When you begin working with your real estate agent, you are going to find that all of the sudden, everyone is an expert in real estate. There are friends and co-workers that have recently purchased homes, there is of course family who don’t want to see you taken advantage of, and even people that because they have been through a purchase of a home, regardless of how long ago are still under the impression that they know exactly what homes cost, how much you should pay in interest rates and how to word a contract to your best advantage. And we being human, and caring about what our friends and family think, listen to all their words of wisdom.
That being said – When you hire an expert for their advice and guidance, it is rather like shooting yourself in the foot to tell them that ‘my dad said that I shouldn’t pay over $68,000 for a house that size’ or ‘my friend just bought a house last year and said its a buyer’s market so I should offer $15,000 less that asking price’. The agent that you are working with, is an expert in his/her field. She/he knows the current market, can advise you honestly what would be a reasonable offer for a home, can give you accurate information about the property. So why do so many people believe their friends, family and co-workers over their agent?
The problem is that Real Estate agents have gotten a bad rap, because of a few disreputable people in the industry and a rather rocky past without real estate laws in place. Most agents are fine upstanding people, usually hard working and community oriented, and not at all the villainous monsters that they have been stereo-typed as.
When you hire an attorney a doctor or a plumber, you expect them to be experts, you listen to their advice (even if you choose not to take it) and most people don’t second guess them or take the advice of a layperson over their expert. Uncle Harvey may have died of ulcers in 1902, but if you follow your doctors advice, you’ll more than likely get through this with a little change of diet, medication and stress reduction. My point is that you are not likely to buy a home for the price that your folks did 15 years ago. The real estate market fluctuates and what was a buyer’s market 6 months ago may be a very hot seller’s market now or it may have slowed down with very few homes on the market. Interest rates are up or down, property taxes vary even within the same city and the only expert out there is your agent.
Real estate laws are changing all the time to protect the buyers and sellers. Real estate agents are bound by these same laws, to protect and work toward the best interest of their clients. Real estate agents also are bound by a code of ethics that have been set forth by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Breaking real estate laws, or not practicing ethically can not only cost an agent their license, but will usually involve hefty fines and even jail time. It is not something that most agents take lightly.
You have hired a real estate expert, even if you aren’t paying them a thing, give them the respect that an expert deserves.