Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Readers Respond: June Fletcher Tells it Like it Is!

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In a recent article entitled, “Readers Respond: Using A Buyers Agent,” June Fletcher, a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, the author of "House Poor" (Harper Collins, 2005), and columnist for “House Talk," set a few misconceptions straight about what an exclusive buyer's agent can do for their buyer clients.

When a Poulsbo, WA agent said, “If you never negotiate from the sellers agent perspective, you are less prepared to position negotiations effectively with sellers in service to your buyer….many [clients] can't buy until they sell. You're suggesting not to use one agent for both?” June answered, point blank, “Well, yes I am -- if you can find an agent who specializes in working just with buyers. The idea that exclusive buyers agents can't understand a seller's perspective is hogwash…”

Cite Source: RealEstateJournal.com

Kudos to June for setting things straight, and telling it like it is. The idea that an exclusive buyer's agent cannot possibly understand the seller’s perspective is untrue. As a matter of fact, they can offer home-selling guidance as a value-added bonus to buyer-clients who prefer to sell on their own--but it needs to be said that, as sellers, they would benefit from the experience of a good listing agent.

Listing agents and companies who dedicate themselves to the seller can bring advocacy to the table for the seller, which is invaluable. The same principle applies to exclusive buyer agents and their companies; they provide advocacy for the buyer, because they only represent buyers. The key is avoiding dual agency.

An exclusive buyer's agent can offer guidance without actually taking the listing--and therefore--without charging any fees. Some exclusive buyer agents may offer this guidance to loyal clientele, and again, it is only guidance--not advocacy. Most agents will frown upon this practice, and many would regard it as, “leaving money on the table.” However, an exclusive buyer agent could do this as an added value to their buyer-clients.

For buyer-clients who prefer to sell using the services of a listing agent (recommended), an exclusive buyer’s agent can refer them to the best listing professionals in the market. They can do this because they are in constant contact with them at networking events, real estate classes, and during the course of everyday business. The best listing agents are those forward-thinking professionals who understand and respect the new consumer-driven economy. They are not threatened by the change, and in fact, welcome it because they know that consumers will benefit greatly. They realize that when consumers are happy, trust is sure to grow, and when trust grows, the public's general perception of real estate agents will also improve. Everyone wins.

Bottom line, real estate is not a cut-and-dry world anymore. There are many more options available, and Old-school real estate agents need to update their out-moded ways of thinking. It is now more consumer-driven than ever before, and it is now up to consumers to educate themselves on the options available to them, and to decide for themselves how they want to be represented. A growing number of them are learning about the many options that were never available to them before.

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