how many people trust real tors when you buy and sell your own home?

Asked by ttomser, San Martin, CA Thu Sep 20, 2012

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Mitchell Pea…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Thu Sep 20, 2012

In California, real estate law is pretty complex. It is easy to cross the law and not know if it you have not been educated in the law to the extent that realtors are educated and examined upon before they are allowed to have a license. The same is true with regard to getting a loan. Most loan officers are either employees of banks or mortgage companies who have to take a mortgage originators course and exam before being allowed to make a loan to anyone.

If either a loan officer or a realtor does something dishonest, he breaches the rules of his profession and can lose his license. All a client has to do is report him to the real estate board. For this reason, most realtors are very honest.

Selling a home requires knowledge of the law and knowledge of lending, the first so you as the owner don't get yourself in trouble, the second so the buyer can successfully complete the transaction at the highest price you can get for the home. You will need a guide to successfully navigate the sale. The best guide is an experienced realtor.

What I look for in a realtor is the same I look for in any professional: knowledge. Does he provide a path forward to a solution for you? Does he suggest a method or process, that gets you the outcome you are looking for? Does he understand your needs? Can you understand him when he talks? Is he willing to work with you? If the answers are yes, why waste time fretting about it? Why not go forth and become happy with the outcome you seek? Over thinking and over worrying can make things seem more complicated then they are. If he (or she) lays a path to success out before you, why hesitate to take it?

Don't forget, the realtor only makes money if your sale is successful, so the realtor is going to be committed to your success. In fact the more money you make from the sale, the more he makes. With that in mind, I would trust him to make you money, or if your sale situation prohibits you from making money by the fact you have no equity in the house you must sell, at least , he'll be sure to protect your interests and get the best deal under the circumstances.

In the US, most people use a realtor to complete a sale even if they are selling to a family member. The commission to the realtor may be less when you already have the buyer in hand, but the value of keeping the whole transfer legal and the loans for the new buyer intact more than make up for the cost. The realtor can arrange the transfer and make sure escrow works smoothly, all banks involved are happy etc. so the end result is your success without headaches along the way.

No one can make people happy for long, if at all, by being dishonest. Happy clients refer new customers. Every realtor knows this. This is why we work hard to make our clients happy.

I look forward to your phone call to 408-639-0211 or your email to

Mitchell Pearce
1 vote
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Tue Sep 25, 2012
From Jan to Aug of 2012, 988 people in Clearwater FL not only trusted their real estate consultant but actually sold a single family home. Now you need to add 988 buyers and you have 1,976 buyers and sellers who trusted their real estate professional and realized their goal.

Those potential home buyers incapable of trust stood by watching as PK investments purchased over 800 homes directly from Fannie May and plan to purchase 600 more.

If you are a real buyer or seller you will work with a consultant or watch as others are achieving their purchasing goals. At this time, it should be understood, those who are hesitating will have the decision made for them. Gigantic investment companies such as Blackstone and PK will purchase the sitting inventory, and the fence sitters, the skeptics, those incapable of trust, will find themselves continuing to rent. (your question was posted in the Foreclosure category, so this may be relevant to you.)

There is nothing wrong with the TRUST and VERIFY strategy. The not trust and do nothing strategy accomplishes little and keep one locked in homeostasis.

Final thought, a ship wreck is easier to avoid than to fix. It is however, great to have choices. Some of the elements of anarchy pop up here on Trulia asking, "How do I make an offer on a foreclosed home?" The are steering straight for the rocks and when they wreck they will be back on Trulia looking for somebody to blame. Such an innocent four letter word that reaches to the very core of the individual.
0 votes
Juliana Lee…, Agent, Palo Alto, CA
Tue Sep 25, 2012
Depending on the community, the seller may not trust you as a buyer if you don't have a realtor working for you. Although almost anyone can learn to be a realtor, the time involved isn't justified for a single or even a few sales.

Locally, small builders almost always hire a realtor to sell the homes they build. Their time is more valuably spent doing their own jobs.

So even though someone may not value their own time, if they think it doesn't take more than a sign in the front yard to get a good price, they are fooling themselves.

The goal of good realtors is to quickly educate their clients so that they can make an informed decision. There is a large amount of money involved in the sale of a home. Different people want different amounts of education. It shouldn't really be primarily about trust. However if the person receives a good timely "education" they will trust their realtor.

Juliana Lee
Top 3 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty
0 votes
Mark Burns, , Cupertino, CA
Thu Sep 20, 2012
I know about 250+ people like that personally.

Mark Burns, Realtor
Coldwell Banker Elite - Top 2% Worldwide
President - PRDS, Contracts and Forms for Silicon Valley Residential Real Estate 2008-2012
DRE #00896552 Licensed since 1985
Over 600* Homes Sold in Silicon Valley

*95% are repeat and referral clients.
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, ,
Thu Sep 20, 2012
Good evening ttomser,

I've been helping homebuyers for 23 years as a Mortgage Banker. Realtors get the job done, 'nuff said. Whether you are buying or selling a great full-time and experienced agent can't be beat. The key is to find that great professional in the area where you wish to buy or sell.

Too many Buyers think they can game the system by working with several real estate agents and looking for homes on their own. When I meet those Buyers for mortgage qualifications, they are often very frustrated with the process. The Buyers who are working with dedicated professional Realtors on the other hand have a smooth process with questions answered along the way by their real estate professional.

Sellers who think they can sell a home on their own have another thing coming, more often than not. The process of selling a home is complicated and frustrating and NOT for the faint of heart.

To bottom line answer your question: YES trust a Realtor whether you are buying or selling a home.

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Sep 20, 2012
If a consumer doesn't trust Realtors, they shouldn't work with one. I am very aware, particularly on this advice column, that many, many folks don't trust Realtors, and that's too bad. I know lots of very hard-working honest people in this profession.

I don't think it's every wise to generalize and make conclusions about a large number of people from one or two experiences - yet people do it all the time.

Do I think all buyers and sellers should use Realtors? Absolutely. There's a lot to know and a lot of ways a deal can fall through. Find someone you trust.
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Linda Baker, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Thu Sep 20, 2012
I guess my first response to your question is to never work with someone who you do not trust. When I am working with a new client, especially one that was not referred by a past client, I work hard to earn their trust. I do not take for granted that trust must be earned.
Ask for referrals from your friends/family for a Realtor. You need to have a relationship with someone who is your partner in the transaction, someone who will tell you the honest truth, and have your interests ahead of their own financial gain.
A great Realtor can make or break a transaction, whether it be a listing or buyer's agent.
All the best on your upcoming transactions. This is a great time to sell!
0 votes
Jerry Gardner, Agent, Dana Point, CA
Thu Sep 20, 2012
That's an interesting question, and I'm not sure to what you're referring so I'll give you some general insight. A Realtor is a designation when a real estate agent joins the National Association of Realtors. But the licenses are for Real Estate Agents and Real Estate Brokers, and a short answer to your question is millions of people trust real estate professionals with their transactions.

In order to get licensed a professional has to go through in-depth courses including Ethics every two years in most states, and there is a comprehensive background check including fingerprinting. That said, real estate professionals are people and therefore you'll run into some good ones and not so good ones. So be sure to ask questions, be upfront about what your needs are and if needed check references. Because you are not represented by a real estate agent on your side of the transaction when you're selling your own home, it doesn't mean that you can't work with one who brought a buyer with you. A good agent will walk you through the requirements of his or her license and may ask to represent both you and the buyer. That's a perfectly legitimate transaction, but may warrant some commission negotiation. And it might help you avoid pitfalls down the road if you're new to the process.

On the flip side, real estate professionals have risks as well because not all sellers and buyers are honest in their dealings, so we all have to do our due diligence when working together. But I can guarantee you that a bad real estate professional is a rare exception. Most are great resources and great to have on your side.

Good luck.
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Elena Talis, Broker, Palo Alto, CA
Thu Sep 20, 2012
All my clients trusted me enough to hire me for the job...
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Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Thu Sep 20, 2012
Are you asking about using one person to help you sell your home and buy another?
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Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Thu Sep 20, 2012
I don't understand the question. You are are not using a Realtor what does it matter what other people think of them?

By the way the word Realtor is a registered name of an Organization that Real Estate Agents and Brokers elect to be members of. A Realtor is held to a higher level of ethics and standards. I would expect that a "Realtor" is trusted and respected.

Not all Agents and Brokers are Realtors.

have an amazing day!
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