Observations About Real Estate Consumers
The past couple of weeks have been busy…and when that happens, I don’t always get time to reflect and right something interesting. Different parts of the brain or something like that.
In recent months, I’ve stepped up my activity on Trulia, answering a lot of questions for consumers and adding blog comments when the creative spark ignites.
The questions on Trulia are curious to me in a number of ways…and I will try to share a couple of observations.
1) Consumers don’t trust Realtors – It saddens me that I can feel this pulse running through so many of the questions. 90% of the answers could easily be ‘Ask your Realtor’ but apparently, consumers don’t trust Realtors or believe what they say.
2) Consumers often don’t know what’s in their contract – There are a large chunk of questions about details of their deal…The irony is that no stranger on Trulia is going to be able to know what’s a given contract. The consumer simply needs to re-read their contract to find the answers they post publicly. If they still don’t know the answer, then I revert back to ‘why don’t you ask your Realtor?
The issue of not knowing what’s in your contract worries me greatly. I’ve seen buyers’ eyes glaze over both with real estate contracts and mortgage contracts. All I can say is that you will be held accountable for what’s in your purchase or listing contract…so make it a point to know it….even if you have to hire an attorney to explain it to you!!
3) People are lazy – Why find out the answer yourself when you can ask a complete stranger on the Internet? Clearly a sign of our times, this dynamic further concerns me. When you trust the response of a stranger online more than the Realtor you have already hired or the contract sitting on your lap, what have we gotten ourselves into?
At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old fool, I do believe that there is some value to online forums. Where I get into difficulty is when these responses are given more weight than they deserve.
So, I say to you the following:
1- Licensed Real Estate Agents are there to serve you. If your agent doesn’t, it doesn’t mean all agents are bad…it just means you found a bad agent.
2 - Communicate ALL your questions and concerns about your transaction to your own Realtor. If the Realtor doesn’t respond, call the Sales Manager or Broker at their office. If you chose to do business without a Realtor, I recommend asking an attorney to review your contract and getting your questions answered.
3 – Investigate the answers to your own questions – There are an abundant number of resources available in any given transaction – your Realtor, their Broker, the Escrow Officer, the Title Rep, the Inspector, the Mortgage Broker, etc….These people are all involved in your transaction so if your question is about YOUR deal….start with them before posting a question online.
That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it! Thanks for reading!