where the hell is your agent???

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This business of being a real estate agent is ever changing. There are more styles in this profession than any other. Agents not only come in all shapes and sizes….they all bring their baggage with them.

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Now I will admit that I have neglected signing on and sharing thoughts lately. I have been busy. Spring has sprung and many of you have made the move to buy…..now. I don’t know what they put in the water in this area, but some of those unidentified chemicals must have created buyer urgency. You know who you are and you have been sipping the kool aid.

Not a bad time to storm the DC market. Lots of inventory out there. Lots of over priced inventory. Lots of undervalued inventory. Lots and lots of houses, townhouses and condos for sale. Did I say…lots of them?

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In recent weeks, there have been multitudes of buyers doing the price range and location procession. You may have seen them. They form the unstructured caravan travelling from one open house to another on Sundays.

They rush from door to door, computer print outs of listings in hand, hoping to discover “home sweet home”. Don’t see many agents. Don’t understand that.

It is one of those things that made me go……hmmmmmmmm.    idea

So I decided to investigate just what are these people thinking. I made up a little checklist and positioned myself outside a popular open house (I am sure the agent loved having me out there…but it was a free sidewalk, and I only talked to folks as they left and I never once shared that I was an agent and God knows I told no one I was the Naked Realtor).

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I heard some very interesting things. Some of you have an agent(?). Really? And your agent told you to go out and visit open houses and if you found something you like…give the agent a call. What part of no representation don’t you understand? You are walking into home after home, heart in hand, dreams in your eyes, unarmed in quagmire of legal issues that quietly put you at risk. You are spending the better part of 20 minutes to determine the quality and value of the largest purchase of your life. You carry the false belief that on your own, you can evaluate the merits of homes.

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Let me share a secret. Everyone selling a home has done as much as possible to put lipstick on that pig and make her the belle of your ball. You are ravished and they are offering all the sizzle your senses can bear. A pretty red door may suit feng shui but it is no indicator of the energy efficiency of the home. Those new stainless steel appliances may gleem in the kitchen, but they are no indicator of anything other than the sellers ability to polish up the area. All that glitters is not gold. Do you realize that the agent sitting at home, watching t.v. is supposed to be representing you, ferreting out fact from fiction?

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Some of you have decided to go it alone. You have read all about buying a home online and you have heard that you can strike quite a deal if you don’t have an agent. You might be able to get the seller to reduce the price of the home a bit because they don’t have to pay an agent. Sounds like a plan.

Of course, the listing agent is the one that has to make the concession. In Maryland, they can write up the offer for you. They can promise that things will be as smooth as silk. There may be a scintilla of truth in that statement. They represent the seller. They can not represent you. They can not say or do anything that is not in the best interest of their client………the seller. They can not negotiate for you. They can not advise you. They can just smile……maybe make a little less for their effort……….and smile all the way to the bank. You get the keys and absolutely nothing else.

Now that sounds like a plan when making the biggest purchase of your life.

Actually, running out on your own and reporting back to your agent(?) is pretty stupid. Your agent works for you. They will be paid fairly at the close of the transaction. Don’t you agree that they should earn the money? I do.

Taking your best shot on your own, with no representation, is absolutely the riskiest way to go about purchasing. Most agents will represent you and be willing to accept the commission offered by the seller. That arrangement seems like a win-win to me.

Of course, I am just the naked realtor, I do this for a living. If you want to receive further information or send hate mail or ask a question or maybe you can tell me..where the hell is your agent?…you can write me by clicking on this link.

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