Who needs a real estate expert? Two people come to mind–buyers and sellers. Your home, the one you buy, will be one of the most important and largest purchases of your life, and it’s the home where you will spend the majority of your time, maybe for the rest of your life. With that in mind, would you want a Realtor or an attorney who is not a real estate expert? Would you trust someone who dabbles in real estate, or someone who is a part-time Realtor? Believe it or not, 85% of all buyers hire the first Realtor they talk to with no interview, no due diligence, and they do not know what qualifications a real estate expert should have.
Real Estate Expert
What could happen if you try to buy a home without a real estate expert? Since I was a real estate attorney for 20 years, I can actually tell you what happens when buyers are not well represented. There’s a reason there are so many attorneys in this country, and there’s a reason they make so much money. I recall a couple telling me their buyer’s agent didn’t advise them to get a home inspection, and they ended up with a nightmare after closing. Their agent didn’t know the importance of a home inspection. The truth is, most agents are not real estate experts. Most consider themselves sales persons with basic real estate knowledge.
Another agent missed the deadline for a well inspection response, and the well turned out to be contaminated. That meant the buyers lost their earnest money. A couple decided to buy a 100 year old farm house, but their agent lacked expertise on the need to have the electrical panel and wiring checked out by an electrician. It was too late when they discovered they had to do a complete rewire of the whole house at a huge expense. Unfortunately, their agent was not a real estate expert.
A buyer relied on her agent to give her advice about the seller’s disclosure statement, but the agent missed the red flag, and the buyer had to replace the heat pump at a cost of several thousand dollars. There are so many things that can and often do go wrong in a real estate transaction, but until it happens to you, you may not realize the need for a real estate expert. You might think you can just hire any Tom, Dick, or Jane to help you buy a home. You might get lucky and everything might go smoothly, but do you really want to rely on luck with so much of your hard earned money?
Real Estate Expert Credentials
If you wanted to hire a real estate expert to represent you as your buyer’s agent in the state of Washington, what would you look for? Here you have to be a bit cautious, because in the sales business, many agents will give you the answers you want to hear, so you need discernment, but you also need to know what kind of credentials your buyer’s agent should have, and you need to know how to do your due diligence. Have you heard the phrase, “Buyer beware?” Well, when it comes to buying something as expensive as a home, the warning is still good advice after 2,000 years.
By the way, be very careful about hiring a Realtor simply based on a referral by a neighbor, a friend, or someone in your Church or your favorite club. People are quick to give their brother’s name to someone else (or their best friend’s name), but that can be as bad as it could be good. Read “Real Estate Referrals: Blessing or Curse?”
I would encourage you to do your research before you decide on a buyer’s agent. Do your due diligence on me. I welcome it. Read more of my real estate blog articles (there are over 2,000), read some of my real estate books, watch my Sequim real estate videos for buyers, take a look at the real estate training site linked to the image above, use one of my three Sequim MLS sites, and interview me yourself. Whomever you hire as your buyer’s agent, make sure for your own sake that you hire a genuine real estate expert.
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