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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Finding Real Estate, why use a buyers agent?

Why use a buyers agent?
Recently a young man called me about a house he found online in a high priced part of town. I agreed to go show him and his fiance the house on Sunday afternoon. According to the mls, it was a foreclosure listed at 160,000.  5 bedroom, 3 bathrooms. I checked with him to make sure he had his financing in order, and he assured me he did.
When we met, he and his girlfriend   (Not fiance I discovered) walk around and look at the property like deer in the headlights. I had already emailed him the information on the house prior to our meeting, to make sure he had the correct information.
After I spent all Sunday afternoon preparing to meet, and showing the house to this couple of kids he tells me that he is looking in the 60,000 price range, and had thought this house was only 59,000. Also that he thought it was a 3 bedroom and no bath house. (Who wants a house with no bathroom?!?) I discover that he has gotten all his information from the internet. A website, that however popular it is, does not feel the need to verify its information. Within a few days of this I receive another phone call. This one is from an irate homeowner who found my phone number on the same website and wanted me to correct the errors in his home value(which was undervaluing it by at least 150,000 if not more). I patiently explain to him that unless he chose to list with me I have no power to edit the information since I am not an employee of the website, I just advertise on it as do all the other agents.

Why is this relevant?
There is so much information available to the public today. Far to much of it is completely unreliable and undermines the publics perception of value. The kids thought they had stumbled upon the deal of a lifetime, and consequently wasted a day of their vacation, and a day of my time. The man who wants to sell his house is now in danger of buyers viewing him as over priced, even if he is actually under priced.

Here is where a buyers agent comes in handy. For the kids, obviously a buyers agent will get them the correct information and keep them from wasting their time, and money looking at properties that are out of their price range, or are not longer on the market.
How would a buyers agent help the man who wants to sell his house? Well, a good buyers agent will run a cma for her clients on the property they want to write an offer on. That way the buyers know what is a good value in this sellers neighborhood, and they do not miss a good house at a good price because of a misprint of information on the internet.

I value the internet for the wealth of information it can bring in a  instant. However, at this time no one can remove the human element. It takes the knowledge and experience of a professional, and the human eye for error to truly maximize the usefulness of the internet.
This is where a buyers agent's work begins.

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