By Judy Boyle, Realtor®
This article will be published right between two of my favorite holidays…Saint Patrick’s Day and April Fool’s Day. I’m Irish and I like to joke around. What can I say? Taking full advantage of the one time of year I can expose my feisty, sarcastic side without apology, I’d like to take a humorous look at some of the most common questions posed by home buyers and sellers. After this, the filter goes back on and it’s back to business as usual.
Zillow says my house is worth much more than you do. Why can’t we list it at that? Because Zillow didn’t have to dodge the sinkholes or drag racers to get to your house. Zillow hasn’t even seen your house…have you? Mr. Seller, I’m sorry to tell you that Zillow isn’t a person; Zillow is a website which throws every single four-bedroom Colonial into a cyber mosh pit and regurgitates a number called a “Zestimate.”
Zillow sends me more listings than you do. Are you even doing your job as my buyer’s agent?
I really need to meet this Zillow! Unfortunately, several of the houses listed on Zillow have perfectly happy families living in them who have no intentions of selling; the note holder just missed a couple of mortgage payments and the ambulance chasers are having a free-for-all. Go ahead and click on the link and a random agent who paid for your information will stalk you for life.
Why would I use you to list my home when I can pay a 1 percent listing fee with the company on TV?
Surely, Mr. Seller, you know that if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Did you read the fine print? I got out my microscope and was able to decipher that the 1 percent does not include a buyer agent fee, minimum commissions apply, and the offer is not available in all areas (probably not your neighborhood but the one next to you, for sure). But go ahead and call and see what type of service you get from the local expert (whose office is just outside of Boston) and how you wish you had Zillow in the room when the list price was set.
Why would I use you as a buyer’s agent when I can get a discount using the company on TV?
You got me there. I say go wrestle the 40 other parties at the open house. If you like it, an agent whom you’ve never met and has never seen the house (and whose office is just outside of Boston) will write the offer. Hopefully that agent will know if there is an active hazmat situation going on down the street. Hopefully that agent has a rapport with the listing agent who can advocate for his or her ability to get to the closing table in this challenging market. But curiosity got the best of me. So I got my microscope out again and was able to determine again that minimum commissions apply, offer not available in all areas (crap for you) and the discount is subject to lender approval. No, you really don’t need me at all!
In all seriousness, I cannot stress enough the importance of hiring an experienced LOCAL agent. Too much can go wrong and you could actually keep more money in your pocket by doing so.
Continuing my mission to assist consumers in making informed decisions, I am hosting a free Home Buying Seminar Tuesday, April 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the APEX Entertainment Center, 21 APEX Drive, in Marlborough. Also making brief presentations and answering questions will be a real estate attorney, a lender and a credit counseling consultant. All are invited but advance registration is required before Friday, April 5.
Judy Boyle, Realtor®
Proudly serving the Boroughs and Beyond with honesty and integrity since 2003