Realizing how hard teachers work in their efforts to teach our youth, generally disproving the old adage, there are the exceptions that prove the rule …
When searching for a buyer’s agent, experts recommend putting a few through their paces first. The most helpful agents won’t just rely on what’s listed online, says Vogel. Instead, they might drive around a neighborhood looking for signs of properties that are for sale by owners or mail letters to existing homeowners alerting them to a buyer who’s interested in a similar property to theirs.
Vogel in this case is John Vogel, adjunct professor of real estate at Dartmouth College and he was quoted in this article on SmartMoney.com about buyers’ agents.
To be clear, Professor Vogel believes one way for a buyers’ agent to prove their worth to a buyer is to write letters to homeowners who are not trying to sell their homes asking them if they will sell simply because someone asked. Because, of course, this will be far more effective than looking online.
Except … the Multiple Listing Service is online. And the MLS is the place where real estate agents list and market properties to other agents on behalf of the sellers they represent, sellers who presumably want to sell their house as opposed to those waiting for a letter to arrive, triggering a sudden desire to sell.
Moving on …
And because most buyers’ agents don’t get paid until a home is purchased, they have a strong incentive to see you buy something quickly, Vogel says: They may not tell a client to wait for prices to fall further.
There’s an excellent reason for that; if I were able to be absolutely certain which direction prices might be headed, I’d be happy to tell my clients. Actually, that’s not true. If I could see the future, I’d pick the Powerball numbers and stop working for a living. Or perhaps look into become an adjunct professor of real estate.
Nothing signals damning with faint price like asking an “expert” to express the necessity of using a buyers’ agent without actually understanding what it is a buyers’ agent might do.
Perhaps, rather than the good professor walking into the lecture hall to address a class, he ought to be put through his paces; let him write letters to college-aged students in the area of Dartmouth and let them know there’s a professor teaching a class on real estate, just in the off chance they want to attend. No more relying on the online catalog for students; that’s as lazy as a buyers’ agent using the MLS.
Oh, and the most important part … he won’t get paid for writing the letters or preparing the lecture. He’ll only receive a pay check if someone registers for his class.
Wonder if the theory might change …
Part two, where we discuss how Trulia wants to teach real estate agents even though the company doesn’t necessarily respect what they do, comes tomorrow.