How to Get a Realtor to Work for You for Free

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Let Me Explain

If you’re in the market to buy real estate now or in the near future, you probably have a lot of questions. You may be wondering how you will ever find the perfect home or investment property, how you’re going to pay for it, and how much you’re going to have to pay in fees and commissions. All are valid quandaries. However, you may not realize that the beauty of the current business model is that as a buyer, you don’t have to pay your Realtor a dime! That’s right — zero, nada, free-99.

It is customary in this U.S. for the seller of real estate to pay the full commission to sell the property which includes the listing (offering for sale) and selling (making an offer for purchase) sides of the transaction. This means as a buyer, you can have a top-producing real estate agent to do countless hours of research, inquisition, negotiation and presentation of offers on your behalf for literally zero out-of-pocket cost to you.

What Does This Mean?

Well there’s a catch. Just because this service is freely available in the marketplace doesn’t mean that you can just fall into the lap of a top agent. I’ve witnessed many buyers spend countless hours with agents that don’t fully understand their needs and therefore do not deliver the highest level of service. As with many professions, the top 20% do 80% of the business, and do it well. As a buyer, there are things you can do to get in a position to act, which in turn will get you the best service from a top agent in your area. It’s a two-way street and both parties must perform to reap the reward they each desire.

First-Time Buyers

First thing is first, make a plan. An agent can be very helpful if you have never purchased real property before. There are many nuances to consider including but not limited to:

  • Comparable Sales and Market Trends
  • Clean Chain of Title
  • Seller Disclosures
  • Inspections and Appraisal
  • Schools and Community Info
  • Property Taxes and Special Assesments

And the list goes on…

A top agent will not only be able to advise you on these matters, but will also have a team of other professionals at their fingertips for a seemingly endless list of appurtenances. It is a good idea to scroll the free sites like Zillow, Redfin, etc. But when you’re REALLY read to buy within the next 90 days, it pays (or should I say saves) to have good representation on your side.

Current Homeowners

If you currently own a home but are considering an upgrade, downsizing, or moving to a different state – a top agent is imperative. Unless you have the cash to purchase or can qualify for a second mortgage, you’ll be both selling and buying at the same damn time! This can be a tricky predicament especially if you have children and are exchanging your primary residence. You will likely be making a contingent offer on your purchase. Important thing to consider are :

  • When would you like to make the transition?
  • Do you have somewhere to live in the interim?
  • Are you prepared to negotiate up or down depending on how things progress?

There are many moving parts in these transactions. I highly recommend interviewing agents prior to listing and ask them point blank if they have experience with contingent offers and sales. These tend to be the most complicated retail transactions.

Investors

This type of purchase gets into the realm of off-market deals, flips, income properties and beyond. If you want to get into real estate investing there are many nuances and variables to consider. The most important is knowing exactly what you are looking for and how you want to acquire the asset. A top agent will know of the best deals as soon as they hit the market or even before they are available to the public. Important key items to consider are :

  • Income property for steady income stream or flip for quick gain
  • Initial investment and how financing will be utilized
  • Costs associated with purchase, rehab, and sale
  • Neighborhood trends and surrounding market factors

To Wrap Up

By working with a top agent, you can save not only money but your most valuable asset, your time and peace of mind. Keep this in mind when choosing who to work with since all agents are not created the same. Seek and ye shall find!

Why You Should Take a Chance with a Young Motivated Realtor

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Starting Out

In my first 30 days as a real estate professional I successfully closed a deal on the buying side of a transaction and attained two exclusive listings. This was possible through my participation in first-class training from my broker and the guidance of experienced mentors. I also lost a referral listing from an out of town broker (also known as a gift on a silver platter) due to my perceived inexperience and incompetence from the seller. I don’t mind losing a fair fight, but what frustrated me is that I wasn’t even given a chance to interview for the job.

This brought to light for me a widely accepted misconception in this industry – that more experience automatically means better service. Or to put it another way, that being a young professional new to the business is somehow a disadvantage to someone buying or selling real property.

This article is meant to offer a contrarian perspective to the generally assumed truth that older, more experienced professionals necessarily provide better service than their younger colleagues.

Undiscovered Talent

Where do the best agents in the business start? Usually at the bottom floor. Young, aggressive agents with a positive mindset and skills in the business are out there, trust me. If you’re skeptical then just introduce yourself to one of these fine young professionals. Now can you imagine where the agents on that list will be in 10 or 20 years? I predict that their calendars will get even harder to book as more people discover the level of service that they provide for their clients. Better act now before the masses discover how good we are!

Alan Hardman Mike Ferry

Me (Alan Hardman) at the 2015 Mike Ferry Superstar Retreat, a real estate productivity conference.

Higher Stakes

Younger, less experienced agents have more to lose. If they are good, they have goals. Goals for new contacts, new listings, and most importantly a strong closing ratio. We don’t have decades of earnings to rest upon. If your agent is under 30 years old, chances are they don’t remember the “good ol’ days” of the business where a rising tide raised all ships. We have been introduced to a market that has essentially been reset, and is by no means normal by the historical definition.

Aggressiveness

If a young agent isn’t scared to ask for your business, they will not be scared to find you a buyer, negotiate contracts, and close the deal. Aggressive salespeople certainly do not have a positive connotation in today’s society. But what if that salesperson is selling your product? Would you want someone who is submissive and flaccid or aggressive and firm? My point exactly.

Two for One

Top young talent understands the necessity of experienced mentors to accelerate their progression through the learning curve and to help navigate unique obstacles. There’s a very good chance that every member of Realtor Magazine’s 2015 30-under-30 group has at least one great mentor. Additionally, people in any industry who take time to mentor their younger colleagues are typically in the upper-echelon of the business. In this sense, you not only get the raw talent of the junior agent, but all of the additional benefits of working with a seasoned top-producer. What more could you ask for?

Recap

Why you should hire me and people like me.

  • Undiscovered Talent – You’re lucky to find us now!
  • Higher Stakes – Higher Reward.
  • Aggressiveness – An undeniable asset to the client.
  • Two for One – Oversight from a top-producer.