What do homebuyers, sellers and agents want?
Readers got into a spirited discussion last week about the value (or lack of value) real estate agents offer. This raises a larger question, I think: As a homebuyer or seller, what do you want from a Realtor? What would you consider good and helpful service?
And for you agents out there: What do you want from your buyer and seller clients? What behavior and expectations are reasonable?
To kick this off, here's part of a comment by reader Semiconscious: "My home hunting experience has taught me that I do all the heavy lifting. If I don't buy within the 1st 10 houses I see, the realtor starts to grumble. I've written several contracts so far, and a lawyer can do just as well as a realtor."
A recent opinion article about "buyer etiquette" by Renee Porsia, a Philadelphia Realtor, happens to address the same how-many-houses-are-enough issue from the other side:
Seeing 25 homes is not very good buyer etiquette and also just shows your Realtor that you really do not know what you are looking for in your new home. It will also only wind up confusing you and chances are, the home will not be there by the time you decide that you liked home number one. Viewing approximately 8-10 homes on average is plenty of homes to view.
And what's enough is just one issue. Should an agent and potential client set ground rules before doing business together? Would agents, buyers and/or sellers be happier if the agents were paid a set fee for specific services rendered over a specific time period rather than a commission at settlement?
Talk amongst yourselves. Talking through problems is the first step to solving them, right? Call it relationship counseling for the housing-market set.