Realtors to the Rescue

This blog post is dedicated to anyone who’s ever complained about having to pay a commission to a real estate agent.

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Technically, my very first home-shopping experience was many, many years ago, back when I was still married to my ex-husband.

I don’t remember what prompted us to go home-shopping but we did. We kept things casual and found a home that was a for-sale-by-owner. The homeowner met with us and gave us a tour of her home. Then, we sat down at her kitchen table and she asked us if we had a realtor. Of course we didn’t. Relieved, she went on and on about how real estate agents aren’t worth their commission. They drive the costs up and they complicate things that should be simple and easy to resolve.

We left her home a short while later and all I could think as we drove away was, “What the hell was she trying to hide?” Don’t misunderstand. I know a lot of people do the whole for-sale-by-owner thing. And I’m not suggesting or implying that those who do are deceitful or are trying to get away with something. I’m blatantly stating that I’m distrusting, suspicious, and paranoid.

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Fast forward to this summer.

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I could go on and on about the great and wonderful Keely Rich.

But to keep things simple, I’m going to lay it out for you. Here are three fantastic reasons why real estate agents are worth every penny.

First, did you know that real estate agents can help you find a home to rent?

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It never occurred to me when we first started working with Keely that finding people a rental home to live in was something a real estate agent could do. But they do. And they get a commission off of whatever the first month’s rent is. It’s money but let’s face it, they make more money off of a sale than they do a rental.

When Chris I had to move back to Maryland during the summer of 2015, we had renters living in our Maryland house. We didn’t want to kick them to the curb so we partnered with Keely to find a rental home. 

Keely drove us all over the state for two days. Two. Eight hour. Days. Trying to help us find a rental home. Unfortunately we weren’t able to find anything that met our needs. So we gave our renters notice that we were moving back in. 

Guess how much commission Keely made off of those two days? Nothing. Nada. Zip. She spent two days taking us from one house to the next. Two days with us that she could have spent with someone else who wanted to buy or sell a home. Instead, she gave us her undivided attention for two days. And while she didn’t make any money off of the adventure, she did earn our loyalty. If we ever move back to Maryland we will definitely use Keely. In fact, if for some reason my husband and I get divorced, I’m suing him for custody of Keely. He can have the house, the cars, and the kids. I get the real estate agent.

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Second, regardless of whether or not you decide to use a real estate agent, the sale/purchase of a home still requires the involvement of a title company and they love to send you pages and pages of very confusing crap you have to sign. They also charge a fee for their services which the homeowners generally pay for out of the sale of the house.

Part of what real estate agents do is they review the paperwork the title company sends to make sure they don’t make any mistakes on it before the buyers/sellers sign it.

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to move to Georgia before we closed on our house in Maryland. This happened short notice so we weren’t able to sign the closing paperwork with the title company before we left. That meant we had to sign the paperwork in Georgia. Keely explained the process to us. The title company was supposed to arrange to have someone come to our home with the paperwork and a notary. That’s what their fee covers.

In our case, the title company decided not to do that. Instead, they emailed us the paperwork and told us to sign it, notarize it and then email and mail it back to them.

Problem number 1: The title company screwed up the paperwork. It wasn’t anything major but it was also something we might not have caught had we not had a real estate agent – Miss Keely Rich – working for us. When she reviewed the paperwork, she caught the mistakes and had them fixed before anything was signed.

Problem number 2: Since the moving company didn’t feel like delivering our stuff on time, we didn’t have a printer. That meant we would have to pay to have over 30 pages printed out. Then pay for a notary. Then pay to have those pages scanned back in to the computer and then pay to have the documents mailed back to the title company.

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Once again, Keely Rich came to the rescue! She could’ve shrugged her shoulders and said, “not my circus, not my monkeys.” But she didn’t. She called a Re/Max office in our local area and made arrangements for us to go there to sign the closing paperwork. They printed the documents, let us use their onsite notary, scanned the documents for us and let us use their Internet so we could email them back to the title company. And how much did that cost? Nothing. Zip. Zero. 

My final argument for why you should always hire a real estate agent is because they can help you by meeting home inspectors, or get contractors who need to make repairs on your home if you have to be at work. Or, in our case, if you’re already out-of-state before those repairs can get done.

We had a window in our home that needed to be repaired and it took forever to get the part for it. Once the part arrived, we were already in Georgia. Keely ran over to our old house, picked up the part and found a contractor to come to the house and install it. And because he charged an hourly rate, she stayed at the house and micromanaged the crap out of him, making sure he only charged us for the time he worked.

So there you have it!

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Real estate agents are worth every penny of their commission because they’re doing so much behind the scenes work for the people they represent. So the next time you moan and groan about having to pay a real estate agent’s commission, think about Keely Rich and all of the amazing work she did for us.

And if you’re living in Georgia or South Carolina, think about LeeAnn Rhoden. 

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She’s every bit the hard-working, dedicated, bad-ass real estate agent that Keely is. 

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