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Five things to stop doing to your Realtor

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

There’s a lot of information thrown at you when buying or selling your home. A. Lot.

I had a ton to ask my Realtor and she had to repeat a lot before I got into the business myself.

Who retains this stuff? Realtors do, and that’s why they are there to help guide you and protect you every step of the way, not to mention answer all of your questions — even if it’s over and over again.

But if you’d like to help the process along, there are a few things you can quit doing right now:

1. Stop expecting your Realtor to show you a property at a moment’s notice

Judging by the amount of last-minute requests we get to go see a property, the public must think we sit on the sofa and eat bon bons all day and can arrange a showing by snapping our fingers. That was so 2006.

Making a decent living in real estate requires hard work. Business doesn’t just fall on your plate. It’s a full-time job.

I won’t get into all the details, but let me paint the picture of what it takes to show a home: A Realtor has to call to see if the home has any offers on it and then find out if the seller is willing to show the home at the time your buyer wants to see it. Some require several hours notice and, if there’s a tenant in the home, the law states it’s 48 hours notice unless they agree to it any earlier.

Let’s say you have five properties to show. You set up four of them, but the fifth can’t do it at a certain time time. So you have to re-work all the plans. Remember, people need time to straighten up, pack the kids and the pets in the car, make arrangements, etc.

2. Stop using several agents to find a property

We call it cheating.

Can you imagine if you worked an entire day and your boss told you that they weren’t going to pay you for it? That your co-worker did the exact same work you did, but they decided to pay them instead? You would think your boss is a crook, right? Realtors deal with it all the time.

For some reason, some people think it’s okay to do that. It’s not. I equate it with stealing. You’re stealing a person’s time from making a living and providing for themselves and their family.

Don’t think one agent can find you a particular house while another can’t. We all have the same access to the same information. Granted, there are some agents that know about properties that haven’t hit the market yet. Pick an agent you get along with and one that gives you both great attention and customer service and be faithful to them.

If you decide to dump them, let them know. You can even use the “It’s not you, it’s me…” If you want to help the industry become better, take it a step further and tell them why.

3. Stop going into a new build community without your Realtor

As soon as you’re done ooh-ing and ahhh-ing over how beautiful that model home is decorated, realize that you’ve just hooped your Realtor. They make nothing. This is the same person who’s been scheduling showings, picking you up, driving you around, showing you properties and likely buying you coffee and lunch.

Clients say, “Well, we didn’t want to bother you, so we just stopped in,” or “We were just driving by.” Realtors will gladly go with you to get paid for the work they’ve done for you. It is no bother.

Many builders won’t pay your Realtor if they are not with you when you go to new home builds. And for goodness sake, do not sign anything without your Realtor being there.

4. Stop looking at Zestimates

Unless you WANT us to jump off a bridge because that’s how some of those Zestimates make us feel like doing.

When you start off a conversation with your Realtor by saying, “Zillow says,” notice how they are physically trying to stop their head from exploding. Look closely: You’ll be able to see the strain.

Low Zestimates cause anxiety for sellers. High Zestimates make the Realtor the bearer of bad news by having to pop the homeowner’s appreciation bubble.

So before you’re all out of whack, consult a Realtor who needs to physically come to your home and look at it. They’re looking for lot size, location, upgrades, condition and much more, along with recent sales in the area.

There is no charge for this, as the Realtor hopes that you will consider them when it comes time to sell.

If you’re buying and putting in an offer, your Realtor will do the research and show you comparable properties and explain to you what’s happening in the neighborhood in terms of sales and how much inventory is in the area.

5. Stop listening to your family

I love that our families always have our best interest at heart. They want to protect us from making a mistake and keep people from ripping us off. But before you take their advice, keep in mind the last time a family member bought a home, because times have changed.

Between now and the last time your well-meaning uncle bought or sold a home, we had a mortgage meltdown and a housing crisis and it all went to hell in a handbasket.

It’s all different. It’s all more regulated. There’s a lot more paperwork.

So the next time, your Uncle says “That’s not how we did it,” just smile and nod.

Your Realtor and lender aren’t doing it wrong, it’s just the way it is now.

Realtor Diane Brennan hosts That Real Estate Show Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM.

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