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I spent 8 years as a professional realtor. It was heady, indeed, since I’d left the profession of teaching, after 30 years, at a top salary of $43,000. In my 5th year, as realtor, I made six figures and continued that trend, only leaving when I determined to realize my life goal of becoming a writer. Why was I so successful? I gave excellent service to clients and protected them from situations that could’ve impacted them terribly–if they followed my advice.
In that role, I helped folks buy and/or sell homes, and I have to say: Almost no one in the public understands how realtors work; how they’re paid; or even more important, to whom they owe their loyalties.
Why do I say this? Buyers going around to Open Houses meet a realtor or they call one whose name is on a sign and then they meet for the showing and think “Yeah, she’s nice…I’m sure I can trust her.” They never understand that realtor is exclusively working FOR the seller…representing the seller’s interests (unless in a state like Florida, where almost all realtors are Transactional Brokers–I’ll explain those later.)
Here’s your first lesson: It’s got nothing to do with how nice or friendly that realtor appears to you.
That realtor’s sole fiduciary (remember that crazy term) responsibility is to the seller
That means they’re never gonna suggest ways that will improve your position; they won’t negotiate in your favor; they won’t offer professional tips to help protect you (i.e. “Well, this home is on well water, so I suggest a water quality test to rule out problems there.”)
Nope, you’re on your own. Their only professional responsibility to the public is to be honest and forthright, but even that means, as buyer, you’ve got to know the questions to ask.
So, do yourself a favor and get yourself a good Buyer Broker…
In another post I’ll tell you my recommendation for choosing one.
Clue: It won’t be how others tell you to choose and it certainly won’t be how the current ads on TV tell you to choose a realtor. Nope–Most of those agents have paid for this form of advertising.
Stay tuned to my blog posts and my soon-to-come podcasts….This is important.
***Collleen Kelly Mellor’s book Boomerrrang will soon be ready for purchase. In this, she recounts her husband’s and her actual experience buying a home in North Carolina (while keeping their Rhode Island home); living there, in that trendy retirement town for almost ten years; and why they left. But throughout, she weaves her realtor knowledge, enabling them to successfully self-sell that home, saving thousands. Such shared knowledge will be a prescriptive for others.
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