Why using a Realtor is amazing!
Have you ever wondered why some people use a Realtor / Agent and some people shy away from it? Have you also wondered why we just don’t use lawyers? These are all great questions that we will answer in today’s blog.
Firstly, let’s get a couple of key fundamentals out of the way. In Alaska, a person who is licensed to assist in the sale of Real Property (AKA Real Estate) is called a Licensee, not an Agent. This had to do with some legal semantics about labeling and advertising, but for all intents and purposes, please call us whatever makes you feel best! Agent does sound cool though!
Secondly, not all Real Estate professionals in the state of Alaska are “Realtors.” Realtors are a group of licensed individuals who are upheld to a higher level of ethics and standards. Becoming a realtor requires additional fees and certifications (including continuing education hours) that set them apart from others. I think about this like I do Personal Trainers in the fitness industry. Anyone can go online and get some cookie cutter, low-level certification. Then there are those who have to graduate college with a 4-year degree in order to get their certifications. Obviously with a higher standard of certification usually comes a higher level of knowledge, service and commitment to the profession.
(P.S. I am a firm believer that there are amazing Real Estate professionals who are not Realtors even though I am a licensed Realtor.)
If you’ve watched movies like “The Big Short” or have succumbed to the stereotypical image of a flashy salesperson stumbling out of their Audi draped in Gucci sunglasses while just getting off of their Bluetooth, you may be getting the wrong image.
Just like with any profession, whether a doctor, lawyer or dentist, there are people who fit the bill of a Hollywood heel. For the most part, in my experience, Realtors in Alaska are normal people living normal lives who care more about people than money. I think it is very easy for a person to stereotype some one who is professional that obviously looks and dresses the part. Would you hire a doctor who’s about to do heart surgery that rolls up to your consultation in a rusted Toyota? Or would you go with the suit and tie doctor driving up in his luxury car, with whom you’ve only talked to his assistant at this point? Probably the professional who has made hard work, through his expertise, let him make a good life for himself.
Typically, Realtors (Agents) are classified into two categories. There are Buyer’s Agents, and Sellers Agents (commonly referred to as a Listing Agent).
Buyer’s Agents typically represent the prospective buyer of a property. Seller’s Agents typically represent the seller on a prospective piece of property or home.
It is important to note that in the State of Alaska a Real Estate Professional can be dual-licensees. This means that he or she can represent both the buyer and seller. In some states this is illegal because it is very hard to represent both parties fairly and adequately with fair, and equal representation. If you’re looking at a specific piece of property, I would ask your Realtor if he or she is also the listing agent. You might want to consider getting representation for your side of the deal specifically. Why?
A Seller’s Agent is representing the seller’s best interest, and has most likely established that relationship before yours (relationships are important in any type of legal transaction). The seller’s best interest is to get the most amount of money for their property on the best terms possible. Re-read that last sentence and consider it before you think about using a Realtor as a dual-licensee.
It is a Buyer’s Agent sole responsibility to find their client a conforming piece of property or home, that falls in line with their ideals, needs and wants and obtain it for the lowest price, on the terms that best suit the buyer.
The cool thing about using a buyer’s Agent is that typically all the commissions paid out is from the Seller’s side of things. This means that using an Agent as a Buying Agent is free to you!
Why don’t people just use lawyers?
Lawyers usually work off of an hourly rate (anywhere from $175-$400 an hour), and they do not have as much access to real estate information that licensed Real Estate Professionals do. Typically in a very large deal, Real Estate Lawyers can be brought in to provide specific assistance.
Why use an agent at all?
That’s’ a very good question, and one that has a solid answer. A lot of people try to do what’s called “For Sale By Owner.” This is where they cut out the middle-man and try to work directly with a buyer in attempt to save themselves money.
While, in theory, this sounds like a very good money saving effort, there are major issues with it. Unless a person is very familiar with land and home contract laws, specifically in that state, it can get messy. There is a reason why states have locally licensed individuals to take care of things like stock trading, real estate and legal practices. Very intricate laws mixed with confusing contracts can hold a homeowner to a lot of liability.
Just because you claim, “I didn’t know,” it won’t help you out. If you make a mistake because you did not know what you’re doing, it could cost you thousands of dollars, not to mention legal ramifications that result in fines, and even jail time.
These are just a few of the reasons why using a local Realtor in Alaska could benefit you big time! They have your best interest in mind and can save you thousands of dollars and maybe even save you from making some bad Real Estate deicions!
Interested in working with a local Realtor? Contact James Cash at 907-360-7448 or firstname.lastname@example.org