Here’s the annual diatribe questioning the existence of realtors:
If you ask most realtors why they exist, you’ll hear about the “maze of paperwork” and “litigation and liability” – big words meant to intimidate.
But consumers don’t buy and sell houses enough to be naturally comfortable with the process. Once they meet a few random realtors at open houses, they become more convinced that they should get somebody on their side.
The industry leaves it up to the individual agents to promote themselves as they see fit, which leads to hype and propaganda – and not a lot of factual evidence.
The trend towards “reviews” by past clients on Zillow or Yelp is a good idea, but that can always be gamed. Checking the agent’s website and googling their name will supply more data, but rarely do you find specific evidence of their expertise.
It’s one of the biggest moves of your life – you should invest an hour over a cup of coffee to make sure the agents are what they seem. Ask them to provide evidence of how many homes they have sold recently, and what is their specific involvement in the process (specifically, once you sign on, do they pass you down the conveyor belt of assistants?).
I’m available anytime – and I’ll buy the cup!