Your favorite farmer’s market. The blanket you bought at the craft show. The discount you found by going through the company directly. What do these things have in common? No middle men.
Today, middle men are everywhere. Some are good: the grocery store, the post office, the restaurant. But some are purely optional; in fact, I’d say they’re largely unnecessary. Consider these two examples of industries that make their money on connecting:
Middle Man #1: Travel Agent
I don’t know about you, but I have the ability to research online, call hotels, ask around for discounts, etc. Last month, I visited a friend on the East Coast and booked my plane ticket and accommodations through an online provider—I think it was Travelocity or Expedia. This allowed me to save the most money, at the most benefit to myself. Imagine if I’d used a travel agent: less control, more money lost.
Middle Man #2: Staffing Agency
How did you find your current job? Did you go through a head-hunting firm? You might’ve, and that’s fine. But you also might’ve been like thousands of other job-hunters who didn’t want to get paid less than the company could afford by inserting a middle man. You might’ve looked online at places like Careerbuilder and Monster and Craigslist and applied, interviewed and landed your position.
What each of these agencies has in common with a real estate agent is this: they are middle men. They find hotels, and they find travelers; they find jobs, and they find job-seekers. Or, in real estate, they find sellers, and they find buyers (imagine if the travel agency or the staffing firm similarly took a solid 6% of the sale, too!!). In return, they take a BIG chunk of the deal home with them. No tangible product provided—just their “connections.”
For a long time, real estate companies have been telling us that we need them, that we have to have a real estate agent in order to find the home or to sell the home. In reality though, all you need is a buyer and a seller. An agent is ONE way to find a buyer, not the only way and, in my opinion, certainly not the best. Using an agent means less money for you, and that’s never a good alternative.
If I take the analogy one step further, it’s a perfect illustration of why companies like Buy Owner are so helpful. They’re the Travelocity or the Careerbuilder of real estate. Much less cost and much more control for you.
Before hiring a realtor to list your home, consider trying your hand at finding buyers on your own, eliminating the middle man. You are fully qualified.