It’s been said that if you could just go online and buy a house you wouldn’t need a Realtor. You can also just stick a sign and a yard and sell your own house.
I think the reason we need Realtors is because average people cock things up so much, and that’s why Realtors like me have a profession.
Theoretically it’s an easy thing: you find a house you like and you buy it. But there’s so much drama.
Here’s some of the issues I’ve seen pop up over the years:
- A buyer wanted to to buy a house near the beach, and yet seemed astounded when I advised her that she needed flood insurance.
- I had another Realtor tell my customers as we were showing a house that some river rocks around the house made it “termite-proof.” I had to convice these buyers that there is no such thing as “termite proof” in Florida.
- In a sale where I had the buyers, the sellers claimed on a written disclosure that the home never had seen hide nor hair of termites, yet proudly presented receipts for work done to repair “extensive termite damage.”
- I’ve had the sellers in a transaction swear a home was termite free. After termites were discovered and a pest service came out to fumigate, the neighbor strolled over and said, “well, they’re finally doing something about those termites.”
- After a lender told me three days before closing that the buyer’s paperwork was good and we would close on time, the lender disappeared. I had the sellers and it was a very rough month until we could close again with another lender.
- At a home inspection one of my partners attended, they opened the door to find a man standing there with a gun drawn. He was the tenant and the seller didn’t bother informing him that people were coming in that morning.
So, just to recap, what does a Realtor do? Keeps the buyers and sellers (and other Realtors) honest, massages away problems when they happen, and occasionally finds a gun stuck in their face, facing it all with unbelievable calm.