By Hugo Torres
I live to negotiate and swell with pride when I can help my client achieve reasonable terms in either the sale or purchase of a home. The rush of giving counsel, planning a pricing strategy, mediating terms
and finding creative solutions is what first attracted me to the Real Estate industry and why I continue to enjoy it.
Sadly, the extreme swings in the market and the lack of good mentoring/training has chipped away at this cornerstone of the profession and created a new generation of agents ill prepared to pursue their client’s needs to the utmost. These conditions in turn have allowed heavy handed tactics that in the long run will hurt the industry in the eyes of future Real Estate customers.
There is a small party of individuals and companies that take part in a Real Estate transaction and can help ensure that things go smoothly. On any given deal the REALTORS must deal with loan officers, Title
Policy reps, Escrow Officers, Home Warranty Agents, Termite inspectors, and/or Natural Hazard Disclosure companies. Every single one of these parties must perform tasks or promise to provide services during escrow or who will make considerable promises in the years after the deal closes. Not all services and vendors are created equal and an expert agent should advise their client the virtue of using
companies and reps who have the best track records.
These services, like the terms of price and duration of the escrow period, have always been negotiable between sellers and buyers via their agents. Historically, agents have talked to their clients about
the virtue of choosing one company over another and the parties negotiate until a meeting of the minds arises.
This fair practice began to erode in the last real estate boom as service companies began to incentivize brokers and agents for their patronage. With my own eyes I witnessed the lavishness of these times
and the myriad of agents who gladly took advantage. During this time, agents pushed certain products heavily because they received large rewards for doing so.
A lot of this dried up as of 2008 with the collapse of the Real Estate market and intense scrutiny by insurance commissioners and the Federal government.
Nonetheless, the practice had become part of the DNA of those REALTORS and every year thereafter the phrase “Seller Reserves All Services” started to become more prominent in Multiple Listing Service (MLS) postings in an area that is not available for the eyes of Real Estate customers.
Fast forward to present day when the phrase has become a standard and many new agents have come to understand that we now live in a time when they could negotiate price and length of escrow but there is no point in negotiating further. The seller (by way of their agents) has mandated who will service during the sale and who’ll take care of the client after it’s done. This is a shame.
REALTORS have always been and continue to be negotiators. Intelligently advocating on their clients behalf and finding answers that gives everyone the most of what they want. This brings value and I’m certain that our customers will reward us in turn when they see that we helped make their investment all the better. Not challenging a simple line in the MLS is foolhardy and it doesn’t help our clients achieve a better bottom line.
Let’s all be the best professionals we can be. Curve the language and let’s start making some deals happen.
Hugo Torres can be found on line at hugotorres.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/monrovian21