The national real estate website game. What’s in it for you and what’s in it for them?
When you are looking for a list of the best agents, the national TV commercials and websites will offer to match you with a qualified Tulsa Real Estate Agent or to get banks to “compete over you.” They leave you with the impression that “they” the internet companies, will somehow look out for you and your best interests.
The truth is they are profit-driven organizations that have come up with a way to get their hands into the pockets of agents and lenders, and they will match you with whomever will agree to pay their price, regardless of what’s in your best interest. Since buying and / or selling of Tulsa homes is the biggest financial transaction in most peoples’ lives, buyers and sellers should understand how these companies operate and how they make their money. The best Tulsa real estate agents and REALTORS rarely participate in these schemes.
Remaining anonymous, what’s the big deal?
A key “selling point” many of these companies offer is that you can evaluate prospective REALTORS while remaining anonymous. Our first impression of this is “so…. what’s the point?” If you want to anonymously compare agents, you certainly don’t need one of these national companies to do it. Simply type the obvious “keywords” into any search engine and you will immediately be able to review the resources of dozens of top agents. “Tulsa real estate for sale” and “Tulsa homes for sale” are among the most searched terms and a good place to start when trying to find a good agent.
Getting the Best Commission Rates from Tulsa Real Estate Agents
Some of these companies promise to help you get the best rates by getting agents to “compete over you.” They then charge outrageous referral fees to whomever you end up with. These agents are then asked to do the same job they always do, but this time for up to 30%, 35% or even 40% less. It is not hard to understand how this kind of arrangement could result in a begrudging half-hearted effort which reduces you to a “2nd Class Client.”
Successful top producing agents are not likely to resort to this kind of agreement because it takes such a big bite out of their income. More often than not, you will be matched with a “B-string or inexperienced real estate agent who needs the business and therefore has no other choice but to agree to these usurious fees. Even if the “winning” agent is inclined to give you a reduced rate to to get your business they are prohibited from doing so because they have already given away such a large chunk of their normal compensation.
Who really gets agents and lenders to “compete” over you?
When you think about it, it’s a bit ridiculous for these companies to maintain that “they” are somehow responsible for getting real estate agents and lenders to compete over you. These market forces are already in effect and in terms of benefits to you they are diminished, if anything, and definitely not enhanced by some outsider taking a big bite out of the deal. A TV commercial or internet company does not force competition – it’s already there.
Top agents warn against the Free Internet Home Evaluation “Gimmick”
Some of these companies offer to tell you what your home is worth, but you should understand that anything less than an “in home visit” by a qualified appraiser or experienced real estate professional can only produce a result that is highly suspect. Some of these companies claim that you will have access to the same information a professional estate agent would use.
The problem is that they provide you with a very generic dollar-per-square-foot range usually for an entire zip code. These values are not specific to the features of your home or your neighborhood and do not contain similar comparable sales that experienced agents can provide from the database of the Multiple Listing Service and other sources.
The real purpose of this “service” is to match you with an agent who has paid an exorbitant fee to the company for any leads from your particular area. Again, qualified, top producing agents are not going to resort to this kind of arrangement because it takes such a big bite out of their income.
So what IS the best way to find and compare Tulsa REALTORS?
In our opinion you will NOT save any money with these national companies, and you might very well receive inferior service. You will probably get much better service at the same price from someone local to whom you have actual access, an agent who knows that you may refer them or be a repeat customer.
And if you can’t save any money with the national companies, wouldn’t you rather have your dollars going to the hard-working lenders and Tulsa real estate agents who are on the ground achieving your goals, rather than a website owner who has figured out a way to get a cut of “your” deal?
We recommend that you evaluate agents based on not only your expectations but your needs as well. Once you have done this, take your list of agents and interview them for the right to help you purchase a home or market your current home.
You should ask for both client testimonials and references during these interviews. Let the prospective agent answer questions about the key issues that are important to you and see how they will be addressed. You should choose the agent to whom you seem to have the best rapport.