What keeps a real estate agent ticking
A real estate agent or a realtor is nobody’s friend. In virtually any case, barring an exception, he acts in his own interest. Though we may be influenced to think otherwise, the above statement happens to be a fact. Rob Balanda for the Property Update asserts that there is no guilt involved in acting in one’s own interest and the entire globe runs on the same philosophy of “me first and then the world”. The agents can certainly help many buyers and sellers in the way despite following the Me-First philosophy.
Obligation bound but clever enough to find a way
Oftentimes an agent has a legal obligation towards the seller and on many other occasions, he is legally bound to both the seller and the buyer. Yet, even in such conditions, a smart agent knows how to maneuver the process of sale towards his own interest.
A great example to illustrate how an agent acts
Balanda cites a case in the point to emphasize on his statement. The example is of an investor who purchased and home staged a unit and put it on the market for $400,000. She contacted with 3 to 4 local agents and got it open listed at the same price. Each agent conceded that $400,000 was a realistic figure for the unit.
Things went rather dry for about a month and a fortnight and then one fine day she received a quote of $370,000 from a salesman who was acting on behalf of a company. Though she felt there was some room for bargaining, fear got the better of her; lying idle for about 40 days, she had lost the courage to deny a cash contract. Moreover, the contract had a clause that the sale had to be accepted within a day or it would stand nullified.
In a month, the settlement took place.
While making her inquiries over the interim period, she found that two other saleswomen from the same company were about to make a higher quote to her. In this case, the investor lost $30,000 due to her haste, triggered by fear.
Point to note- The salesman lost out on only $350 that he could have made for himself if he had closed the sale for $400,000 instead of $370,000. On the other hand, in his bid to force the price he could have lost out on a sale (in his opinion).
The moral- The agent did not think about the $30,000 that the investor was set to lose but thought nonetheless of his sale (albeit at a lower price) and its associated perks. The long and short of it is that the agent behaves in his self-interest.
A real estate agent is not immoral in thinking for himself
An example well-cited and a point well-proposed by Balanda I must say. It must be hastily added that the agent is no one’s enemy either (just as Balanda points out).
He is the guy who takes you through the documented process of sale, explains you each clause, suggests you the hidden clauses, takes you through disclaimers, shows you the merits and possible demerits of the property, enlightens you on the property deed and does so much more.
I think that we should treat him like any other professional, one who will help you in order to be helped himself.