If we are setting you up on an automated search we will appreciate that you read this post about what to watch out for.

How to keep safe with Your AgentEach and every day both Paris and I are searching on our end for the listings that closest meet our clients criteria.  We are not the "set it and forget it" types. We are actively hunting the properties that our clients want to view.

Having said that - here are a few reminders from our Real Estate Crash Course meeting that you will find of immense help:

  • Don't Sign anything at Open Houses:  When you place your signature on a tablet or with the agent hosting the open house, it limits our ability to represent you if you wish to write an offer.  It creates an issue called "procuring cause".  The agent's hosting the open house can come after us later for the full commission that was to be earned if you view a home without us and don't make it 100% clear that you are already represented.  You want a Team that is 100% committed to you and not the Seller!
  • Viewing New Homes and New construction communities:  Again, don't sign anything.  If you do we are not able to have any part in your purchase at a new home builder or new home community.  We cannot negotiate for you, we cannot get fee's lowered or get upgrades added to your purchase at no cost.  We are unable to represent you with your purchase at a new home development if you sign anything.  It does pay to have us with you - We have been successful in getting the asking price reduced, getting extra incentives by the way of closing costs and upgrades on appliances.  We have also been able to get hardwood and shutters in place of carpet and blinds.  It does help!
  • Searching other Real Estate Websites:  At your own risk!  I say that because most of the "nation wide" real estate websites are built around "lead generation".  They sell your personal information to the Hungry real estate agents that subscribe to their service.  You might never get off the list if you give up any of your info.  When searching for real estate and homes for sale, you will notice that our portal might be missing listings that you have seen on the larger "we monetize your information" websites.  The fact of the matter is that those listings are not "policed" by anyone.  An agent can take a listing from a more depressed area, input it on the website as being in a different - higher priced - city, and work the leads that come in.  The reason you are not viewing it on the search we put together for you is simple.  Our results are accurate - not fluff!
  • Talking at work, about buying or selling real estate, with friends and family:  We love for our clients to involve their friends, family and co-workers in their home sale or home purchase.  It makes is happy.  However, it might cause you more stress than necessary.  Just make sure when you are hearing from your friends, family or co-workers about, "I bought my home and almost stole it...  or  I was able to get a loan for free - in fact, they paid me...  or  You need to offer $200,000 lower than what they are asking - the banks are desperate...." - take those statement from the "experts" in  your periphery with a grain of salt.  Also, we would like the chance to expand on each of their statements so they can be addressed and made clear.  I have met a lot of "experts" in my day and I am sure you have too :-)
  • Calling other Real Estate agents:  If we have spoken to you and yours and helped you develop a Real Estate game plan, we have committed to you.  We are on your side with your purchase and or sale of Real Property.  "We have your back", as we used to say on the PD.  Not only that, we are going be keeping you safe from all of the issues, by informing you of the Potential "land mines and pitfalls" that can be created by anyone's "subtle" actions.  We take our Profession of Real Estate very seriously - almost to a fault.  We return calls when out of town and do research no matter where we are in the world.  This is our business we do keep in contact with every single client - Personally!  When you reach out to other agents about a listing that you might have seen, or call off of a "for sale" sign in someone's front yard, you are putting yourself in harms way.  Not that the agent is going to crawl through the phone into your mouth :-)  But you are opening yourself up to false statements like the following:  "The only way to buy the home you are calling about is through me...  I know the sellers bottom line and I will let you know what it is...   I can find properties that your agent does not have access too...  If you come meet with me, sign a broker buyers agreement, I will compensate you after the deal closes..."  Some of these statements are criminal.  Protect yourself, find a good Realtor and stick by their side as long as they are keeping in contact with you and doing their job!!!
These are the Five Rules of how to keep yourselves out of trouble when you are committed to a Realtor.  There is nothing new under the sun and the games within commission based sales are truly a "dime a dozen".  We still hear from our clients what some of the other "hungrier agents" tell them when they visit their open houses or call them on the phone.  Those that are starting a real estate relationship on a "lie" can be pretty dangerous when you are considering making the largest investment of your life with them.
If there are every any questions about something that you have heard from an outside source, other than your Realtor, give them a call and let them explain to you what it means.  Also, keep your agent in the loop.  If there is something that "chaps your hide" that your real estate representative has done - let them know and give them a chance to fix it.  I think all "human beings" deserve a chance to keep the water clear!