Steve Keefe Blog

Fish out of Water


Posted: December 09, 2015 by Steve Keefe

The mountain communities are like an island elevated over 5000 feet in the air.  Selling property here on the mountain brings with it many unique and sometimes complicated issues that many agents who are not accustomed to selling here both are unaware of and ill equipped to deal with.  These issues can often create lingering liability to buyers, sellers and the real estate providers who are involved in the transaction.  The National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics prohibits Brokers and agents to work outside the scope of their expertise for the very reason that they can’t adequately represent a buyer or seller.  Despite this, with the advent of the regional MLS system and online marketing agents from outside the fish bowl are more and more representing buyers and sellers in areas where they do not normally work.

Buyers and sellers often are uneducated about the potential pitfalls of working with an agent who is outside their area of expertise.  They often don’t realize that working with this agent puts them at a significant dis-advantage prior to the transaction, during the transaction and long after the transaction.  There are countless examples of clients who trusted in an agent who should have told them that they were not an expert in a particular area, but didn’t  and the client got burned.

As a buyer it is impossible for you to get the best deal on a property unless you are being represented by an agent who is an expert in the area.  Your Newport Beach agent does not have a clue how to find you the best property, get you the best deal on it, and protect you from the many pitfalls you will likely encounter in buying mountain property. 

As a seller, in today’s market you have an uphill battle.  Statistically 1 in 4 homes that are listed on the mountain sell.  When we look at the statistics for off the hill brokers, the numbers go to 1 in 8.  The odds that your property will not sell are high, they double when you employ someone from Orange County or some other remote location to sell your home.  Selling a home is hard work, it isn’t putting the property in the MLS, throwing up a sign and negotiating offers, there is way more that goes into it, and you need an agent who is plugged in to the local market to even give you a chance of selling.

Beware of agents who say they can do a good job for you from a remote location.  They can’t.  I wouldn’t even consider attempting to represent a client in Newport Beach for all of the reasons I stated above and many more.  I would find the best agent in that market and put that client in the hands of a professional who has the expertise to represent that clients  interest. 

The only reason an agent wouldn’t refer the business to an expert is the commission is more important than the client.  Don’t put yourself at risk by working with a fish out of water.

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