Episode #12 House Hunting  

What's up, everybody? Welcome to the Fitness Realty Channel. My name is TJ McLelland, and I'm the broker. I'm super excited to share all the things we have planned with you. So sit back, strap in, and let's have some fun!

What's up, everybody? Hey, this video is going to be all about house hunting. So the key to house hunting is to go to Zillow and forget everything else. Just kidding! Do not do that. Just teasing, just teasing. So there are a lot of things that go into house hunting.  First and foremost, I would hire somebody and put them in your back pocket, AKA a realtor. I know that sounds like a self-serving plug, but a realtor does have the tools that they can help you find the perfect house. Well, hopefully, the perfect house. If you've watched enough HDTV and watched house hunters, you've seen kind of a glamorized way to search for a house on there. But effectively or essentially, that is what looking for a house looks like. 

I mean, you're talking about bedroom counts, bathroom counts, the neighborhood location, how far of a drive that is to work. I mean, there are so many factors into searching for a house that you really want to have somebody that's in your back pocket that has all the tools to find all of that information and make sure that you can dial it down enough to find the right thing for you. 

So I know that there are a lot of people that want to save money, and eliminating a buyer’s agent, they feel like that can help them save money if you buy a home that was listed on the multiple listing service or the MLS because I'll just call it the mills. From now on, if you buy a home through the mills or that was listed on the MLS, and you don't take a buyer's agent. That home, that seller was already going to pay a buyer’s agent, and so typically they're not going to just push that Commission off the table. 

That seller's agent is just going to make that commission to help that deal go along. So you're not really saving any money most of the time by trying to eliminate a buyer's agent. A lot of people don't realize that. They think that somebody will do the right thing and just try to push that off and make the deal that much more acceptable or that much leaner.

However, typically there's already a contract in place with that seller and that seller's agent dictating the commission and what will be paid out and so. You coming in unrepresented does not change the contract that's in place between those two parties. So you're really not doing yourself any favors by not taking representation. I kind of equate it to this, and every situation is different. So don't take this as like the status quo or the thing that happens every single transaction or anything like that. Just take it, for this is what happens a lot of the time and try to just understand it that way.

So when a buyer wants to eliminate that buyer's agent, and they go in unrepresented, that looks like a term where if you went into the legal system and went into and tried to represent yourself, that's what it would look like to all the parties involved that you know nothing. You don't know how to represent yourself. They're going to have to hold your hand. They're going to have to teach and train you to get this deal done.

And there are a lot of factors that play into the part where you might not know what's going on, get yourself in trouble, or not close on the deal. Then you actually don't even get the house in the end. A lot of factors, so if I could say. If the legal system was built like this, where when you went in and had to represent yourself, you could take representation with you, and the other side was going to pay for that representation, that is what our system looks like right now.

There are talks that in the future it might change, and I can kind of hit on that here at the end, but right now, sellers have chatted with the seller's agent come up with their contract for a commission, they've decided how much they're going to pay that sellers agent to represent them through the transaction and they've determined how much they're going to pay a buyer’s agent on the other side.

So typically, that looks like 3% for the seller's agent and 3% for the buyer's agent. But the commission is negotiable across the board, and I will be the first one to tell you. You can negotiate that to whatever you want. There are companies that do flat rates. There are companies that do a smaller percentage. There are companies that do all sorts of things with their business model. So if you really want to get the best price, then go out there and shop for the correct agent that you want.

There are all sorts of levels of what that buyer's agent will provide for that service and for the service or for the commission that they're going to earn. And so you really want to make sure that you have the agent that fits you and the agent that fits what a business model or commission you're looking for.

Now that being said, though, typically, the seller's agent and the seller have dictated already what they were going to pay a buyer's agent. So let's say it's 3%. So that 3%, like I said, if you were going to go in unrepresented, it's already spoken for in that seller's agent Commission structure in their contract. And so, like I said, typically, they're not going to just push that off the table. That agent is going to make that money regardless, or typically or sometimes they'll reduce it a little bit to operate both sides.

There is a way that you can walk in and be unrepresented, representing yourself. Or be careful to walk into a limited agency scenario where the agent that was listing the home is now representing both parties. And I only say be cautious because of that. It just changes the dynamic of the deal. I do dual agency or limited agency all the time, which means being on both sides, and we'll have a future video all about limited agency.

Today I want you to understand, though, that when you are a buyer looking for a home and you are house hunting. Hiring that realtor to be in your back pocket is crucial and key to success, in my opinion. As a realtor, I have access to the MLS, that multiple listing service, so I can give you all the right tools at your fingertips so you can have all the up-to-date information because, as Realtors, we are paying for that system, and so we're paying for its accuracy as well.

Zillow is borrowing all the information from the MLS and populating it on their own website. They do have a lot of good information because it comes straight from the MLS. However, they do have a lot of bad information because sometimes it takes a little while to update. And as a buyer, speed is one of your highest concerns because if you don't see the property first or you don't see it, the day of this market moves really, really quickly. And so you may lose out on an opportunity.

So if you're waiting to see it on Zillow and it's three days late, and they already had a highest and best multiple offer scenario, and you lost out on that. You may have lost your dream home and just didn't realize it, that you couldn't see it fast enough because Zillow wasn't pumping the information to you fast enough. So I always say get yourself a realtor. Get in there. It is more effective. We do have the MLS that will help you.

A key factor to the mills that I offer all my clients is a hot sheet, or they are called listing alerts. Now I don't know why they changed it from hot sheet. I love that name, but the hot sheet is or the listening alert is a process that I can go into the M LS and set up what bedroom count you're looking for price and location. There are probably 150 different sets of criteria on the MLS that I can set up.

And that will help you see the homes that fit your criteria instantly. Because when I set that listing alert up if a home hits that criteria, it's instantly emailed out to you so that you never miss out on an opportunity. I love that feature. That is what puts us ahead of the rest of the curve, and that's what helps me. Represent you and get you into the home of your dreams faster than Zillow can.

This has been a quick video, I guess about home house hunting or for house hunting. There are tons of things to think about. If you have comments, questions, of course, put those down below. I would love to help you understand it even further. Anyone on our staff can help you find your next home, your dream home or your next rental and just reach out today, and we'll help you out, alright, later. And that's a wrap. Thank you so much for supporting us. We'll see you next time, and we love you!

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