Most people get up in the morning, shower and eat a quick breakfast and get on their way to commute to work. They work their 8 hours with perhaps a half an hour lunch, and then head home. At the end of the weeks or bi-weekly they receive their paycheck. Realtors don't work this way! Realtors only get paid after they sell a home!
That means as a Realtor you may very well put in the equivalent of a weeks work or more, and never even get paid for it. If you told all the government workers in the Northern Virginia & DC area that they will have to work a week without getting paid, massive rebellion would ensue. The same goes for our honorable military and public servants. Lawyers get paid for every minute they work. So do accountants, retail workers, managers and most every other profession in the land.
With current technology the way it is and access to simple information about properties available on countless sites across the internet, many people feel that they don't even need a Realtor these days. They buzz from one property to the next, perhaps contacting 6 different Realtors inquiring about 6 different properties all in the space of about 15 minutes.
Prospective home buyers might want to take a minute, or rather about 30 seconds to think about their interactions with those Realtors. Each one of them is a person just like they are. Each one of them has to support themselves and perhaps their families. They depend on their clients and potential clients to use their valuable services and expertise, and to successfully purchase the home of their dreams. This is how Realtors earn a living.
A good Realtor will offer you expert insight through every step of the home buying process. They will help you get qualified for a loan, they will search out properties that match your exact criteria and price range. They will negotiate hard on your behalf, they will have home inspectors in their speed dial to help make sure that your home is in good shape. They will get you to closing and coordinate it all with the title company and the seller. And even after closing they will be available for you if you have questions or if you need a handyman's contact information. These are just some of the things that Realtors do for their clients.
Of course you want to take the time to make sure that you pick out a Realtor who you are comfortable working with, and one who has the experience needed to ensure that your needs are met throughout the complicated process of home buying. But as you make your initial internet search for properties, just remember that every Realtor you come into contact with is working. It might be 8pm when you email them or give them a ring, but this is part of their job.
Just as you would expect to get paid for the hard work that you do at your job, remember that Realtors are hard working professionals too. Don't take their efforts for granted, or let them show you houses for a few days knowing that you are going to ultimately use another Realtor. Treat them as you would want to be treated, and help them out by referring them to your friends and family when you hear that they may be looking to buy or sell a home. Realtors definitely appreciate referrals, just like they appreciate their commission after expertly guiding their clients along the way to their dream of home ownership!
You can reach me at INKrealtor@gmail.com.
***Please remember that Realtors are not accountants or lawyers, and if you want any such advice you should seek out those specific professionals to answer your questions. Realtors are not licensed to give financial or legal advice!***