bracing for the hate mail I’m about to get from my real estate colleagues…)  You can use attorneys to handle the process for you.  They are really good at contracts BUT not always good at understanding the real estate market.  They are really good at getting paperwork done BUT not always really good at creative solutions to keep a deal from falling apart.  But technically an attorney can handle the transactional piece of a real estate transaction.

So… why use an agent?  Because a professional agent, with YOUR best interest at heart can make the process of buying and selling real estate very easy.  They can advise, coach, and help you along the entire process.  And…  They can help you to avoid pitfalls.  Think of a real estate agent like insurance.  It’s a small price paid to ensure you have the best possible response to any future challenge.  I’m betting you have insurance if you buy a $20,000 car even if you pay cash and aren’t required to.  Why wouldn’t you ensure the best possible outcome for a $200,000 home purchase you will have for 10+ years?  Agency IS important.

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