Like it or not, if you are going to purchase a property, 99% of the time you will have to deal with a real estate agent. Real estate agents come in many varieties and you will unfortunately run into many that are unethical and/or do not really know what they are talking about. Real estate agents, however, have the power to make or break a good deal on property. As the selling agent for a property, they are the ones that you do all of the negotiating with in order to get the best price possible. If you know how to deal with a real estate agent, you can in fact walk away with an excellent price. real estate agent santa monica
Here are some things you should know when dealing with real estate agents:
Firstly, remember that a majority of real estate agents aren’t property investment gurus. If they were, they would be doing property investment as a full time living and not selling real estate which is a very competitive field with usually very low salaries. Do not ask a real estate agent for property investment advice – they will tell you whatever you need to hear in order to purchase the property. Real estate agents are not trained in real estate investments – they are trained on how to sell property and how to negotiate to get the best price for the seller. If you dont believe me, ask your friendly real estate agent how many properties they actually own or have purchased in the past. You’ll find that most agents have only really purchased their own home and maybe one investment property or no properties at all. How can they give you property investment advice based on this experience?
Most real estate agents are paid very low salaries with all the upside being in the commissions they make when selling properties. Real estate selling can be a very cut throat environment and most agents will do anything they can to maximise their commissions. A real estate agent is not on a buyers side at all. No matter how friendly the agent seems, they are trained to say the right things and be as friendly to you as possible in order to gain your trust so that they can sell you their property for the highest price possible. Yes, there are some genuinely trustworthy agents out there who speak only the truth, but this is the exception rather than the norm, and even trusthworthy agents need to meet quotas in order to maintain their jobs.
A little known fact is that real estate agents are ethically and sometimes legally (depending where you live) bound to present written offers to their vendors. If you make a ridiculously low offer for a property verbally to an agent, they will just say that the offer is too low or make some snide comment about it – chances are they will not inform the seller of the offer. However, if you present a written offer to the agent, then they are ethically and sometimes legally (depending where you live) bound to present this offer to the seller no matter what they think of the offer. This has the benefit that if the seller if absolutely desperate to sell, they may accept the offer, and the agent is bound to sell at that price.