When transactions really get messy, the representation offered by agents is superseded by that offered by the lawyers. We’re like the kids in the back, strapped into car seats and sucking on pacifiers while Mom and Dad sort out where we’re all going.
We aren’t lawyers. Brokers are pretty keen on explaining that to new agents. Don’t write contract clauses on the forms they beg, just fill in the blanks.
You mean like trained monkeys right?
I think that the entire writing up the contract aspect of the business could all but disappear completely within a few years. The proper people to write up binding legal contracts are lawyers, and agents only do it because we have been issued boiler plate “fill in the blanks” contract forms to use.
The truth is that real estate contracts are no more complicated than personal income tax forms, and software like TurboTax etc handle them for about $50 and likely provide better expertise than the local boobs recently hired at H&R Block.
And make no mistake…
That software will come with clauses to channel offered co-brokes towards the buyers closing costs etc if the buyer doesn’t have representation. And armed with offer writing software, some savvy buyers won’t see the value in having 2.5–3% of the purchase price of their home go to a buyer agent for something $50 of software can do.
Specially if the software package can do an online look up for local home inspectors, real estate lawyers, appraisers etc to provide the buyer with contact numbers and prices of services.
Need a showing agent? Note that I said showing agent, not buyer agent. Buyers could hire one for a set hourly fee and deny representation. (Would you show homes for $100 an hour? I dare say that’s a taxi service many agents wouldn’t mind providing.)
The software could even cross reference with online estimates of the homes value to check the buyer isn’t plonking down silly money on a shack.
When it comes to contracts and signing off on things at the closing. You know… making it all legal. The skilled labor is the lawyers, the unskilled labor is the real estate agents, and unskilled labor has a nasty way of become disintermediated these days.