“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in Fruit Salad.”
A friend of mine posted that this morning on Facebook. I got a kick out of it. It also reminded me of a trend with many of today’s buyers.
Now, I am not trying to defend my industry or bash these buyers, but more and more I am seeing buyers who don’t want a realtor and who don’t know how to use all the info they find online when it comes to real estate. They go on sites like Zillow, Trulia, the PVA and get the same info that only realtors use to have access too. I don’t have any issues with that at all, unlike many of the old school agents out there who long for the by-gone days when we controlled that stuff. My issue is that most people end up making bad decisions with good info and don’t even know it. (Putting the tomato in the fruit salad.)
A buyer told me he saw the zestimate value for a house on Zillow and thought it would be a good one to flip since it was priced so much lower than the rest of the neighborhood. I looked at the place. It was on the most miserable, busy corner of the whole neighborhood and was out of character with the rest of the neighborhood. It SHOULD be priced a whole lot lower than the neighborhood to even make it a fair price. It was not a bargain.
Another buyer told me he didn’t see the need for having his own Buyer’s Agent. He was going to rely on these sites and the PVA. I told him that was fine and well for figuring out averages like price per square foot, but that isn’t going to help him know what the house he buys is really worth. How so? How will he know whether a house he knows sold so many months ago for so much money had a new roof? An old furnace? How the inside compared? What value the market bears for a covered patio verses an uncovered deck? What is considered typical for the neighborhood? If the house has some fatal flaw that will turn off most buyers when he goes to sell? If the seller paid any of the buyer’s closing costs? Those things aren’t on those sites. And while I am here, many sellers pay part of the buyer’s closing costs these days. Let’s say the PVA or zillow say a house just sold for $155k and this buyer is using THAT number to base an offer on. If the seller paid $5k of the buyers closing costs, then the house really sold for $150k…..OUCH! He just over-paid by $5k and won’t even know it……until it is his turn to sell the house!
I’ve got a little different business model. I don’t mind buyers that like to also do their own research. Many of my buyers actually know much more info than many of the realtors here in town. I don’t mind letting them do that if they wish and then helping them put the pieces together. I find that it actually helps build trust because they can verify everything you say. Tell them the truth and work for their benefit and they love it. So, whether a buyer wants to help out or let me do all the work, I am cool with it, and we’ll find a good use for that tomato.