In residential real estate transactions, sellers commonly take pains to interview and to select a Realtor.
They will talk to friends, get referrals, ask for references, and generally interview prospects. Buyers, on the other hand, tend to just respond to an ad, as if "University Park homes for sale" tells them anything they need to know about the professional with whom they will be doing business. By the way, University Park is a leading suburb surrounding Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
** What Real Estate Homes For Sale Ads Don't Tell You **
Let's continue this example ... that advertisement for homes for sale in University Park, will most likely contain a nice set of photos, a brief summary of the property's major amenities, and a stated asking price.
Certainly, those things are important and "eye catching" in making a buyer want to actually see the listing. There are many important things, however, to which that ad copy does not speak about the actual Realtor you would be working with, including the:
- education and training,
- market experience,
- professional focus,
- ethics practices,
- and area knowledge
If all you do as a buyer is answer an ad, you are going into an important and potentially expensive transaction essentially blind. The situation is made even more complex if the buyer is relocating to Dallas from another part of the country.
** The Most Successful Transactions Involve Two Agents **
The most successful real estate transactions are those in which each side is represented by its own professional: the listing agent for the seller and the buyer's agent for the buyer. That way, each side has its own professional representing their interest.
The listing agent is interested in selling you their client's house. Let me repeat that part: their client's house. The buyer's agent will go farther in helping the consumer to understand the implications of buying a particular property. The buyer's agent has much ore incentive to point out both pros and cons of a particular property.
If they are a good agent, they're interested in the long-term interests of their client. Thinking long-term is the way to build a real estate business and generate referrals from satisfied and grateful clients.
Buying a piece of residential property is likely the largest purchase most individuals will ever make in their lives. It means buying not just a home, but buying into the community in which that home is situated. A decision of that magnitude deserves -- in fact, cries out for -- the highest level of professional expertise and consultation at your disposal.
** Buyer's Agents Work On Your Behalf **
Buyer's agents protect the broader interests of their clients by helping them to understand:
- current market values,
- long-term investment potential,
- the implications of relocation,
- and, perhaps most importantly, the nuances of location, both in the immediate neighborhood adjacent to the property and in the broader surrounding community.
That University Park real estate ad, for instance, will not tell the buyer they are considering moving to:
- the top suburb in Dallas/Fort Worth according to D Magazine in 2002, 2004, and 2008,
- an area served by the seven campuses of the Highland Park Independent School District, all with "Exemplary" ratings from the Texas Department of Education,
- neighborhoods situated five miles from downtown Dallas that are highly regarded for quality of life issues,
- or that University Park houses carry a relatively low tax rate when weighted against some of the highest long-term property values in the city.
You most certainly care how many bedrooms and bathrooms the house has, but you care as much or more about the value of your investment and the quality of life you and your family will enjoy in and around your new home.
** Realtors Are The Licensed Professionals **
This deeper level of purchase consultation comes out of confidential discussions with a real estate professional who seeks to meet the client's:
- and budget.
While the vast majority of Realtors sometimes work with buyers or sellers, most have a specialty. For the buyer, the question becomes a simple matter of:
- Do I want to work exclusively with someone who is trying to sell me something?
- Do I want to work with someone who is going to help me buy the property that best matches my personal situation?
Consumers interested in buying a home should exercise the same degree of care in selecting a Realtor they would apply to the search for any other professional. Find a knowledgeable member of the real estate profession who will protect your interests and those of your family and who will help you to spend your money wisely and well.
** Qualities To Look For In A Realtor **
You want a Realtor who:
- fully understands both sides of the transaction process,
- does not engage in high pressure tactics over supplying real, useful information,
- actively assists clients in researching ALL available listings that meet buyer criteria,
- and who will inform you about the long-term implications of properties in which you are interested. If you are going to relocate to Dallas, you also need an agent who understands the special needs of those relocating to Texas.
Finally, buyers want and need a Realtor with excellent communications skills who is easily reached at any point in the search for or purchase of a property. A buyer's agent is not a luxury in the search for "real estate for sale in University Park," that professional is a necessity.