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Jason Vestweber
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Real Estate | 2 Posts
Uncategorized | 2 Posts
Market Update | 1 Posts

To blog or not to blog… well, this is yet another attempt at putting fingers to keys to document some of the conversations we have as agents over and over.  Experiences we have repeatedly with clients and trying to help future clients better understand this crazy world we call real estate.

First topic to discuss is, "What is it we DO?"  There is such confusion on what it is agents/REALTORS do for their clients.  What are some of the assumptions?  Most people assume we do the following:

  • We sell homes
  • We price properties
  • We collect buyers who will buy the properties we list
  • We sell the products our brokers list
  • We create and do a bunch of paperwork
  • We make legal decisions
  • We all drive great vehicles, play a ton of gulf, and work about 10 hours a week!

Over a decade in the business now and I can assure these are just a few of the misconceptions about our industry.  While there are aspects of the list above which are partially true, most of the points mentioned above are not true. 

What is an "Agent"? Strictly defined an agent is: a person who acts on behalf of another person or group.  Or, a person or thing that takes an active role or produces a specified effect.

As a buyer or seller of a home you are engaging an agent to work on your behalf.  This is done for several reasons.  Dealing with large numbers, negotiation on big ticket items, and dealing with transactions which have many moving parts is most often done by a third party.  Numerous things are handled in this way.  Hollywood actors engage agents to handle their contracts.  Big ticket purchases of homes, boats, high end vehicles, or commercial properties are all examples of things on the buy side.

When you go to sell, it is very rare a buyer wants to engage directly with the seller.  They typically feel a great deal more comfortable dealing with a third party.  Some is this comes down to trust, but the larger part is they simply don't feel comfortable dealing directly with the owner of something they are trying to purchase at the best value they can.

In our business we see something called "Blame the REALTOR" happen far too often.  A seller lists their property, it doesn't sell for some reason, they become frustrated and need someone to blame.  The most likely person in line of course is the agent they hired to "sell their product".  They fire the first agent, hire the second agent, who convinces them to change up some aspect of the listing, most often price, and the product sells.

The challenge in these scenarios is, sometimes the blame will lay at the feet of a bad agent.  Like every industry, there are good agents and bad.  Did the agent take an overpriced listing? (also called buying the listing) This is the art of getting the listing by convincing the seller their property is worth a great deal more than it will ever bring.  Did the agent plop a sign in the yard and "pray" for the right buyer to write an offer?  If this is the case, the seller is justified in changing agents.  However, often this was simply a poorly managed "process".  Or, the agent didn't educate the seller on how the process should go from start to finish.  It has happened to every agent, and yes, it has happened to me.

Now, onto what agents really do, and what separates a good agent and their process from a bad agent and a bad process.

In my opinion a good agent listens to their client, draws from them what it is they want, how they want it, and the way in which they want the buying or selling process to work and then executes the process for the client.  Every seller is different.  Some are in a hurry, maybe they have a corporation behind them picking up some of their expenses and they just need to focus on getting the process completed so they can move on.  Others are looking to get every dime out of the process they can, so they may be willing to do weeks or even months' worth of prep work to get everything perfect so they can gain top dollar in the market. Yet others may be in a crisis and need the agent to handle all the work associated with listing and selling the home because they simply can't deal with it.  Every deal is different, and agents must be candid and honest with clients.  Sometimes it is difficult.  This is a very personal business.  As agents we sometimes learn very intimate and personal things about a divorce, death in the family, or health related issue which may have also caused financial challenges.  We need to soak all of this in and apply it to the sales process to help the seller be successful.

So back to our list of things an agent or RELATOR can DO for their clients:  BTW, agents do the business of representing clients, REALTOR is a group of professionals.  All RELATORS are agents, not all agents are RELATORS.  In our market you must be a REALTOR in order to belong to our MLS, that is not the case in all markets.  I recommend you always work with a licensed REALTOR.

  • Agents/REALTORS manage a sales process for their clients. The result of what we do is a sold product, but we do "not" sell houses or commercial properties.  These items cannot be "sold" they must be presented and then purchased.  There is a difference.
  • Agents/REALTORS take direction from their clients and apply it in ways which serve and protect the client. While the role of an agent will sometimes work in conjunction with an attorney, we have a great deal more experience with the working processes of real estate than an attorney will.  Attorney's know a great deal more about the law and how to apply it than agents.  Both roles are useful and have their place when it comes to successfully transferring property from one party to another. 
  • Agents/REALTORS do not (or should not) price products, they coach and provide information to their clients so the client can make an educated decision on how to price their product.
  • Agents/REALTORS should have a marketing strategy. If you're agent isn't spending money on additional marketing for your listing above and beyond what their broker is doing, you should consider a different agent.  We spend tens of thousands of dollars marketing our listings every year.  This helps our process be more successful than our competitors.
  • Agents/REALTORS should be coordinating, scheduling, and communicating with you on a weekly basis. They should be communicating web traffic, showing feedback, pricing strategy, when you should be doing a price adjustment.  They should be doing multi-layered marketing for your listing, embracing both old school and cutting-edge digital approaches to making people aware of your product.
  • Agents/REALTORS should be making sure their clients are protected. There are a lot of ways a seller can get in trouble and an agent should be making sure all angles of the transaction are both legal and ethical.
  • Agents/REALTORS should be counseling the buyer or seller on what local market trends are, what they feel they can do, or should not do according to their previous experiences. Every market is different, and every market changes. If you haven't done 30 to 50 deals in the past year, how can a client trust you know what they should or should not do?
  • For the record, I work 7 days a week pretty much any hour of the day, I'm typically in the office by 7:00 am, I don't golf, and I do love my vehicle!  :-) 

In this article I have briefly scratched the surface of how our process works, but hopefully this helps you better understand how you should approach your next transaction.  Choosing a REALTOR is something many people take very lightly.  They feel all agents are basically the same.  They all basically do the same thing.  This is a HUGE mistake and one which causes many of us to shake our heads on a regular basis. Who you chose to work with can make all the difference in how your transaction goes?  Can your agent be responsive to you and your needs?  Can they negotiate for you, will they have your best interest in play?  Will they also be candid and honest with you and tell you the truths you sometimes don't want to hear?  An agent "can" be your friend, but sometimes they must tell you things you don't want to hear.  These are the times they are adding value, don't hold this against them.  Embrace it, lean into it, this is why you are paying them.

The Vestweber Team is a huge proponent of planning and consultation.  We would love to meet with you and begin the planning process of how you want to approach your upcoming sale or purchase.  We work in the residential world as well as the commercial space.  Our team is dozens of people strong and includes not only our extended Skogman team but also vendors, appraisers, attorneys, contractors, new construction vendors, and commercial builders.

Schedule your free one hour consultation with us today.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 02/08/2023. The listing information on this page last changed on 02/08/2023. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of SEIAR MLS (last updated Wed 02/08/2023 2:45:03 PM EST) or Cedar Rapids MLS (last updated Wed 02/08/2023 3:34:07 PM EST) or NEIRBR MLS (last updated Wed 02/08/2023 3:35:34 PM EST) or ICAAR MLS (last updated Wed 02/08/2023 3:27:45 PM EST) or ECIMLS (last updated Wed 02/08/2023 3:28:23 PM EST) or Mid Iowa MLS (last updated Wed 02/08/2023 3:10:31 PM EST) or Muscatine MLS (last updated Wed 02/08/2023 2:38:01 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Skogman Realty may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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