We wanted to know what challenges consumers face today when they go to sell their home. After all, there have been so many market shifts and advancing technology has created more options for the consumer. So we conducted surveys, tracked transactions, documented experiences, and even went uncover with a homeowner to get a front seat to the consumer experience. What we found will likely shock you as much as it did us!
First of all, here are the Top 3 Seller Risks . . . according to your Realtor.
- Overpricing. So let me get this straight, Mr. Realtor. You convinced me the market is HOT and now is the time to sell. You said you expect my home to generate multiple offers and agreed when I said my house has more upgrades than the comps. But now that I’m ready to sign the listing agreement, you suggest a significantly lower price than planned? Confused yet? Yeah, me too.
- Buyer Demands. Lets give them some credit here. After all, from staging/presentation, readily accommodating showing requests, to correcting health and safety repairs that come up, buyers will have expectations when it comes to purchasing your home.
- Concede Over Cancel. Every Seller’s famous last words, “I’ll put it back on the market before I agree to . . . ” We found that Sellers who experienced this situation in transaction felt their Realtor took sides with the buyer, pushing them to agree to compensate in lieu of cancel after a convincing argument that they’re home would be considered “damaged goods” after falling out and likely to sell for even less.
We identified the Top 3 Consumer Risks based on the results of our research. This is what we found . . .
- UNLICENSED AGENTS. Yes, you read that right. Example: Realtor identifies themselves as a Buyer’s Agent, shows your home, negotiates and agreement with your Agent, and you open escrow. The Buyer’s Agent is affiliated with a legitimate Brokerage and displays a Department of Real Estate license number on their communication. Looks legit, right? However, the truth is that the Buyer’s Agent has their license officially in Non-Broker Affiliated status with the Department of Real Estate which means they are not allowed to conduct any activities that require a working Real Estate license. They affiliate with the a local prominent Brokerage as a “licensed assistant” who does not work as an Active Agent thus making them exempt from local/national association fees and Broker transaction dues. This Realtor then conducts business as a full-time Agent using another legitimate Realtor’s name and license on the formal paperwork stating “we’re on a team” when questioned. What a scam!
- SAFETY. While most Sellers expressed concern at the thought of potential buyers being complete strangers having access to their home and belongings during showings, ironically we found the bigger threat to their security was the Buyer’s Agent. Example: Lookie Lou decides buying a house might be fun. He sees a home he likes and requests a showing through Zillow. Realtor Joe hasn’t had much luck getting business lately so pays Zillow to send him “leads” through Zillow. Realtor Joe accepts Lookie Lou’s showing request and shows your home, leaving his business card on the counter. You send his information to your Agent who contacts him for feedback. Your Realtor checks him out on the Department of Real Estate website and finds our Realtor Joe was charged with three felonies for drug trafficking, arrested for trespassing, and was busted for selling a fake prescription at a local bar. After four years of court cases, Realtor Joe getting his charges reduced to misdemeanors and is granted a “Restricted License.” Now he’s using your home as bait, hoping to convert this “Lookie Lou” internet lead into Buyer Bob.
- SECRET PROFITS. By now you already see where this is headed so let’s get right to the examples. Example 1: The young couple buying their first home ask your Realtor if you are willing to sell them your washer and dryer. You agree and tell your Realtor you’ll sell the set for $500. Your Realtor tells the buyers that you’re willing to sell the appliances for $800 and buyers agree. Your Realtor delivers you $500 in cash and skims $300 right under your nose. Example 2: It’s the big moving day and you decide you’d rather not move the refrigerator after all and ask your Realtor if buyer wants it as a welcome home gift from you. Your Realtor reports back that the buyer was thrilled and expressed appreciation for your generosity. You turn over the property to your Realtor so they can prepare for close. The Realtor removes the refrigerator to sell for secret profit and leaves Buyer blissfully unaware of your offer altogether.
When people see my “title” they naturally assume I help people buy and sell houses. But when asked what I do, I simply reply, “I protect people from people.” This statement is usually met with a pause then a look of understanding as they jump to the conclusion I am referring to protecting my Sellers from a Buyer taking advantage of them in contract. No, no, no . . .not at all. “I protect my clients from other Realtors.”