Most consumers do not engage in selling or buying real estate on a regular basis. It is therefore natural for them to not be fully aware of the intricacies involved, as a property investor might. This applies to any type of property whether it’s a foreclosure, regular for sale condos or homes, or other real assets.
One of the key benefits of working with a REALTOR®, to both buyers and sellers, is tapping their extensive experience in the business to secure the best deal possible. But for this to happen, the agent must be ‘contracted’ in order for them to officially ‘represent’ the client.
Without a contract, the ‘representation’ is limited to the agent conveying information provided by the other party, that the buyer or seller must then analyze and base their decisions upon. This is referred to more as working ‘with’ the customer, rather than working ‘for’ them. A far cry from an optimal position, in as far as the customer is concerned.
True value lies in the ability to tap the agent’s extensive negotiating, neighborhood knowledge and overall expertise, to the consumer’s advantage. To benefit from their recommendations on how to approach the negotiating process, rather than just relaying to them an asking price and carrying back counter offers. As a buyer, you want your agent to put serious skills to bear, much like a lawyer might. But they can legally only do so if they are under contract to ‘represent you.’
While the benefits of remaining free to work with one or more agents may seem appealing to some consumers, there are many risks associated with the approach. Carolyne Realty Corp. has a great write up on representation that covers the subject in far more detail and might be a good read for any buyer or seller. Realtor.com, on its website, also stresses the importance of proper representation when consumers are ready to take their search from online to real-life. Not just in securing the best deal possible, but also to access accurate data and facts about a property, before making the leap.