My guess is, most of us have parents that love us. Which is a great thing. But I also bet most of us have parents that don’t really “get” what it is we do for a living.Â I know my mom sure doesn’t.
Well, she knows I drive people around and show them houses. And that if someone wants to sell their house they’ll (hopefully) give me a call.
And truthfully, I’m not sure if I really knew what else real estate agents did before getting licensed either. So I can easily forgive her for not understanding what I do.
I guess what we all REALLY wish is that when we’ve got some expertise in an area that they’d take our advice on that!
Case in point, my mom and I recently had a phone conversation that went something like this:
“Well, I guess your dad and I are thinking of buying another rental.”
“Great mom! Do I know the place?”
“Its that house down the road from the Saloon…” She goes into some more details here, but I don’t know which house she is talking about since I haven’t lived there in 15 years.
“That sounds great mom. What does your real estate agent think about the place?”
“Well, we just called the listing agent and he showed us the place.”
“So you don’t have an agent working on your behalf?!”
“No, I think we’ll just tell the listing agent if we want to make an offer. We’ll probably get a better deal that way.”
And I’m officially worried mom.
This is where I get worried. The listing agent could be a great guy for all I know, but after talking with my mom some more one thing is clear. She hasn’t asked the most basic of all consumer questions.
Is this person working in my best interests or in the interests of someone else?
That’s at the heart of understanding Agency in Real Estate.
The listing agent — all listing agents — have been hired by the seller to sell their home. And 99% of the time, that home owner expects the real estate agent to sell their home for the most money they can as fast as they can. And for any good real estate agent, that’s their goal. After all, they represent their client.
So IÂ delicatelyÂ tried to suggest to my mom that the reason she MAY not want to use the listing agent is because she (probably) wants an agent to act and negotiate on HER behalf!
I’ve talked about agency on here before. In fact, you should probably go read all about agency here.
But here’s the easy question you should be asking to any agent you may be considering working with, “when push comes to shove, whose best interests are you going to promote?”
And in case you are readying this mom, you want YOUR name to be the answer to that question.