To pay or not to pay for the services of a real estate agent?
Updated: Nov 18, 2021
To pay or not to pay for the services of a real estate agent? My trainer at the gym, Teresa, learnt the answer to this question the hard way when she and her boyfriend decided to buy their first apartment.
They fell in love with a cozy apartment with a balcony in a new building in a neighboring village. The apartment was listed directly by the owners, so the guys were glad they certainly would not have to pay a real estate agency fee.
During training sessions, Teresa was telling me how the purchase has been going.
From her stories, I learned that the sellers decided to save money on the services of a lawyer and used the same contract a developer used to sell this apartment to them. The problem arose when Teresa and her boyfriend wanted to claim reimbursement for broken kitchen appliances but according to the contract, they bought an apartment without a kitchen. Sellers used this neglected point not to reimburse anything.
The price for a two-room apartment in a small village twenty kilometers from Prague was, in my opinion, quite high. Realtors have access to past transactions and see the prices of properties sold in the area. But a buyer often has nothing to compare with, especially where there are no other offers. In this case, the terms of the deal had already been agreed upon, and I didn't want to upset Teresa with my observation.
There were also problems with the handover of the apartment. At first it was scheduled for Wednesday, then the sellers asked to transfer it to Friday, then Sunday. On Sunday morning, the sellers called Teresa and asked them to come at 12 o'clock instead of 10 am. But even at 12 o'clock, the apartment was not ready for the handover and the guys had to wait in front of the house.
When they finally entered the apartment, they were terrified. There was dirt everywhere, they found old food in the oven, the hood was greasy on all sides, in some closets there were still personal belongings of the owners', the dishwasher did not work ... Telling all this, Teresa was very upset and said that in the end they regretted that there was no agent in this transaction. With him or her, they would have avoided all these problems.
And she is right - the services of a real estate agency are not only about professional photographs and correctly prepared agreements. It is also a Customer Experience. My task in every transaction is to make it smooth, safe and beneficial for both parties.
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