After having a very busy October, I am finally getting caught up on my reading and blogging. I have my ABR and in reading the September/October issue of The Real Estate Professional, I found something that I HAD to talk about.
Bruce Benham, the CEO of Re/MAX International, writes an article called "Become Their Trusted Expert." In the article he talks about helping buyers set attainable goals. He writes, "Once your buyers are ready, it's up to you to be the expert and submit a reasonable offer. The buyers' goal shouldn't be to steal a property for an outlandishly low price--it should be to purchase a home they want at the lowest equitable price." Huh?
Now, I could be wrong but during the height of the seller's market, I don't recall any listing agents (myself included) telling their clients, "Don't list your house that high, as it is not the highest equitable price." No, we priced at what the market was doing, which was running up. Agents priced high and sellers often got higher, since that is what the market dictated that we do for our clients.
Since we are in a buyer's market, why would our attitude be any different? Why is he suggesting that an agent not try and steal a house at an "outlandishly low price." Wouldn't we be violating our fiduciary duties to the buyer if we said,"I know we are in a serious buyer's market, but let's be fair to the seller and offer them more money than the market dictates we offer?"
Real estate is basic: Supply and Demand. This dictates how we act as real estate agents in advising our clients, and what we suggest they offer. Buyers are also aware that the market may continue to go down over the next year in some areas. What may seem outlandishly low, may in fact be the right choice in order to protect your client from a future downfall.
The bottom of the real estate market is unknown. This comment makes me think that he is hoping to stop the continuing downfall of prices. This is not our job as agents to do. Buyers and sellers dictate the market, our job is stay educated about what is happening, and help our clients act accordingly.