Need a San DIego Realtor–or Not?


We might come up with 200 reasons why you need a professional to handle your San Diego real estate matters. And you might come up with a dozen or two reasons why a San Diego Realtor might be a waste of  money.

We, of course, have a vested interest in this argument, and are basically in control over it. Unless, of course, this blog article creates a firestorm against it.

However, let’s play along with the infogram at left which was recently published by the California Association of Realtors and an organization to which I belong.

In a nutshell:

The most signifant finding was that 86% of respondents felt that California Realtors helped them with negotiations.  And I would agree that is one of our MOST important functions. We are the ones who keep our cool when the kitchen gets blazing hot. The best of us help our buyers get almost everything they want including the kitchen sink–and help our sellers walk away with the kitchen sink or more likely, an excellent sales price. We are fierce negotiators at heart.

A full 61 percent felt that we provided good information about comparable sales. The other 49 percent apparently rely on Zillow Zestimates for the home value intelligence. My advice to the lower 49 is to still get valuation advice from a real estate professional. Zillow had been known to be zignificantly off in their zestimates.

It’s kind of embarrassing that only 43  percent of the potential buyers thought that Realtors were helpful in determining affordability of homes for their buyers–as well as only 39 percent who thought Realtors were instrumental in finding them the right home. That is a mortal embarrassment. Of course, we do rely on mortgage lenders to pre-qualify our buyers and find them the best loan programs.

I’ll accept the higher kudos, but am truly distressed that we Realtors as a group are falling down (horribly) in helping our clients to find the right home. Are we not paying enough attention to what our clients are telling us? Are we missing important cues? Do we rely too much on technology? Or, perhaps, technology allows home buyers to find the home they are seeking online?

As real estate professionals, we at San Diego Previews bust our buns trying to find the right homes for our buyers, get them pre-qualified to buy, negotiate the purchase–and then navigate the transaction to closing. And sometimes that last step can be the toughest one of all.

Some of our real estate transactions could auto-pilot themselves to closing. Most could not. And that’s probably why most For Sale By Owners (FSBO’s) end up listing their homes with a real estate professional–and most buyers protect themselves with a Realtor.