How to choose a right realtor when buying

How to choose the right realtor when buying

There are many articles and tips on how to choose a realtor when buying a home. Would those tips effectively help the buyer solve all the issues, relieve concerns and potential worries?

What might be the right method?

The buyer may have to possess some necessary and indisputable knowledge or experience to make the selection. Otherwise, it may be in the wrong direction to chase.

What is the root cause?

The most perplexing thing is that there does not exist an optimal answer to this costly question. Think about it, how could there be a simple reply to a fundamental conflict of interest between buyer and agent, not to mention the complexities and varieties that need to be faced during the house hunting and transaction.

From the buyer's side, the buyer wishes to get a more tailored, patient, and professional service at the lowest possible price. If the buyer happens to buy the house after just a couple of rounds of viewing the property, the buyer probably would think to have overpaid the agent considering the service time and endeavor obtained from that agent.

From the agent's perspective, the less time and endeavor spent, the more commission earned, the merrier. However, to prove the plausible value, a good deal of effort is spent on designing many methods and tactics to get the buyer’s empathy, to win over the buyer's trust.

It is not uncommon to see the agent may have devised many unnecessary or detoured ways and steps. For example, showing the property, which does not exactly match the buyer’s demand or has a slim chance to close, pretending a lot more effort is put in the deal, bluffing, manipulation, etc.

Once the buyer shows interest, the agent may try every way to convince the buyer to close the deal ASAP. A large number of buyers don't even have enough time to read through those multiple contracts and then are pressured to sign the offer due to the urgency.

Can those agreements be read through and be interpreted in advance? Yes, it is also required by RECO. There are clear-cut rules and regulations on the paper to confine the agent's conduct. But to a human being, how can the fair moral standard be set up against oneself in case of a large personal stake involved. 

Does transparency contribute?

Think about the benefits that the online purchase brings to the average family. The transparency of the product quality, price, and availability largely shape the way people purchase, drive down the cost substantially and make goods more affordable.

What if such a thing is brought into the real estate industry? Could at least a large portion of families be benefiting from this change? 

Who cares less?

If one is from a super-wealthy family and doesn't bother to consider saving a couple of tens of thousands dollars; If one is super busy and traveling all around, and the spouse is also hectic all the time, there is no luxury of time to gather necessary knowledge on home purchase; or if one is a new immigrant, and needs a heavy reliance on someone to provide more extensive service, it is recommended, in those cases, to leave the whole or majority of the commission to the agent who is spending a lot of time serving you. 

Who cares more

However, for the majority of an average family, why not set up a time slot to learn something on the house transaction and get back a nice commission rebate.

For safety reasons, one could buy the right property with fewer worries and potential issues.

For money reasons, the rebate is a net saving. How much time one has to work to earn such an amount, which can be easily translated into working time in terms of hundreds or thousands of hours. The rebate is a true thing and hanging over the head.

What all is required is to make a simple and quick mind change, and try it, then it comes along with the extra happiness on top of what the new home purchase brings. Use that money for a fancy gift to oneself, or to the spouse or family member, or to plan an unworried trip (after the epidemics, of course) without much budget concern.

How to learn quickly on home knowledge?

One may raise the questions such as buying a home is complicated, and it is hard to learn that knowledge. Here is what to do. Read the guides if one has time, or read the concise guide at least.

Equipped with the knowledge from the short guide, one could rely less on the agent, the efficiency is increased, and eventually, this would be reflected in the different rebate programs. Though one may not be knowledgeable to join a full commission rebate program, one still could get a decent rebate.

There are other questions that need to be considered, which hopefully will help you formulate the right strategy in how to choose the right realtor.

Does the salesperson’s experience really matter?

Yes or no,  it really depends on the situation. Besides, how to make the proper judgment? Has the effective criteria been established to make a sound call? How can one avoid the impact of the first impression or hallo effect, which are categorized into fallacies of human instinct reaction by the Nobel laureate, Danniel Kannman.

In an extreme, if one completely counts on the agent to take care of everything, or one is wealthy enough to overlook the commission rebate that is worth tens of thousands of dollars. Getting a trusted agent definitely helps.

On the other extreme, if you are conversing on the home transaction, or you have time and interest in DIY, or you are willing to learn, you are almost totally independent of any salesperson to make the decisions, equipped with the related knowledge.

Then what about the buyers in between? It depends on the instances. In a situation like a bidding war, all things are pinned at the bottom number, the number that the buyer offers, and the amount the buyer takes the risks and chances. In many other cases, the salesperson’s experience does matter, but how can the inherent interest conflicts be avoided?

If we think in-depth, as average family persons, we have to compromise on a lot of things. For instance, we spend a considerable time on the search for a good deal to book a flight and hotel for the family vacation.

Then to the house purchase, we behave unnaturally and put our faith in someone who is a non-family member, and whose primary interest is earning from us. Does it sound a bit ironic and unrealistic? 

One may excuse oneself that the home purchase is too complex and it needs too much knowledge to build up.  How about the example that is just brought up. How much more money one has to pay to the traditional travel agent and service providers if not because of the transparency that those internet forerunners bring to the industry. 

Home-related knowledge is no math. If one indeed has less enthusiasm or one happens to be extremely busy, here is the suggestion. One would catch up on the main points, pay attention to the main practices, use the checklist to make sure the major issues are covered by oneself or via the agent. 

But to make it effective and functional, besides the necessary knowledge one has acquired, it also requires something just like what the internet pioneers bring to the travel industry, that is a system that can help and facilitate one to achieve this. is aiming for that, and has the initial plan and runs its system on the trial. It is a long journey, but transparency and fairness is eventually the real and ultimate winner. 

Does the brokerage’s fame count as claimed?

All the brokerages are required by RECO to be insured to relieve the buyer’s worry from the issues such as deposit, and possible omission and errors.

Most of the information is listed on websites like (accessible to the public), therefore, the information that the purchase decision is mainly based on is quite open to the public.

Most of the salespersons, no matter the brokerage size, are self-employed, and they are living on commission. All the salespeople are insured per RECO for protecting the clients' or customers’ interests.

So as to the added-on value that some brokerage claims, does it justify the extra hefty charge?

Does the salesperson’s familiarity with the neighborhood count much?

Who knows more than yourself about your wants or needs? Who cares more about you more than yourself? Who is the person to take the consequence, impact, and benefits of the home purchase? It is all about you, and nobody else. 

The minute factors, tangible or intangible, changing demands due to the situation variance will put a challenge to the agents who assist you on the purchase. How can they adapt to the new changes easily and provide sound advice impeccably for you? 

The widely spreading information is easily accessible on the internet, plus with the valuable sold-data which has been released to the public since Nov 2019. You are powered with a similar information source as the salesperson does. Do you still have to solely rely on agent recommendation? 

Do you have to rely on the agent to buy a home?

Theoretically, one is free to buy a house by oneself. However, the common practices set up some hurdles and hindrances. For example, the buyer is limited to access to the property and will find difficulties in placing an offer. For additional information, please refer to Can I buy a home by myself? 

In short, the benefits of buying without an agent are very limited, and that is not an optimal solution. Getting an agent who is offering cashback is a better choice, the dilemma then is how to get the right one who meets all the requirements including a reasonable cashback.

How do you balance all the considerations to make the smart decision to choose the right agent?

Those questions above are the main factors one needs to consider, and there are other considerations minor or major depending on the situation. It is another challenge to put the buyer in the front line to muse, think, weigh, consider, in order to make an uneasy, sometimes unpleasant decision.

In case things go south, remorse, regret, pity are the agonies that one has to go through. Why is that? It may be due to the nature of the essential interest conflict between the buyer and the agent. No matter how logical and reasonable the buyer is, there isn’t a simple and quick answer.

One may be in the relentless struggle mingled with the complexity of home buying by itself. The joy and excitement that is supposed to be experienced in the single largest spending become an unwholesome journey.

Is there an ultimate solution to those concerns?

One may feel disappointed since there is no such ultimate solution existing. The inherent fight between the buyer and the buyer agent is persisting and unending. The only possible solution is to find a system or program which is transparent, and acceptable to the buyer in terms of fairness at the time being. 

Which is more reliable and trustworthy, the system or human?

Does that system really solve all the perplexities and relieve one from all the worries and anxieties. It is a clear no since the system is operated and implemented by a human.

However, the system most likely has a considerable advantage over an individual human salesperson. At least, with the system, you have better control over projecting what you can achieve and get, and you most likely can get what you want since the system has a policy in black and white.

On the other hand, to deal with a human being instead of a system, you may end up in unending guesses.

Bottom line, you could at least predict what services you could get and calculate what you may cost by using the service listed out in the commission rebate programs


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