Do Sacramento Buyer’s Agents Push Up Home Values?
Here is a new dig about real estate agents that I haven’t heard before. A potential seller of a home in Land Park called to talk about her overpriced home and how it got that way. During the conversation about how and why she paid too much for it — which I’ll get to another day in another blog — she mentioned that she was trying to buy a home in East Bay. When I mentioned I have a close friend who works in her targeted city and she might want to contact that agent to see homes, the caller threw out this crazy idea.
What I believe she was saying is that she doesn’t trust real estate agents, which is too bad. Because there are many excellent real estate agents in the business, and not every agent should be painted with the same tainted brush due to a few bad apples. This home buyer was reluctant to work with a Sacramento buyer’s agent who is a neighborhood specialist, i.e. an agent who works and lives in the neighborhood. Her feeling was the agent would try to drive up prices in the neighborhood by making her pay more for a home.
In other words, she believed the agent would not in good faith negotiate on her behalf in order to make the agent’s own home worth more. What? First, I told her, understand that agents are highly unlikely to try to push her to pay more to increase an agent’s own home value because they’re just not that diabolical. Second, comparable sales are good for only 3 months and unless a person is selling her home within that 3-month period, that sale won’t matter one little bit. A home that sold last year has no bearing on home values this year. Not to mention, one home sale does not increase the value in any given neighborhood.
What buyer’s agents want first and foremost is to make their buyers happy. They want satisfied buyers, buyers who are thrilled with the purchase of their new home and with the agent’s performance. Also, because they are home buyers who someday will be a seller, and the agent wants to eventually list the home as well. Agents want clients for life.
Buyer’s agents who are REALTORS have a fiduciary to the buyer and must hold that buyer’s interests above their own. Not only that, but Sacramento buyer’s agents want to get paid. They want to close the transaction but not at all costs. They are more focused on bringing together a buyer and seller on price than on manipulation of said price. A Sacramento buyer’s agent will do everything in her power to represent the buyer to her fullest and best abilities. Moreover, that neighborhood specialist will probably know more about the neighborhood than an out-of-area agent, which would be to her advantage!
A client called a few days ago to ask if I remembered her. I recognized her voice immediately. I also have Caller ID (ha, ha). She bought a bank-owned home in College Greens 5 years ago, and today it is worth considerably more than she paid for it. Location is everything, I reminded her. She bought in an excellent neighborhood and on a highly desirable street. She was just calling to say thanks for the holiday card. It was delightful to chat with her.
That’s the kind of happy buyer I want. It’s the kind of happy buyer just about every Sacramento real estate agent is after.