Gripe Alert! MY REALTOR Didn’t Even Find my House and so…

Inforum 3You can fill in the blank with any one of a number of statements and even gripes.  In today’s fast paced, information doused climate, the reality is that for many would be home buyers, the REALTOR may NOT be the one who locates your home for sale online or even in real life.  And, if that was all that was required to purchase a home successfully, it would be a huge missing link.

But anyone who has bought a home within the past decade at least knows that finding the home is only the first step.  And with new regulations coming fast and furious through the pipeline for financing and other related industries, finding the home may be the first SMALL step.

The fact is this, locating a suitable home does not mean that you will be able or qualified to purchase it.  Nor does it guarantee that even if you qualify for the financing of the home, unexpected issues in the condition of the home or unreasonable demands/needs from the current home owners will not short circuit a successful closing.

There are also all sorts of ancillary side notes such as:  the home failing to appraise for the value proposed in the purchase agreement, survey issues, title issues, insurance challenges, government regulation which may cause delays or a host of other things which fall under the general category of ‘Murphy’s Law.’

Buying a home has been said to be the largest financial transaction that most Americans will ever undertake.  It is also one of the most complex.

Here are some other things your REALTOR is doing beyond simply finding you a home that you like on the Internet.

  1.  Your REALTOR is educating you about the real estate process.  What you don’t know can hurt you big time in the purchase of a home.  It’s not easy to recover from a financial ‘mistake’ of this magnitude.
  2. Your REALTOR is constantly helping everyone in the transaction to navigate some pretty complicated situations which are exacerbated by frayed nerves, confusion in the process and issues that can cost somebody big money.
  3. Your REALTOR is often the Translator who helps you make sense of the unfamiliar lingo used by Lenders and others so you are informed and aware of what you need to do to create a successful outcome.
  4. Your REALTOR examines all the paperwork to ensure that the transaction is legally binding and enforceable.  Failure to properly negotiate something as simple as a possession date can land you in the street if your landlord has already rented out your apartment.
  5. Your REALTOR helps you to find all sorts of people/companies who can be of assistance to you through this process.  They can help you find information about the neighborhood, provide you with lists of contractors for various services, assist with arranging necessary repairs, refer you to competent specialists…

This is a very, very short list of what REALTORS do beyond finding a home on the Internet.  Every deal has its own particular nuance of challenge and your transaction is probably not going to be an exception.  It’s wise to choose your next REALTOR based on a number of factors and determine if simply finding a home on the Internet is really or even the most important thing you want a REALTOR to do for you.

This blog post was inspired by an interesting conversation I had with a local lender, Jonathan Izenbart about his perspective on the value of a REALTOR to the real estate transaction and how this was important in light of the myriad of regulatory changes impacting the real estate transaction. It is also included in our poopular FAQ Series

FAQ Series: How many REALTOR Interviews Should I have BEFORE Selecting An Agent?

Question:  How Many REALTORS should I interview BEFORE I make a Selection?

Answer:  Well, we’d like to suggest that might be the wrong approach to the Question.  A better question might be:  What should I be asking, considering or thinking about when selecting the right REALTOR for me?

Selecting the right REALTOR is more nuanced than simply selecting the Agent who does the most advertising or someone who is related to you.  The process of successfully selling a home requires several key elements be in place to guarantee success.  These are:

  1.  The right price
  2. The best presentation of your home (Staging & Marketing)
  3. The right Exposure
  4. The right REALTOR

Missing any one of the above items can successfully derail the process.  The best REALTOR will not be able to correct an over-pricing error if you insist on ignoring sound pricing counsel.  Nor will the best staging presentation be able to overcome a home that is poorly photographed and underexposed in the places where people go to look for homes online.

Selecting the right REALTOR requires someone who you

  1.  Trust
  2. Know is a proven hard worker and will keep you informed of developments (Good Communication)
  3. Has a proven history of successfully closed transactions
  4. Know has a system and plan to successfully execute the marketing, negotiation and closing of your home
  5. Understands the marketplace and is informed and knowledgeable about your market and the trends in real estate

There are many exceptional agents.  But, not every agent is necessarily the right one for you.  If you are something of a worrier or perfectionist, an agent who delivers scant communication or whom you cannot get a hold of quickly or easily may not be the best choice for you.  Even if they claim to have the most sales in a particular demographic.  On the other hand, if you perfer a more aggressive approach, finding an agent who has a highly energized and more combative approach to selling may be just what the doctor ordered!

Related Content:  27 Questions to Ask Your Home Builder

About the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions Series)

This series is designed to answer questions that we hear clients asking over and over again.  Perhaps, you’ve wondered about some of these questions yourself.  While this is not intended to be an exhaustive explanation on the subject being discussed, it is our hope that these short blogs will provide helpful insights and may encourage you to explore further.  Please feel free to contact us by phone or e-mail with any questions.

More FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) here

Grand Rapids Association of Realtors® hosts Jeff Turner @ Social Media Summit!

Jeff Turner ~ GRAR Summit on Social Media & Social Values ~ Grand Rapids, MichiganMembers of the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors are looking forward to welcoming Jeff Turner of Zeek Interactive and Real Estate Shows to the Grand Rapids, MI area on May 12th, 2010.  Jeff will be kicking off a three part summer series called the Social Media Boot Camp which is designed to help real estate agents understand the WHY,  WHERE and HOW TO  for creating intelligent strategies and solutions that provide value within social networks.

By now, much of the business community has come to terms with the fact that social media  and social networks are ideas which they need to understand.   Many in the business community have latent or expressed fear about the vulnerability which comes from not having control of the medium.  And…there’s a ton of confusion about what to do and how to do it…

At the root of all this confusion is an underlying frustration that something is missing.   That’s one of the issues that Jeff Turner will be addressing as he speaks to members of the real estate community.  The topic will be ‘Social Media and Social Value.”   What do our value systems reveal about us and how does this inform our engagement within social media?  And…WHY does this matter?  It promises to be a fascinating and insightful discussion.

I’ve always appreciated the clarity and insight which Jeff brings to the complexity that swirls around the online world.  Really looking forward to welcoming him to the West Michigan area.  The event is open to members of the public.  Click here for more information or registration.

Health Intervention Services…Serving Grand Rapids MI with Hope and Healing.

You never know just where a real estate deal will take you! When the agent contacted me about a pre-view request for my listing, I thought it would be simply a routine home showing request.

But as the conversation proceeded, I learned that Marcia Vander Woude who is also an Adjunct Professor at Grand Valley State University  was involved in much more than a part-time real estate career.

Marcia began to share her passion about Health Intervention Services and invited me to come by and take a tour.  Prior to our connection through a showing request, I had never heard of Health Intervention Services although this mission of mercy and healing has been functioning in some capacity in the local area since 1988.

Health Intervention Services, (HIS) is a faith-based, non-profit 501 (c)3 health care center which is located in the  Burton Heights neighborhood in Grand Rapids, MI.  “HIS is founded on the belief that the intrinsic value of all people justifies the right to quality health services that promote physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. ” (quote from promotional sheet)

While touring the facility, I was surprised to see how comprehensive the care offered on site was.  Included were dental care, optical care, comprehensive medical and dental care, psychological and social work counselling, medication assistance and spiritual encouragement.

The service is staffed almost entirely by volunteers…over 130 of them of which 76 are medical professionals and a small crew of 10 full or part-time employees.  It’s extraordinary to think of what this group of committed individuals has accomplished in just this past year by averaging over 1,000 patient visits each month!

HIS also collaborates with other community organizations to maximize the utilization of scarce resources in challenging economic times.  Patients who visit the center participate on a sliding scale fee base with the minimum payment being $20.

On December 9, 2009 there will be a special fundraising concert to help raise money to fund the organizations’ efforts which will enable them to continue their work in caring for people. The concert features World Renowned Tenor, Carlos Seise who will be performing at the Basilica of St. Adalbert located on  704 4th St. NW  Grand Rapids, MI.   Tickets can be purchased for $40 or $25 (special rate for Seniors over 60+ or Students) by contacting Marcia at or Thressa

It is really heartening to see the difference that this organization is making at a time when so many people are in need of health care assistance in our local community.

Health Intervention Services (HIS)

15 Andre St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI  49507

616-475-1363  web: