7 out of 10 homebuyers “interview” one agent according to the 2017 NAR Survey of Homebuyers and Homesellers.
The term “interview” is probably used lightly here. If they were truly interviewing agents a homebuyer would interview more than one.
What this statistic really means is that a homebuyer doesn’t take the time to understand what they should look for in an agent. They spend hours looking at homes for sale online and simply for the convenience go with the first agent they make contact with.
Often that agent is the listing agent on one of the houses they saw online. Or it might be an agent who was referred to them by a relative, friend, co-worker or neighbor. It really doesn’t matter where the agent came from if the homebuyer doesn’t spend at least some time learning about agency and what to really look for in an agent then it truly is a very dumb and potentially costly move.
Also, be leery of online testimonials.
First, the real estate licensee someone refers you to may not be a true agent – I’ll explain below.
Chances are a referrer may not realize that true agents exist or what the difference is between a salesperson and a true agent.
Second, testimonials can be staged. I’ve known of instances of fake positive testimonials uploaded to make someone look good and fake negative testimonials uploaded to make someone look bad.
Third, who is going to post negative testimonials about themselves? Reviews you find on a real estate licensee’s website will be positive.
I’m not saying that testimonials aren’t valuable.
You just have to consider their source. And, more importantly, you must consider whether or not they are about a True Loyal Agent™.
You should start working with the right agent as early as possible in the homebuying process.
The right agent is one who really is a True Loyal Agent™ who has the legal obligation to be your protector, be loyal to you alone, and look out for your best interest at all times and in every situation.
Given the deeply ingrained sales culture of the traditional real estate industry, who can you really trust?
When a real estate licensee claims to be a buyer agent, is the licensee actually your agent or merely telling you something you want to hear in order to get your confidence and business?
Homebuyers I’ve worked for want to buy the right home at the right price. They don’t want to find that they have been SOLD a home.
But when you look at traditional real estate industry ads, you see agents bragging about million-dollar sales production, their latest hot listing for sale, and SOLD signs.
Then the same real estate salespeople turn around and tell you how one of them can be your buyer agent and save you lots of money. Really?
I coined the name True Loyal Agent™ to distinguish true agents from traditional real estate industry licensee- salespersons. True agents never practice dual or designated agency, as both are a form of disloyalty.
So, the right agent is one who isn’t with a traditional real estate agency that takes listings and pushes in-house sales and double-dipping of commissions.
Look instead for an exclusive buyer agent, someone who is with a brokerage that doesn’t take listings or represent sellers, or a true single agent, someone who takes listings and represents buyers but never in the same transaction.
In both cases, the agent and the brokerage they are with have chosen a higher ethical and moral business model to ensure that their buyer clients are protected from being short-changed in a transaction.
Contact Tom for more information or a referral to a True Loyal Agent™.