Sequim real estate is the subject of Chuck Marunde’s second book coming out in the spring of 2010. The book will cover many local real estate issues in Sequim and Port Angeles, and are taken from Chuck’s career as a local real estate attorney and now real estate broker and Realtor. Here is an excerpt.
This book is consumer-centric, meaning the whole focus of this book is you, the consumer. Too often consumers are left feeling like no one is watching out for them, and too often they are right.
As you read this book, wherever you read the words “client(s), or “consumer(s)” just insert your own name. Make this personal, because it is. There’s a silly cliché that has been around for decades, and it goes like this, “It’s just business. It’s nothing personal.” Well, don’t believe that cliché for a second. Everything is personal if you’re a person.
[Writing about the dramatic changes in technology and the Internet] This incredible change that is taking place is a huge victory for consumers for two converging reasons. First, many of the old traditional ways of conducting business have not favored clients, but someone else. Second, the new technologies have been developed out of specific needs by consumers to have power to create their own processes. Supply and demand are alive and well, although slow in finding balance. The market is simply responding to what has been a decades long process of adjustment, but the rapid advancement of certain technologies has accelerated this consumer oriented momentum.
Each player in the real estate industry is looking out for their own interests and each has their own goals. Real estate agents have their own motivations, too, and those motivations do not always run parallel to their clients’. When an agent is motivated to make a fast commission, that does not necessarily match up with the client’s needs and long term interests. For example, agents rarely refer a client to a home builder, because they can make a much bigger commission (three to four times as much) selling their client an existing home.
An agent can also double his commission by acting as a dual agent, a major conflict of interest in my opinion. Of course, your average agent will be glad to tell you that dual agency is “perfectly legal” in Washington by statute, but will they also tell you that the Washington statute was written by a lawyer working for a real estate broker with a powerful state real estate lobby.
My rhetorical question has long been, “Who is watching out for the consumer?” The answer is virtually no one, and that means you alone are responsible to do your due diligence and to use wisdom and discernment in buying or selling your home. You will see that I strongly believe it is in your best interest to use a professional Realtor who is knowledgeable, experienced, and trustworthy, but the responsibility to find the best agent for you also falls upon your shoulders. It’s up to you to have the discernment to filter through all the garbage in advertisements and in the personal interviews you conduct. It’s up to you to learn the truth and hire the best, but that won’t be easy.
Stay tuned right here on this Sequim Real Estate Blog for the announcement of this book, and by the way, you’ll be able to purchase the hard copy or download an eBook version.
Last Updated on July 27, 2012 by Chuck Marunde
Chuck seems to lay it down on the table, judging from that excerpt. Customers expect their agent to know a lot, and I think there is at times a tiny amount of naivety that goes into a decision to choose an agent. After all, it’s easier to assume that the agent you’re speaking to has good intentions and knows what’s best. But as Chuck points out, there’s due diligence that must be applied by the customer in order to get the best for all parties involved.