The hidden cost of bad advice…

So the usual suspects were enjoying a little glass of wine after work. Conversation went from the plight of losing a listing to the horrors of dealing with short sales. Eventually, the “forbidden fruit” of commission was discussed.

One agent lamented that co-op commission being offered is not always 3%. She could not believe that agents were only offering 2.5% and in some cases……2%.  She felt that in this “market” it was very poor judgement to offer anything less than 3%. She went on to share that, if you really want your listing to be should offer a bonus on top of the co-op!

“So”, I asked, “you think that the co-op offered is an integral part of your home search for clients? And, you think that you should receive a bonus for doing your job?”

She replied “Absolutely!, if you take the information given and it is 2+ bedrooms and 2+ bathrooms for under $400,000 in Montgomery County, you will have page after page of listings. If you have seen one, you have seen them all. How else are you supposed to seperate them?”

Hmmmm…..Gee…I don’t know………maybe you could ask your client for more specifics. Montgomery County is a pretty big place and if you have that many choices, maybe..just maybe, they could find a home in a more specific area. It is a long way from Poolesville to Silver Spring or from Olney to Potomac.

Agents that claim to be looking out for their clients best interest and somehow bring what they will earn into the equation (after the fact) are nothing more than modern day Snake Oil Salesman. They seem to think that they have the right to preclude properties from buyers based on what they will ultimately earn on the transaction.

Fortunately, they are rather easy to spot.  If you are working with an agent, and the agent did not go over “agency” and have you sign a “buyers agent agreement”… are working with a Snake Oil Salesman and not someone actually looking out for your best interest.

How do you avoid the shell game?

Look the agent right in the eye and ask them if they plan on showing you all the homes that meet your criteria or have they eliminated some because the co-op is not to their liking?  Have them put that in writing. It is very easy to do. Ask them to work under contract to you! Have them sign a buyer agency agreement with you that clearly states how much they will be paid to represent you. (Understand, all or most of the money they will be paid will come from the listing broker. That is what the co-op is all about.)

Sign here so we both know where we stand….

There may be laws regarding everyone agreeing on any set commission. There may be laws regarding how an agent must perform. There may be laws that actually require an agent to be under contract before showing you any homes listed with his broker. The only thing keeping you from stumbling and maybe missing the “real” home of your dreams…is the catchy latin phrase “caveat emptor” (let the buyer beware).

If you just blindly go along…

(2% coop) (3% co-op)

Well…on the surface they may appear the same, but you will never see the one on the left. That is not what Realtors are trained to do. That is not what ethical people do.

But I just learned over wine… that is exactly what some agents are doing. You may never know the hidden cost of bad advice.

If you want to have someone represent you that will consider your needs and do the job you expect, contact the MacArthur Group today. Our clients never see the first house without completely understanding the process and having full knowledge of the costs involved.

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