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Hiring A REALTOR Out Of Obligation To A Friend Or Family Member
I read an interesting article recently, written by Andrew Fortune, about the sacrifices people make when they hire a Realtor out of obligation to a friend or family member. It had been something I thought about, considering Realtors are "a dime a dozen" and ALL my friends "know somebody who know's somebody".
There are a lot of people who think there isn't much to what REALTOR'S do to earn our commission. It involves more than just opening a door or 2, or TEN, writing a contract, and showing up at closing to collect a commission check. First of all, If it were that easy, then everyone would sell real estate. Secondly, if you have had this experience, than your agent fell short on their service to you.
Real estate transactions are extremely complex and the biggest investment many will make in their lifetime. If something goes wrong, it can have an irrevocable impact on a person's life. The following are the 3 sacrifices you could be making, hiring a REALTOR out of obligation to a friend or family member.
Security of Personal Information - Working with an agent who is close with friends or family could possibly lead to them discussing details of your transaction that you may not want others to know about. If an agent is very talkative, they may also divulge personal information about you, that gives the other party in the transaction, a negotiation advantage. There are also some agents that think they know you so well, that they can make judgement calls on your behalf. This is a HUGE No, No! Make sure whoever you hire, carries a solid business character, and reassures you, that they do not talk openly.
Avoiding Hard Truths - Being properly informed is a major advantage when buying or selling a home. If you are fully aware and understand a situation, odds say that you are more likely to get the results that you want. You want to work with a knowledgeable agent who will also be more inclined to give you the "hard truths" without the fear that they may offend you, and possibly your friends or family. This is probably one of the biggest adversities of working with someone within your personal circle. Their communication with you may be "padded" to avoid any relational drama. There will be an incessant stream of items to cover during a real estate transaction. If you choose an agent who is not skilled at communicating ALL details in their entirety, you may be left confused about certain elements. This can cause you unneeded stress and even cause your deal to fall apart. Make sure that your REALTOR communicates in a way that you are comfortable with and seems professional. Ensuring they are factual and not opinionated or emotional. Real estate contracts are legally binding, between your agent and the other party. This leaves no room for opinions or emotional responses.
Navigating Legal Minefields - Make sure your agent understands the most common legal issues that may affect a real estate transaction. In Florida, if you and your agent are directly related, you are required to disclose this to the other party. Mainly because it has a substantial influence on a REALTORS decision making process. Ask if your agent is or has ever been in a lawsuit involving their business. Agents are not attorney's, and sometimes are asked some tough legal questions that we should not be answering. Friends and family can be inclined to advise you out of personal opinion. When heavy legal issues become part of a real estate transaction, an experienced agent can maneuver through the situation without giving a personal opinion or steering you in the wrong direction. Your agent should encourage you to hire an attorney if you feel that you need to.
In closing, it's not wise to use the first agent referred to you. Determine the motivation of the person who referred the agent to you. You want a REALTOR you can trust to keep all personal details about you and your transaction private, unless instructed otherwise. You want an agent that doesn't "sugar coat" the facts and offers full disclosure, so that you are capable of making well informed decisions. Lastly, someone that is going to navigate through any legalities that may arise and be more of an "ad visor" as opposed to a salesperson or house-shopping buddy. Someone who will follow your lead and keep you properly informed through the process.
I am available to answer and assist you with all of your real estate needs. You can count on world class service when you hire me as your agent.
Melissa is a Licensed Real Estate Agent, with eXp Realty & the Tampa Lead for “The Power of Sold Team”. She has been involved in real estate since 2004 and is a certified expired listing consultan....
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