Yesterday, we wrote about one university professor’s
silly unique perspective on whether buyers need real estate agents, what buyers should expect and what they ought to do to test out the agents.
It’s one thing to read somewhat off-base thoughts from someone who’s not actually in the business; what many think a real estate agent does and what we really do are more than a little bit different.
But it’s another when those ideas come from a company who is trying to work in concert with agents, in part to help those agents build their business, but mostly to build their own profile while insinuating themselves into the real estate business without actually doing it.
Some seller’s agents may also discourage prospective buyers at the beginning of their search from seeking out a buyer’s agent. Commissions are already lower due to declining home values, and some would prefer not to split it, says Ginger Wilcox, head of training for buyers’ and sellers’ agents at Trulia.com. “Agents are fighting for their commissions.”
Ah, yes. The age-old argument of the so-called “double dip” – a listing agent collecting the full commission agreed upon by themselves and the seller rather than giving a portion of that commission to the buyers’ agent.
While I’m sure it’s possible this happens, what really concerns me outside the blanket accusation that “agents are fighting for their commissions” is that this notion is being given life by a someone who’s company wants to train buyers’ and sellers’ agents.
Read the statement again, my real estate colleagues … Trulia’s assumption, or at least of that of the training director based on the quote, is that we as a collective work in an unethical manner and actively encourage buyers not to seek independent representation so we can make an extra percent or two.
Trulia wishes to teach real estate agents but it clearly doesn’t respect them.
That aside, what’s missing from this thought is a dose of reality. In the Phoenix real estate market, short sales and bank owned homes still constitute the majority of homes available for sale. The odds of a buyer getting one of these listing agents on the phone in the first place, much less to have a conversation involving the idea that the buyer doesn’t need representation, are slim at best.
Skipping to the end … is it absolutely imperative that a buyer use a real estate agent to purchase a home? No. Does it make sense for the average buyer? Absolutely, especially when you consider there’s generally no out-of-pocket cost attached.
Want proof? Let’s start with one easy question and we’ll go for more tomorrow:
Q: After a real estate contract has been executed, how long is the Arizona state-mandated inspection period?
Local agents, please don’t answer. For everyone else, the answer comes tomorrow.