Did you know that approximately 67% of the homes sold in Orange County are sold by an agent that only closes about 1-2 transactions per year?! Yes, that is right, per YEAR!!! In my opinion is it almost impossible to understand real estate contracts and how to properly represent anybody who is buying or selling a home if you are not working at it full time and successfully closing many transitions per year. My first broker always said to me that as Realtors, we are practicing law every single day and we need to stay well informed as to what those laws are and when they change how that effects our contracts and our clients. With more and more laws and guidelines coming into play in the Real Estate industry and the contracts changing every year, it is absolutely vital that you are choosing the right agent to represent you.
Does the agent know how to properly counsel you on everything from properly marketing your home - or how to successfully navigate a transaction and protect you? Here are some core items your agent should know.
1) Contracts - Does your agent know the contract? Do they know when the contract changes? Do they know how to read through the contract with you and really counsel you on what you are signing and what it means both to you and for you? I just recently worked with an agent who did not know the contract therefore he could not properly counsel his clients on the contract. His clients were in breach of contract throughout almost the entire escrow and they didn’t even know it - half the time he didn’t even know it. Fortunately I do know the contract and my clients are good people and we worked out the issues instead of contacting legal counsel, but I can tell you that their agent put them in a highly compromising situation and it could have turned out very badly for them.
2) Properly Negotiating - Does your agent know how to confidently negotiate on your behalf? Weather you are purchasing a home and want to negotiate the best price or are selling a home and would like the highest offer, have they had enough experience or done enough transactions to understand how to effectively negotiate on your behalf? Even after the contract is negotiated there are multiple times throughout the escrow period that further negotiations are required as well. Do they know how to work with the other parties on your behalf to protect you, keep you on track and make sure you are ending up with the best possible scenario?
3) Roles and Responsibilities - Does your agent know what their responsibilities are and what the roles and responsibilities are of all of the other parties as well so they can keep the escrow on track? Your agent is your quarterback and they need understand the role of the lender, the escrow officer and the title officer. Does the agent know the responsibilities for the team and work with those people often? Your agent should be driving the other parties involved in the transaction to meet deadlines and contingency dates and should be well versed in exactly what that entails.
4) Contingency Periods and Time Frames - Do they know when the contingency period deadlines are or what the responsibilities are for their client – whether they are representing the buyer or the seller? Does the agent know how to front load the transactions to make sure all contingency deadlines are met on time?
5) Industry Standards - Does your agent understand industry standards and have a good relationship with other parties throughout the transaction? Are they knowledgable enough to work out simple solutions if necessary? Can they properly counsel you on industry norms if you have questions?
If any agent you interview cannot properly navigate through any of the above topics, my suggestion would be to interview other agents!
Who you work with matters. The Nichole Story Group is always here to help! Please call us if you have any questions about any topics covered in this article, we would be happy to help. (949)375-9981