Real Estate Blog

There are currently more than a million Realtors in the United States. That’s the same number of people living in Jacksonville and the beaches! It’s a huge number, and it leaves clients wondering how on Earth to choose one.

Most people know now that they can’t safely complete a transaction without a real estate professional because of the sheer number of tedious, legal hoops there are to jump through. But they don’t have any clue how to audit a Realtor, and so often they end up choosing a friend or family member so that they will “get the commission” (which might be the worst thing they could do!).

How does Round Table Realty choose agents?

Here at Round Table Realty, we’re obviously very picky. Our method for choosing our own agents always

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Buying or selling a home is one of the longest, most detailed transaction processes anyone will experience in a lifetime. And yet, one of the most common questions people ask is, “Do I really need a real estate agent?” 

Why you need a real estate agent

  1. You can’t automate real estate.

    Many grocery stores have self-serve check-out lines. Most gas stations have credit card machines built into the pumps. Some restaurants even allow you to punch your own order into the computer. But a real estate transaction is far more complicated than buying milk and bread. Automating the process of buying and selling property leaves far too much room for mistakes like missing legal deadlines or failing to obtain the appropriate inspections, to name just

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The wall of Round Table Realty's shared office spaceKeith and Howard knew when they started Round Table Realty that they would never give their agents volume based awards. This decision was born directly from their own experiences. “We watched brokerages and companies awarding the same agents every month, and it was usually because they had the most experience, wanted to work that much, or landed a great community. Those of us who were green, or those who only worked part-time, just grew resentful and irritated with seeing those same names again and again,” Howard said.     

"Selling the most doesn’t mean you’re the best to us. At least not in the way we want to be the best." The way Keith and Howard set out to be the best was to earn a reputation of being a heart-first, relationship-based brokerage.

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Hundreds of thousands of people go to Zillow and similar websites every day to search for houses. Because Zillow gets all its information on homes for sale directly from the MLS (the same site used by Realtors), there’s no reason to think you need a Realtor to search for a home. Right?!

Partially right. 

"When Zillow rolled out the feature back in 2006, it had an error rate of 14%. When NerdWallet last reviewed Zestimates in 2015, they had a national median error rate of 8%
Recently, Zillow says the margin of error is 4.3% nationwide. That means half of Zestimates were within 4.3% of the final selling price, and half were off by more than 4.3%."
-NerdWallet

True, 4.3% doesn't seem like a lot. For a $180,000 house, the wrong values could be

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 You’re ready to buy a new home, sell your old one, or both. You know a Realtor. You think you know your way around a Real Estate Transaction. It’s go-time!!!

But like Mark Carroll from Round Table Realty said, “Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know.”

There isn’t a Realtor on Earth who hasn’t had an “oops” during a transaction. Every single sale is different in Real Estate and you can’t expect a human being to be perfect. But if you can avoid some of the more common pitfalls by knowing when it might be time to find another Realtor, you could save yourself a lot of headache.

It might be time to fire your Realtor if:

  1. ...communication is lacking. If your phone calls and texts aren’t returned within the hour, it’s time to say

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A commercial for a popular iBuyer is making its rounds on television and radio.

“I was able to sell my home in less than 30 days with the help of <Company's Name>…”

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Do a little bit of digging and you will discover that homeowners lose untold amounts of equity in their homes thanks to these companies. 

What is an iBuyer?

An investing company offers to purchase your home, sight unseen, for cash. Instead of cleaning your home, fixing up the little issues like cleaning windows and replacing light bulbs, staging the home, and rearranging your schedule around showings and open houses, you simply list your home for sale and then watch the iBuyer offer roll in. No pesky negotiating. No long-term

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Traditionally speaking, a Real Estate team shares everything. That means two agents (or more) share the work and the profits of all transactions right down the middle. Often times one is in charge of buyers and the other sellers. The team set-up inspires many agents to do better and be better, but it can also create big-time resentment (if one perceives the other is doing less work or making more money). When Keith and Howard started Round Table Realty in 2010, they weren’t too keen on hiring Realtor teams.

“I know we’re a team, but we didn’t do things like the other teams we saw in the business. We didn’t keep score with each other,” Keith said. “We just decided that we would help each other be better because we wanted to do Real Estate that

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People do it every year. They sell their homes without a Realtor (for sale by owner). And frankly, many of them do it successfully and without regret.

With the advent of the Internet, almost everyone now has “Google Doctorate” in something. They read about a subject just long enough to feel competent. You might have noticed this by the amount of For Sale By Owner signs now perched outside of homes in many neighborhoods. Many of you have learned you can get more money by paying less in commissions if you sell your homes without a Realtor. Why wouldn’t you go FSBO?

We’ll tell you why - Traffic!

The first and most obvious reason is that selling a home yourself means your home isn’t listed in the MLS (Multiple Listings Service) database. Public

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You’re a buyer. Your Realtor helped you find the perfect home, make an offer, and the offer has been accepted! It’s time for you to order the appraisal and the inspection.

THE INSPECTION. (Dun-dun-dun!)

One of the most stressful parts of the home-buying process comes when Realtors and buyers hold their breath to learn whether or not any major repairs will be necessary before the home can be sold. If it’s a minor issue, there’s nearly never a problem closing on time. But if it’s a big issue, like the roof, you’d better be prepared to negotiate.

“But isn’t that what my Realtor is for?!” you might ask.

YES! A million times yes. Your Realtor should absolutely be advocating for your best interest if he or she is a Single Agent. But too

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When Round Table Realty SuperAgent Tracy Lohse moved to Texas for her husband’s job in 2017, the brokers were crushed! Keith and Howard loved having Tracy at The Table, but because family always comes first around here, they understood. So, in 2018 when Tracy’s husband was transferred back to Jacksonville, you can imagine the party that started around here…

Tracy is the true definition of “People before property.” Her work ethic for the clients she serves is endless. Just recently, Tracy was put in touch with Frances by a mutual friend. Frances is a single mom of 3 that needed her help. The only problem was - Frances lives in Texas!

You see, Frances bought a house in Jacksonville years back and rented it out as an investment. When things around the

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