By Ray Gernhart
Being a Realtor® for 30 years has given me a certain perspective on the popular, discount brokerages. Discount brokers like RedFin are attracting dollar conscious home sellers who want to net as much money as possible from the sale of their home. That is a reasonable expectation that I fully support.
And they offer more! Although Realtor’s® don’t receive any fees from home buyers, some of these discount realty companies are offering home buyers cash rebates paid from the proceeds of their broker’s commission. This can add up to thousands of dollars. You are going to pay me to buy a house? That sounds amazing!
Unexpected Thing I’m Going To Say #1:
You can save money, and have a great experience with a discount broker.
This is absolutely true. Lots of people have excellent experiences buying and selling real estate with a bargain broker. Before I get a call from the Remax Allegiance corporate office, let me clarify.
Using a Discount Broker is a Good Choice IF:
- You have a lot of recent experience buying and selling real estate in the area and don’t need a lot of guidance through the process. Personal service is not for you, lone ranger! I respect that.
- You aren’t great at math. Ugh, math. So, you may only pay a 1% commission to your agent, but you will most likely still pay the selling broker 3% for a total of 4% versus the typical, but negotiable, 6%. If you sell a $500,000 property, that feels like a $10,000 win. But what if you didn’t get top dollar for your house because buyers, knowing you were getting a deal on the commission, offered you less? Maybe your house should have sold for $515,000 and you actually lost $4,700. Uh-oh.
- Nothing bad has ever happened to you. You don’t know what you don’t know. Every real estate transaction is unique with its own set of issues–even the “smooth” ones. From contract negotiations, home inspection surprises, loan issues, and more. A lot can happen between the contract and the closing table. An experienced full-service Realtor® can save you major dollars and headaches when they are dedicated and working on your behalf to make sure you get top dollar for your home and/or find the perfect home for your needs while holding the contract together, no matter what happens. After thirty years in real estate, I am confident we can handle anything that comes up in the process of buying or selling your home. An added bonus from our years of experience is that we have earned a portfolio of professional resources that are at our disposal when our clients need them–often at a discount or free because of our nurtured relationships. Need a reliable contractor? Check. Need a better loan? Check. Need a lawyer to discuss that easement issue? Check. Need a dog walker? Check. Custom Cabinets? Check.
- You don’t care who shows you houses. You just need a door opener, not someone who is familiar with your specific needs, or who might be able to clue you in on a potential foundation problem, or tell you about the neighborhood. Some discount brokers assign the home-showing to someone other than your real estate agent because it is time consuming and you have two eyes, don’t you? If you like the house, that’s great. End of story.
- You like to do a lot of REALLY important paperwork online. And you get giddy just thinking that one of the biggest financial transactions of your life will be handled by a variety of faceless strangers.
Unexpected Thing I’m Going To Say #2:
I’m Thankful To All Discount Brokerages for Making Me Love My Work Even More!
I fell in love with real estate because of the people. It’s a privilege to be part of such a momentous occasion as buying or selling a house. Why? Because it is always so much more than a transaction. It is someone’s personal story. It represents major life changes for our clients–a first home, a wedding, a baby, retirement, a new job, a divorce..We get to be part of that and help, which is something we never take for granted. Our business is built on long-term relationships, loyalty, trust, and a lot of fun thrown in for good measure.
I love working in real estate even more because:
- I appreciate the fact that we are fully invested in meaningful, long-term relationships with our clients at Gernhart and Associates. This is possible because we don’t have the burden of a high volume, low fee environment.
- I like being kept on my toes by the “new kids”. We even have our own mobile app now, so our clients can easily research homes and see their listing, on the go.
- I love that people have more choices now when researching real estate companies. It means when someone chooses to work with Ray Gernhart and Associates, it is an even bigger complement.
- I can appreciate, more than ever, that our concierge-like service, expert knowledge and intense work ethic is not worthy of a discount.