Recently Brent and I were in court offering on a foreclosure property for our clients. Due to a high volume of offers being presented to the judge from other REALTORS®, the lawyer acting as the facilitator for this process requested a short break in order to organize the offers and reconvene. During this break, we were able to stay in the courtroom and spectate a property boundary dispute case that was apparently on it’s way to trial. The defendants (not present), were represented by a lawyer… a sharply dressed, knowledgeable lawyer at that. The plaintiffs? They were represented by just a regular guy. And one of the plaintiffs was this guy’s mom.
Let’s just say the proceeding went as planned. The lawyer talked circles around the unrepresented gentleman. He highlighted various problems with the assertions put forward by the plaintiffs, using words like “vague”, “unclear” and even “absurd”. The rebuttals to such claims offered little additional clarity… and the notable part was that most of the defending lawyer’s problems with the plaintiff’s case had to do with the basics; basics such as proper procedures and general processes. I won’t go any further other than to assert that it was quite the scene, and to some extent quite a sad and unfortunate one.
Our team discussed this occurrence in some detail and it highlighted something we’ve believed in since day one:
Professional Representation MATTERS!
Cost is important. This is true. And I think it’s fair to say that the most common reason people avoid professional representation is because of the cost. Let me start by saying that this is understandable.
This extends beyond the need for a lawyer or a REALTOR®. This can apply to getting a plumber to do permitted work, an inspector for a routine home inspection, or a FoodSafe-certified cook preparing your evening meal. We pay for expertise, and the market tends to reward those with such value. Due to this higher reward in exchange or the value we bring the consumer, the costs can be quite high for a professional in any given field.
Just keep in mind: Seeking a professional is not just about doing a job right or getting good service… It’s also about mitigating RISK.
When you avoid using a professional, remember this. Remember that even though you may have saved money or may have saved time, you may have increased your exposure to risk. You can’t expect the same food safety or quality standards in a top 10 restaurant as you do at a “Mom and Pop” style diner, the same way you can’t expect your brother-in-law who “knows electrical like the back of his hand” to do the same job as a certified and bonded electrician.
To make this industry-specific, here’s what you might be risking if you use an amateur REALTOR® or no REALTOR® at all for the buying or selling of your home:
- Less chance of finding the property you need, because agents have access to upcoming listings within their office and of course, the MLS.
- Higher likelihood of exposing yourself to legal risks with regards to title, encumbrances on title, and other things such as property boundaries or zoning bylaws.
- Overpaying for property due to lack of familiarity with fair market values.
- As a Seller, getting less than your home is worth because it has not been prepared or priced properly.
- Getting taken advantage of by a skilled negotiator. There are many agents who are particularly strong negotiators.
- Giving prospective Buyers and Sellers certain information that could harm your negotiation position without even realizing it.
By hiring a full-time skilled REALTOR®, you are not only getting a true professional to help you buy or sell homes. You are hiring someone to help keep you safe and as free from risk as possible.
This extends to other professions as well, and our team in particular uses various other businesses and specialists to give our clients even more value. Here at Chris Holm & Associates we use professional photographers, drone operators, sign installers, lawyers, social media experts, videographers, stagers… among many, many others.
We could save money on the above mentioned aspects of our business. We could just do them ourselves… but we choose not to. The reason is because they do a better job than we could do and because our clients deserve our best.
After all, “a jack of all trades is a master of none”.