Home Buying in Cupertino>Question Details

Holly Kick, Home Buyer in Santa Clara, CA

Why do we need real estate agents ?

Asked by Holly Kick, Santa Clara, CA Sun Sep 29, 2013

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Answers

35
Well, it depends on what you mean by "need".......unless your question is rhetorical and you don't REALLY want an answer!

Apparently you don't see any positive value..... nor do you exhibit any respect for what we do.....according to you, we "jack up prices" and "force people to buy"......you have zillow and trulia and redfin to gather all the information and knowledge you think you need...

Heck, you even knew how old the house was before the agent did!

....So, in your case, I'd say no, you don't need an agent......and conversely, an agent doesn't need you.
5 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 29, 2013
The reason why real estate agents will always have a place in this world is because people know that whatever home they purchase (or sell) is going to fall into one of those categories of decisions where making the WRONG choice can have long-term consequences that cannot be undone without access to deep pockets and even then at great loss.

This isn't like buying clothes where you make a bad choice and you just take the clothes back...or even just keep them in a corner and throw them away unworn. This isn't even like buying a car. With a car you can be out of it within a few years without too much harm...some people don't even blink and take a hit an trade a car in the same year because they don't like the pickup or the noise...or whatever.

Buying a house isn't the same and because of the risk involved in the transaction most people want a confidant that specializes in making sure that they find the right home, and when they do, that the transaction doesn't blow up before they even get to the finish line. There's even more to it then that, but the bottom line is that most people don't try to take out their own appendix and most people don't try to sell their own homes.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 25, 2013
The reason why people dont take out their own appendix is twofold. One - it is physically impossible. Two, there are surgeons (who were top of their class in high school and college) who have spent 6-10 years beyond college IN TRAINING before becoming a surgeon ; who can do this job.
Flag Sun Dec 8, 2013
I resent being called part of the mafia. I am not Italian. I would rather you refer to me as part of the "mob" or as a "mob boss."

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a buyer who is unwilling to buy and I have to have a "serious talk" with him, if you know what I mean. Let's just say, it could get very painful.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 25, 2013
Don't compare us with doctors, don't compare us with automobile dealers, don't compare us with . . .

Face it. We're incomparable. There are entire sections of the law devoted to us. Real Property, the Disposition of it, the Brokering of it, Title, Deeds.

There are many threads running around on the blogs by self-proclaimed do-it-yourselfers, to the effect of, "I'm buying (or selling) without an agent, what do I do next?"

My feeling on the topic, Holly, is - if you want to sell without an agent, do so. If you want to buy an unlisted property without an agent, do so. Why not? Life is short, and if that's what you want to do, well, then, go right ahead!

All the best, Holly,
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 1, 2013
Well, let's see because you are on this page with several other questions that you were not able to answer yourself and reached out to us, professional real estate agents for the answer.

if you didn't need a real estate agent you would not be on this website.

I suggest you research the laws and ethics of real estate, the education, skills, contract and disclosures involved in a real estate transaction. Then After those hours of perfection perhaps you will understand the roll of a real estate professional.

I'm sorry your experience thus far has not met with your expectation. A professional will sit down with you and give you a consultation. Learn about what you need and expect, explain how they work and see if there is a fit. It doesn't sound like you have had that experience.

I wish you much success in what ever your real estate goal may be.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 30, 2013
You don't.
Actually youj don't need to wear sneakers when running a 10K.
You don't need a fire extinquisher in your home.
Some actually drive a car without insurance.
Others, won't pay taxes, pay their billls on time be worthy of their wages.
-
For a season, a person CAN get away with such behavior.
Eventually, the consequences will need to be dealt with.
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Of course, I recognize and understand that is seems to be the duty of all citizens to deminish that which they do not understand. This is the case with real estate agents who take their position seriously.
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Let see if you know the consequenste to the following:
1. You have a Wells Fargo promise for a mortgage.
2. A buyer presents you proof of funds from Acme Real Estate Funding.
3. Buyer offer 'full price' without seeing the home.
4. Bank of America is funding the purchase in community with 2 sales in 2013.
5. the home for sale ownership if via a trust.
6. There are over 15 ways to finance a house, how many do you know?
7. There are over 20 ways to sell a house, home many do you know?
8. What are the instruments of ownership that are most benefical to a investor buyer who intends to hold?
9. Where are the 'opportunities' of profit of a seller financed home?
10. How do you avoid the Due on Sale or that 1099 that is lurking to surpise the unprepared?
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Of couse you can run the 10K barefoot. Not many do, The consequenses can have life-long consequenes. Please feel free to CELEBRATE! You CAN run barefoot and choose to engage in real estate relying on JimBob and strangers on the internet. Many have found it highly productive to engage the services of those who assist in the buying and selling of dozens of home every year.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
727.420. 4041
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 30, 2013
Igor says;

"Why do you need an anesthesiologist when you're getting surgery? All they care about is their salary. They make high six figure incomes for minutes of work. The rest of the time they sit there reading a magazine while the doctor operates. "


Ok, so I'm not going to take sides on this because I am a licensed agent, I just also happen to be a licensed MLO and that's what I choose to do. So with that out of the way...

Why do agents always destroy any credibility with moronic comments like this? DO you have any idea the education, training, licensing required to become an anesthesiologist? They read the paper while th edoctor operates? Are you kidding me? If they make a mistake it's 100% certain someone dies. If you make a mistake... Actually nothing happens because no one really cares unless the client actually files a claim against your E&O and that rarely happens. But certainly no one dies. What a truly idiotic statement you made!

For the love of GOD, please stop comparing REALTORS to doctors, lawyers, anesthesiologists and the like.


Thank you!
Carry on!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 30, 2013
Actually, I thought up the anesthesiologist analogy. The doctor analogy has been used many times before me :-) Again, why wasn't anyone cringing at the car mechanic analogy?
Flag Mon Sep 30, 2013
I also cringe when the Realtor-Doctor analogy is used.......I also cringe because every agent who says that must think they thought it up, and that it is a novel approach..... same as telling people they "get what they pay for".
Flag Mon Sep 30, 2013
And might I add, that as a licensed agent, if indeed you are one ... shame on you. Shame on you for not comparing yourself to a doctor or a lawyer.

Your job, like theirs, is that of a protector, a fiduciary ... a person that puts clients needs ahead of your own. You call my comment moranic for comparing myself to other fiduciary professions? Shame on you.
Flag Mon Sep 30, 2013
Rest easy Gregorio ... I also included car mechanic in my examples ;-)

There was quite a bit of sarcasm and hyperbole in my response, which you clearly missed. However you are still supporting my point. It takes a lot of education and training to be a good real estate agent.

No one will die if we make a mistake (hopefully), but there is a substantial amount of financial risk.
Flag Mon Sep 30, 2013
This is funny. This type of thread seems to pick up around the holidays.

Jim, let's keep la cosa nostra a secret from "them," shall we?

What's Redfin got to do with this? They're a real estate brokerage, like just about everyone else, except that they've got about $100,000,000 in venture capital behind them hoping that they can sell the website at a profit!

Like most working people, we are in it, first and foremost, for the money. The idea that people love their work so much that they'd do it for free . . . Wanda Sykes does a bit in her comedy show, "if I won the lottery right now, I'd walk out in the middle of this joke."

And like most working people, we take pride in the work we do. We want to satisfy our clients, to do right by them, to use our skill and knowledge to their benefit.

While my preference is to avoid feeding the trolls, I have the desire to remind people that they don't have to use our services, and that - believe me - we are more than fine with that!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 28, 2013
Betty, are you really an agent? You do not understand agency law very well. You are right, to some degree. The LISTING AGENT and maybe the DUAL AGENT/TRANSACTION BROKER are trying to get the best price for the seller or isn't trying the help the buyer but a BUYER"S AGENT, or in my case a BUYER'S BROKER is REQUIRED by agency law to work in the buyer's interest and part of that is making sure the buyer-client get any house for the lowest possible price. Sure, some agents don't try hard enough but that doesn't take away my duty as somebody who exclusively works with buyers. I do what I am called on to do by law. I DO get my clients the lowest price, regardless of commission. And I'm not the only one.

If you are a agent you are not very experience, IMO. I have no problem with you voicing your opinion but your understanding of agency law takes away from your argument for ending they current "system." I
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 28, 2013
This question has been asked for Home Buying. Does a home buyer know how to buy a short sale, foreclosure or regular sale, as todays market has become quite complicated.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 26, 2013
PS

I am not alone in offering these kind of suggestions.......it's what many, if not most, of us do on a regular basis
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 25, 2013
Holly - just to answer a specific question you asked below:

" have you ever told anyone , buy your home and stay in it for ever ?"

Yes, as a matter of fact I have.
I emphasize that possibility when I can.

In fact, I often point out to buyers what they CAN do to a property to expand or improve upon the home down the road, in the future, so they CAN stay there indefinitely.

A good part of what I do when showing a home is more than pointing out where the kitchen is..........I offer suggestions on expansion or upgrading..........and stress the location and lot size as attributes which might allow the buyers to remain there longer.
I suggest ways to:
"Add on.........build up............improve upon.............stay there!"

If this is a "first" home.......it often can become a "forever" home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 25, 2013
You, clearly, do not need a real estate agent. Neither do 140 million other people in the country.

The only people who "need' us, or at least want us, are the several million who do. That's who we're here for. I mean, Holly, don't misunderstand me - we're here for you, too - but it's fine with us that you don't need us.

All the best,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 2, 2013
Mac, you are so fluffy and cuddly.
Flag Mon Nov 25, 2013
First, a few disclosures. I am a Realtor that sold my first home (back in 1987) as a FSBO. Turned out fine as far as I know.

Second, it is a free and open market. You can make your own choice. If you don't value the service provided by both your listing agent and all the buyer agents out there helping to sell your home, then vote with your feet. Post it on Craigslist and see what happens.

Lastly, in this hyper-Seller's market there is huge upside-potential with using Realtors. Homes in Silicon Valley are selling in 1-2 weekends with multiple offers that drive the price up ~1% over list for each offer. 5 offers = 5%+ over list. 10 offers = 10%+ over list. The way to get the most money for your home is to get the most offers. When I list a home, I do everything under the sun to generate the greatest number of offers possible. Posting on MLS is just the first step of many.

You certainly have the right to go the FSBO route. Very hard for me to image that this marketing strategy will generate a multiple offer situation that drives the price up 5-10%+. Not to mention the legal risk associated with proper seller disclosures and contracts.

Your call. Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 2, 2013
Realtor fees are 6%. So that has to be factored in to your calculations of selling FSBO vs selling via realtor. Could you please explain why you havent mentioned that?

I do believe that realtors provide a valuable service. But I am not sure the price they charge is appropriate. The effort needed in selling a 600k house is approximately same as the effort needed in selling a 800k house. But the realtor fees are 33% higher. It would be more understandable if realtor fees were flat instead of percentage based. I do understand that for extremely high priced houses (say 25M), the effort would be higher; but for everything between say 400k - 1M, the effort is around the same.
Flag Sun Dec 8, 2013
Realtor fees are 6%.
Flag Sun Dec 8, 2013
I had to laugh when I read your response. You believe a pre-approval letter that says the buyer is preapproved is cut and dry. That is why you need professional guidance. Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 31, 2013
Fun fact : Realtors and used car salesmen have the same amount of "public trust".

What was this thing called "professional guidance" that you were mentioning? Is it the same professional guidance that I can expect from a used car salesman ? Please guide me :) I am a needy unguided person :)
Flag Sun Dec 8, 2013
Thanks to all the answers, remember i am not degrading the profession, i am seriously asking why do we need in an up-market , i mean a hot market.

1. Negotiation - like i described below , there is nothing like negotiation , if the buyer can pay more they win . my agent wanted me to take out all contingencies and pay a lot more .. is this negotiation ? negotiation is asking to pay a reasonable price .. not overpay.
2. pricing property .. what sort of science do you use ? you use recent com parables , something that sells for 900K and there is a similar home that comes they will be pricing it 900K or more .. expectations rise.
3. Transaction - all realtors care about is transaction, have you ever told anyone , buy your home and stay in it for ever ? all i hear is buy and sell in 5 years .. why , because you want the transaction cost.

What i am saying is that the amount of compensation is vastly higher than any other profession, its a complete waste , and i feel that this is a leech in the system that is making the markets unstable.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 31, 2013
Well said Holly. I agree. It used to be an honorable profession. Now it's a bunch of greedy "professionals" all chasing the almighty commission. More power to those who can do FSBO
Flag Tue Nov 26, 2013
Why? to price your property, negotiate your property, evaluate your offers, market your property, see if your buyers are pre-approved, work with the lender, work with the title company, go to the inspections, and wal- throughs, and yes the list keeps going.

Susan J Penn PA, EWM Realtor
954-557-5993
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 31, 2013
to add more ..
1. see if your buyers are pre-approved - is that asking for a pre approval letter and reading that .. yes it needs knowledge of english reading.
2. work with lender ? what sort of work, the buyer works with the lender.
3. inspections ? are you saying buyers and sellers don't know what to get inspected ?

primarily real estate agents convince buyers and sellers that they are ignorant and they need agents to help them , whereas in fact its people's ignorance that is keeping this profession alive.
Flag Thu Oct 31, 2013
1. to price your property ? - Tell me a home and i will price it, i am not a realtor.
2. to negotiate ? What negotiation ... you want more from buyers ? aren't buyers fighting with each other by overbidding ? If you are a buying agent then what negotiation ? how much more to overpay ? Nothing like negotiation, what we are talking about is who can pay more ..
3. evaluate offers ? what evaluation .. you have couple of parameters .. cost, contingencies .. basically 0 contingencies and cash is winner , then comes evaluation of timelines of contingencies etc ..
come on don't tell me that you need a realtor for all this ? we are just trying to justify this profession.
Flag Thu Oct 31, 2013
Why do you need a doctor? Would you do surgery on yourself? Why do you need an attorney? Would you defend yourself in court? These people are professionals as we Real Estate Agents.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 31, 2013
Holly,

If you were going to plan a trip to Disneyland, you may or may not need a guide. However, if you were planning to scale Mount McKinley, you may need a professional guide to ensure you do and plan things properly so that you and everyone involved stay safe.

While every year thousands of people buy and sell homes all on their own, the fact is the majority of lawsuits in California involve unrepresented parties (e.g. people without real estate agents).

If you feel comfortable risking going it alone, that's your choice. Just realize there is a lot of possible liability out there.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 31, 2013
Well said Michelle! A professional guide is an essence for smart move in real estate field which require lot more than just negotiation and purchase a piece of land. But it requires alot of paper work and legal formalities.
Flag Mon Dec 30, 2013
Well, after years of doing this I wonder too why we need real estate agents. If you have a motivated buyer and seller they can almost always work something out and get a deal done without having a middle man making life harder. I view my role as helping this happen. I try not get in the way and do the least amount possible.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 25, 2013
The problem is that you have stirred up a little hornet's nest by asking a valid question. Sure realtors may provide some valuable services. On the other hand, their economic interests are not always aligned with yours.....so no matter how many self serving and indignant comments there are on here from "real estate pros" you have to take what they say with a grain of salt. Agree that it is high time to argue for lower commissions. If you can, bypass the agent and just negotiate directly with the buyer or seller if you find a property you like and if you have the basic knowledge on how to get the deal done. I have used a standard real estate contract, have ran it past a real estate lawyer for a few hundred bucks, and have cut out the middle man (the real estate agent who tries to interject themselves as being indispensable in making a deal). What B.S. I have saved literally thousands on commissions. Do your homework and you can get through without an agent on many (not all ) deals. One only needs to look at the thousands upon thousands of real estate agents in the Bay Area all clamoring for the next deal and commission, and you can't help to realize that they are out for their own economic gain, not yours.
To think that a real estate agent deserves even 4% of a sale on a million dollar plus home in a hot market like Cupertino is ridiculous. That much money for a few hours of work? What a joke.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 1, 2013
Danny in Cupertino,
Compensation models HAVE changed dramatically at the demand of sellers and buyers. Agents DO appear to be working for much less. Your last statement about the million dollar sale suggests you have become disconnected with reality. It is easy to disparage what you do not understand. You need to do some REAL homework, which is different than soliciting likeminded input for your peers on Zillow.
Flag Mon Nov 25, 2013
It depends on your situation. What are your needs? What are your goals?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 30, 2013
You don't have to hire a real estate professional to assist you with your transaction, but most consumers choose to because they want a professional knowledgeable of the intricacies of the transaction, neighborhood, market dynamics, etc to help to guide them through the process (more than what's available on Trulia, Redfin & Zillow). Whether or not you "need" a real estate agent really depends on your knowledge of the above, time available to dedicate to them, as well as your personal real estate goals.

There are many experienced investors that are perfectly capable of purchasing and selling on their own but choose to rely on the services of a competent local real estate professional since they understand that it is well worth their time and investment. Local real estate professionals know the pricing strategies, marketing strategies and negotiating strategies that will net the investor/seller the highest price possible...so if the affluent investors are utilizing the services of real estate professionals, then why would anyone choose not to?

But, the main reason why the real estate professional will ALWAYS have a place in the industry is because at the core of every transaction there are people, and there is no website that will serve as a substitute to having a real person that you can rely on in your transaction. Real estate is a people oriented industry that can be driven by strong emotional reactions which can impede good judgement and cause irrational behavior...having a trusted real estate professional assist in seeing past the emotional aspects of the transaction will ensure that the buyer or seller will have a better chance of successfully obtaining their end goals.

But these are only a few reasons to work with a real estate professional...there are many more depending on each buyer or seller's specific situation. At a minimum, even if you desire to buy or sell without the guidance of a competent real estate agent, it is recommended to speak with one to find out what additional services they may be able to provide.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 30, 2013
IMHO, it isn't a question whether real estate agents add value (they do). It's whether the value they add are commensurate with the fees they charge.

I find the emergence of the 'discount real estate agent' a fascinating topic. I think they will become more prevalent over time. Every industry evolves and business model changes -- real estate agent services is primed for changes.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 30, 2013
Hi Holly:

Thanks for your query. To be frank, no, you don't need an agent to represent you, and, if you're comfortable doing this yourself with the help of a qualified real estate attorney, then feel free to sell your home without employing an agent.

What an agent or Realtor brings to the table when you're selling a home is:

1. Access to the Multiple Listing Service - Unless you, too, are paying the more than $1000 per year to be a member of the MLS, your home will never appear on the largest and most often searched website for new homes. This means that the majority of all home buyers will never see your home for sale.
2. Access to Real Estate Websites Like Trulia, Zillow, Movodo - These sites will "pull" available listings from the MLS. Because there are liability issues regarding misrepresentations by independent home sellers (something that agents can lose licenses for), most websites are not equipped to post For Sale By Owner listings. So again, large sites viewed by buyers will never feature your home
3. Marketing Time, Materials and Portals - You would be responsible for photographing, creating, distributing and publishing all of the materials that make your home "visible" to potential buyers. You would also, as we Realtors do, have to pay for access into these websites or mailing lists that publish your home's availability.
4. Customer Service- Perhaps the largest value of a Realtor to any home buyer or seller is the ability to have someone else field the myriad of phone calls and questions that are made regarding a home. Most buyers want a response in minutes, not hours or days, so being able to be tethered to a phone to answer questions is paramount in selling a home
5. Negotiating Skills - As one other Realtor here mentioned, you would need to know the various differences between a good offer and a great offer, and how the "moving parts" affect the value of the offer to you, as the seller. If you choose not to use a Realtor, by all means hire an attorney to assist you. Unless you're a mortgage broker or real estate professional, you won't be able to educate yourself enough in the intricacies of the contract or deal in time to make an informed decision on an offer or what can be done with a counter offer.

As one of the other Realtors here mentioned, many home sellers have, in the past, sold their homes without the help of an agent, and many do still today. But, buyers are no longer purchasing only in their own neighborhoods, and with the cost of homes in the valley escalating out of range for many, buyers are maximizing their search through the internet and through popular websites--those same websites that are not available to private sellers.

But most importantly, please note that a home sold by the owner often says this to a potential buyer:

"I am prepared to sell my home for cheaper than the competing prices around me."

Is this really the message you want to transmit to buyers? Sadly, statistically, it is true that For Sale By Owner or FSBO sellers do sell their homes for LESS than a home sold by a Realtor--often as much as 10-15 percent less than a comparable home represented by a professional firm.

Buyers are as astute as sellers (sometimes more so), and when they see a home sold by the seller, they know that the seller is not paying a commission, and they automatically reduce the price BY a commission amount--often more than the commission really would be. Buyers also reduce the price further by the fact that the seller may be "hiding" some condition about the home, which is why they don't want a knowledgeable professional selling the property and having to disclose everything about maintenance and repair status of the home. Buyers know there is "risk" associated with buying directly from the seller. In most cases, the buyer will insist that his/her Realtor be compensated in the transaction and be allowed to represent them, so you'll STILL have to pay for at least one Realtor plus your own attorney, so the savings in not using a Realtor begin to diminish while your own risks as a seller increase.

Before you call all Realtors "unnecessary", know there are options out there...you simply need to explore them. There are discount brokers who will help you sell and find a new home. There are several of us here on Trulia who list homes for as low as 3.5% TOTAL for the commission, and who also offer rebates to buyers of as much as 1.5% of the purchase price when they purchase a home. So if you sell a home AND buy a home from a discount broker, you're going to be saving as much as 3 percent on your entire transaction AND you'll have professional representation for all of your real estate dealings. So explore your options!

Good luck!
Grace Morioka
Allison James Estates
Tel (408) 426-1616
Yes, I'm a discount Realtor and proud to serve my clients!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 30, 2013
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Flag Mon Nov 25, 2013
As history would have it.....far more real estate transactions have occurred without an agent than those that have. With this said, "that was then and this is now." Many transactions were made on a handshake and an exchange of livestock. In today's legal minded society too many rules, guidelines, and laws have created an often troubled course for a property transaction. The fact of the matter is it's just to risky today to operate in a manner that potentially invites problems.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 30, 2013
Well given your history of questions on Trulia, that is why someone would need a real estate agent. And this is just the beginning. Once you have actually made an offer and get into the buying process your questions will only increase. The first two steps in the buying process are to get a real estate agent and to get pre-approved for a purchase loan.

Alex Greer
Loan Officer
NMLS #1056079
http://www.TheMortgageOutlet.com

408-352-5147
AGreer@TheMortgageOutlet.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 30, 2013
No, you don't need an agent, not you. I will appreciate if you will get back to this forum to report on your experience in the market place.
Web Reference: http://talisrealestate.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 30, 2013
Usually not worth my time to answer this but several things:

Look behind your back as maybe somebody will take your job away since you are so confident that you can do this by yourself.

Much more importantly, Annette & Gregorio brilliant posts!!


Lastly how do you know so much about the Mafia infiltrating the Real Estate business, any proof?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 30, 2013
Thanks Allan.
Flag Wed Oct 2, 2013
as realtors , i believe all they care about is commission. They are not supposed to say anything about the area or the house , i even wonder why do we need realtors in bay area ? Isnt Bay area hot ? If it is hot i could very well sell my own house - there is a big mafia behind these real estate agents , to me this is a profession that frankly we dont need , unless really there is a value add .. for example after websites like trulia / redfin / zillow have come , whatever information a real estate agent gives is lesser than what these websites have. For example once i asked an agent how old is the house .. and she was hunting for the documentation .. well come on i knew that even before asking that question. One real estate agent said, please dont take picture, i have to ask the owner (it was an empty house) , i said please ask the owner .. then no , i believe the owner is out of town. This is crazy , real estate agents are really making the market unhealthy by promoting people to sell and forcing people to buy. Please let people buy homes for living , not for flipping. Please help promote healthy real estate rather than trying to jack up prices .. because it will fall down, the faster it goes up, the faster it falls crashing down. BTW the question again .. by do we need real estate agents ?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 29, 2013
As to Betty's points...

The comments regarding the Listing Agent are not true. The Listing Agent is the Seller's Agent with legal fiduciary duty to represent the best interest of the Seller. While there is an ethical duty to deal fairly with all parties, their fiduciary duty is to the Seller. This usually means the best price and terms. Of course, it is the Seller's decision as to which offer to accept.

As to the Buyer's Agent, their fiduciary duty is to the Buyer. This usually means the house they want at the best price and terms for the Buyer. There is the potential for some/perceived conflict of the interest in that the Buyer's Agent would benefit from a higher price. The reality is that the Buyer's agent is probably only making 1.5% to 2.0% of the difference, which is usually not enough to influence them much. Last year, the market was very competitive for Buyers, so the competing Buyers were usually driving the price, not the Agents.

Buyers don't pay for either the Seller's or Buyer's agents. The Seller pays for both. No real benefit to the Buyer whether the agents are paid on commission or salary. Some Brokers, such as Redfin, may offer to pay the Buyer some amount as a way to compete with other Brokerages. This is usually to compensate the Buyer for some trade-off, such as level of service.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 28, 2013
This idea that real estates are indispensable and provide unbiased professional guidance is a bunch of b.s.
Just sit down and think about.....
A real estate agent is trying to sell a home. The real estate agent has the most to gain if the home sells at a higher price because that is what the commission is based on....the selling price.
So, the buyer is encouraged to offer as much as possible by the agent. Not the least possible, but the most possible, because the real estate agent wants to recoup the biggest commission possible.
Furthermore, the seller is encouraged to hold out for the highest price because in the back of the real estate agent's mind they know that higher price = higher commission.
This has NOTHING to do with helping the buyer get a fair deal. It's all geared towards helping this middle man (the agent) cash in on higher commission.
This is why Redfin and some other agencies are trying to change this archaic system with its built in
conflict of interest. As long as the real estate agent stands to make a bigger commission from a higher selling price the whole set up is inherently biased against buyer and seller. It's as simple as that. You can put all the spin on it you want by making the whole process "professional" and creating fear among buyers that the agent is really on their side. Not true.
The whole system needs to change. Pay realtors a flat rate per sale. Pay them on customer satisfaction.
The current system is a joke.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 27, 2013
In short, real estate agents are like lawyers or tax professionals: they guide you through a great deal of financial and legal paperwork to make the best decision and investment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 26, 2013
During the biggest real estate bubble in history, no agent actively discouraged any buyer from buying a home. In fact, they encouraged it. The past "chief economist" of the "national association of realtors" wrote a book titled "Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?" in the MIDDLE of the real estate boom.

http://www.amazon.com/Are-Missing-Real-Estate-Boom-ebook/dp/…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Association_of_Realtor…

In the face of all this, many agents below claim that they are giving professional guidance and that they add value to a buyer. Can any agent please explain why the foreclosure crisis happened if you were providing professional guidance to buyers from 2003 to 2007 ? What value did you add to a buyer who bought a home in 2007 and who was foreclosed on in 2009 ?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 8, 2013
If your job is not to convince someone to buy or sell, then why are many agents in the following threads encouraging people to buy?

http://www.trulia.com/voices/Home_Buying/is_it_a_good_time_to_buy_now_or_should_I_wait_till-598228

http://www.trulia.com/voices/Home_Buying/Is_it_a_good_time_to_buy_in_Naples_-507229

http://www.trulia.com/voices/Market_Conditions/Is_it_a_good_time_to_buy_in_Phoenix_-363821

I can give you even more website links if you want.
Flag Mon Dec 9, 2013
Final thought ....

My job is not convince someone to buy or sell their home. My job is to guide them to the best of my ability in making their own decision, and then facilitate the process should they decide to make a move.
Flag Sun Dec 8, 2013
Unfortunately, you are confusing the duties and responsibilities of an agent.

A buyer's agent job is to help buyers purchase a home, keep them out of trouble as much as possible, and guide them to the best purchase for them. Agents are not economists or fortune tellers, if we were, you would not have seen so many agents buying homes in 2007 and foreclosing in 2009.

Now if an agent realized they were in approaching the end of a bubble in 2006-2007 and didn't share that information with their buyers, shame on them ... but 99% of agents, economists, and everyone else had no clue. That is a nature of bubbles.

There have been many fingers pointed in various directions... realtors that should have known better, appraisers that should have appraised properly, lenders that made loans to people that had no way of repaying them.

The reality is it's everyone's fault, including realtors and including the people getting loans they had no way of repaying.
Flag Sun Dec 8, 2013
Buying a home will most likely be the most expensive purchase you have ever made. A professional real estate agent can guide you thru the process and look out for your best interest. I trust you wouldn't try to perform surgery on yourself - you would go to a Doctor that specializes in whatever condition you had. A real estate agent specializes in guiding you thru the complicated process of becoming a homeowner.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 30, 2013
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