Should you call for a real estate agent like you call for an Uber ride?

Should you call for a real estate agent like you call for an Uber ride?

The latest news from Colorado is the “Arrive Home” app, which allows texting for a real estate agentpotential home buyers to connect with the nearest agent when they want to see a home “on demand.” Developers hope soon to expand the service across the U.S.

I’ll be glad if it doesn’t make to California, because it sounds like a bad plan for buyers, sellers, and agents.

Not good for home buyers…

If all a buyer is looking for is a “door opener” to give them instant service when they want to get into a home to look at the décor, I suppose that’s fine. It’s also fine if looking at homes for sale is a form of recreation for them. Or, of course, if they’re looking at houses with an eye toward a future burglary.

If they’re looking seriously to buy a home, it’s not good.

Anyone wanting to actually purchase a home should have an agent – just one agent. Potential home buyers should meet and tour with an agent or two. Once they’ve found someone they like, it’s a good idea to sign a buyer/broker agreement.

This agreement essentially pledges loyalty to the agent, and promises that the agent will be loyal in return. He or she will work hard to find just the right home, help the buyer determine a realistic offering price, negotiate on his or her behalf after the offer is made, and keep the client informed of everything going on from offer to closing. In addition, buyers’ agents are duty-bound to keep their clients’ private information confidential.

Of course, if the relationship sours, a good agency will allow the buyer to rescind the agreement.

Not good for home sellers…

When your home is for sale you are cautioned to expect showing requests on short notice, but most sellers do want some notice. They need time to straighten up, put away sensitive papers, lock up prescription medicines, and get out of the house.

In addition, few sellers want their homes shown to buyers who have not been pre-screened. The buyer who calls an “Uber agent” for instant access may or may not be a qualified buyer – and worse, they may or may not have honest intentions.

Not good for agents…

While there are agents who are doing so poorly that they’ll jump at any opportunity to show a house and possibly make a sale, most do not want to waste their time on unqualified buyers. That’s why agents ask buyers to see a lender and become pre-approved for a loan before they begin the search.

Second, there’s the safety factor. Just as homeowners should not open their doors to anyone who claims to be an agent or a buyer, agents should not go meet strangers, especially at unoccupied homes.

Not good for relationships between agents…

Agents who sign on with this new program are told that they must find out whether the buyer is already working with an agent before showing them a home. How many will do so? Those who are desperate for business are very apt to “forget” that step, and just plunge forward, hoping to make a sale and knock out the buyers’ agent.

Further, if a potential buyer calls for an “Uber agent” and is told they must instead contact their own agent, doesn’t that wipe out the “instant gratification” they expected when they signed up for the service?

My opinion: Sometimes the latest is not the greatest. This is one of those times.

Texting Image courtesy of adamr at