“Real estate is a racket!”
No, that’s not what I read today in a real estate bashing column on the Web but what one of my clients exclaimed while touring homes with me. Why would he say such a thing? Because some basic facts about real estate are not understood.Most home buyers and sellers do not know the inner workings of real estate and few agents bother to tell them. Why not?
Because they think that
- people already know.
- people are not interested.
- it will bore people.
Boring but Consequential
I’ve learned that it is safest not to assume any prior knowledge, especially when it comes to the very basics of what I do. Why would anyone need to know for example that in order to conduct any business, i.e help you buy and/or sell homes I need to be
- licensed as a broker in the State of Washington
- affiliated with a real estate firm (but I’m still self-employed)
You can look up any licensed person and firm in the State of Washington right here. Also, in Washington the term “agent” has been replaced with “broker.” “Brokers” are now called “firms.” The folks in Olympia just having fun, I guess.
The firm with whom I’m affiliated is RSVP Real Estate. One of the benefits of affiliation is that I can access the data of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS), a co-operative of real estate firms. What you should know about the NWMLS:
- It has about 2,000 members (that’s the firms)
- It has about 21,000 subscribers (that’s brokers like myself).
- Brokers have no say in the running or rule making (only firms do).
- RSVP Real Estate is the 7th largest firm in the NWMLS (by gross sales volume).
- The listings on the NWMLS are the properties of the firms (not the brokers)
- Brokers and firms can be fined for violating NWMLS regulations.
- The NWMLS is one of 300-plus MLS co-operatives in the country.
Picking the Right Firm
You can see why choosing the right firm is important to the broker. One of the greatest differentiators that RSVP has is the fact the firm understands that brokers need to focus on their clients…not on marketing their firm. That approach on client focus is best illustrated by the custom signs I provide to my listing clients. Marketing and selling not the firm but the property – what a concept!