When you are buying a house, in most cases you have to find a real estate agent who will be showing you the available properties and guide you throughout the deal. Many home buyers expect them to be impartial or helpful when it comes to a decision-making process since they are paid by the homebuyers. Even though some real estate agents act professionally and always act in the interest of their clients, it is important to remember that real estate agents, just as everyone else, have their own biases and interests. Some real estate agents may put their interests first, and if their interests are not aligned with the interests of their clients, the clients may be at a disadvantage.
Every real estate is different, and every one of them may have different interests. Even if some of them are willing to put their interests first, it does not necessarily mean that they would hurt the buyer. On the other hand, there are some situations where a real estate agent may not only put their interests first but may actively sabotage their client. For example, some real estate agents are allowed to represent buyers and sellers at the same time. Coincidentally, they may be working on a deal where a buyer and a seller are both their clients. This kind of situation is called dual agency. Even though a dual agency is legal in many states, some states recognized the problem with representing both buyers and sellers, and they illegalized such practice. The dual agency is a very beneficial position for a real estate agent because they get a commission from both parties, and they have the power to influence the decisions made by both buyers and sellers.
Even though many real estate agents would use the opportunity to their advantage, some of them would either disclose the conflict of interest or simply avoid such situations. When you hire a real estate agent, it is important to ensure to the best of your ability that the agent is truthful and loyal to their customers. There are a few tricks that you can use to check whether you should trust your real estate agent or you should look for another one.
Do They Lie About Their Accomplishments?
There are different ways a real estate agent may lie to you. One of the easiest ways to see whether a real estate agent is trustworthy is to see how they market themselves. Marketing is a large part of being a real estate agent because of the tough competition among them. Because of that, many real estate agents resort to “fudging numbers” to look more professional and more successful than their competitors. You may have heard about real estate agents who claim to have sold thousands and even tens of thousands of houses over their careers. Sometimes, they may claim such high sales numbers that they would have to close one deal every day throughout their lifetime for it to be true. The sale numbers usually do not represent the effort of your real estate agent alone but rather the effort of a team or a company your real estate agent is working for.
It is important to understand that marketing the abilities of a team and blatantly misleading potential clients are two different things. It is important to pay attention to what exactly your real estate agent is saying. If they disclose where the stats they provide are coming from and differentiate the achievements of their team from their personal, they may be considered trustworthy. On the other hand, if they position themselves that they outsell their competitors by a margin without giving credit to their team, then they are likely lying to you.
It is possible to find out whether a real estate agent is lying to you by doing a little bit of research on the agent and the company they are working for. If you find out that your real estate agent is lying to you, then they may be comfortable lying to you about their listings. They may do it to steer you to buy a house that may lead to a higher commission to them or simply create a feeling of emergency to close a deal with you faster. It is up to you to continue working with them or find another real estate agent, but if you choose to work with them, make sure to be skeptical about their claims as they may simply be false.
Do They Represent Buyers And Sellers Together?
Even though the dual agency is legal in many states, it comes with certain conflicts of interest. Any real estate agent works to make money that comes from a commission paid. The commission is usually determined by the price of a house sold. When a real estate agent works with buyers and sellers, they can create a situation where they represent both parties in the same transaction. In these situations, real estate agents have the power to steer the outcome of the transaction that would benefit them the most. For example, if they receive a commission purely based on the deal, they may influence the seller to increase the price while persuading the buyer to purchase the property even when better alternatives are available.
Of course, there are cases when a real estate agent has no bad intentions. Sometimes, a real estate agent may be working in the best interests of their clients, and the situation of the dual agency may appear naturally. If you have a reason to trust your real estate agent, it might be wise to keep trusting them.
Trust Your Feeling
Real estate agents have to make a lot of considerations to be impartial at all times. Every person has their own biases, so everyone may make errors from time to time. When it comes to your real estate agent, it is important to check the information they provide you and ensure that the decisions you make are not rushed. Trust your gut and try to check the facts. If your real estate agent promises you something too good to be true, then chances are it is too good to be true. It is best to find a real estate agent through friends or family so that there would be people who could provide an honest review on the work the person does. If you cannot find any real estate agents through your network, just make sure to stay vigilant and shop around. Buying a property is only one of the largest purchases for most people, so it is up to you to make sure that you get the best deal and the best experience.