As a buyer or seller, you probably don’t know much about Realtors. You know about the market and builders and inventory and houses, but you probably only know about Realtors who send you marketing pieces or you found them online. Here’s something you need to know…
There are currently about 27,000 Realtors in the Houston market. Of those Realtors, only a small percentage actually close transactions on a regular basis. The reason for this is simple, there’s such a low barrier to enter into the real estate industry, that almost anyone can get a license. You don’t need a high school degree, you just need 6 classes required by the Texas Real Estate Commission. Once you have those classes, which you can take online in a weekend, you can then go take the test to become a real estate agent. To pass the state and national portions of the test, there are prep classes you can take over and over again until you pass the test. Then even if you fail the test, you can keep retaking it and you can keep retaking the prep classes over and over again for free if you paid once in the past. So for that reason, it is my belief that ANYONE in Houston can get a real estate license if they are not a felon.
So as a buyer or seller, you have to do your homework on the Realtor you select to help you through buying and selling a home. You want to make sure you choose the right Realtor, because otherwise you could get stuck in a contract with someone that doesn’t know much and hasn’t closed much. In my opinion, having a part time Realtor that’s not up on the laws and isn’t available to talk to you during working hours, is a terrible idea! The only time to get in touch with the lender and title companies are usually going to be 8-5 when a part time agent won’t be available to talk if they have another career.
Many consumers think the biggest part of a Realtor’s job is to show them houses. In fact, I consider that the least part of my job. You can find the house you want online and I can show it to you, but my job really begins when you find one you like. Then we start negotiating, we get into the contract and there’s decision making, and there are many options. The option period is full of due diligence. Next the Realtor works with the appraiser, surveyor, title company, lender, inspector, and others to make sure your home closes on time without issue. If there are issues, it’s the Realtor that is taking care of those and coordinating everything. You see, by the time you realize there’s an issue and you realize you need a good Realtor because there’s a problem, you’re already stuck with the agent you’ve been working with. So make sure ahead of time that the Realtor or real estate agent you use is up to date, has experience, knows the market, knows the contract, knows the process, knows how to take care of you throughout the transaction. You want them to be available when you need them and not stuck at another job where they can’t take care of your issues during the day.
For sellers, the important things is market your home to sell and pricing it correctly. That takes skills. You want a Realtor with experience, a track record. Look for someone with letters…those designations mean more education and higher standards of practice. Also look for an agent that will give you professional services like professional videos, professional photos, a supra lockbox, use a showing service, and nice marketing pieces.
Why a supra lock box? Because it is satellite controlled and trackable! You know who’s been in your home and how long they were there. If something comes up missing, you are much more likely to figure out the mystery.
Many agents refuse to pay for a Showing Service. No one is available 24/7 to answer their phone, but if a Realtor has their listing with a showing service other agents can schedule showings online anytime and can call 7 days a week for a showing and the phone is always answered during business hours. If your agent handles the calls, they could miss it!
At RREA, we feel photo and video is so important to selling real estate that we created our own in house marketing company, RREA Media, to help agents sell houses. No other real estate brokerage has that! No franchise, no others. RREA is the leader! So why not use an RREA agent that will include professional photos and videos on your listing for FREE!
For all of these reasons, whether buying or selling, it’s important to ask questions and get to know your agent. Make sure this is the person you want on your side if the deal turns south. I have seen many real estate transactions get complicated and turn south quickly. You want an agent that can get resolution, find solutions, and take care of your transaction from the beginning through the closing!
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