Twice on the same day. This is an incredible coincidence.

Not because it doesn’t happen all too frequently, but twice in the same day seems a bit redundant. I get that the holiday season is now upon us, and as a result people are in the mindset of discounts and sales, but let me assure you that is not what is going on here.

The occasion to which I am referring is the mindset that one can get a “deal” on a home if, as a buyer, they forgo agent representation on their end.

The first incident occurred a few days ago. I received a phone call from a neighbor. This is a young couple who spent some time living with relatives to save money — which is a super-smart, proactive move if you can tolerate said relatives for a period of time long enough to do so and still have a relationship remain intact.

He said he had some real estate questions he would like to ask me. We planned a time later that afternoon to meet.

Meantime, that same day, I showed a home to a gentleman who had called on one of my listings from an advertisement. When I asked him if he was currently working with a Realtor, he said he was not. He then reiterated that he was not going to be using a buyer’s agent so he could save money on the purchase price.

I informed him that he was not the one who pays a buyer’s agent, but I would still be happy to show him the home. I met them there and gave both he and his wife a tour. They loved the property and said it would be perfect for their needs. They then asked if they could offer less since they didn’t have an agent and the seller would be saving on Realtor fees.

I informed him that he is welcome to offer whatever he would like to offer and I would present it to the seller; however, the agent fees are determined before the property is listed, so foregoing representation would not be a reason that the seller would discount the home, since the fees are the same whether he is represented or not. He returned home to think about it.

That same afternoon, I met with the young couple, who said, “We have put an offer on a home and we have some questions about it.”

“I see,” I responded. “So if you already have an accepted offer on a home, you will need to address your questions to the Realtor who is representing you.”

“Oh, well, we don’t have one,” they said. “We thought we would just save the money and represent ourselves. That way, we could get a deal on the home. It worked too! They agreed to pay part of our closing costs. That’s why we needed to ask you our questions since we don’t have a Realtor to help us.”

Umm ... what? Is it just me, or does anyone else see what is wrong with this scenario? I hardly had the heart to tell them that the home had been on the market long enough that the seller paying closing costs at that point was probably a given. Or that they probably could have gotten all the closing costs, plus inspection repairs, plus some savings off list price as well, if they had used a Realtor. They also would have received unlimited answers to any questions that they may have along the way, at any time during the day or night.

I guess I can’t really blame them for not knowing. How would they know, if no one had educated them about the process? Well, that is what I am attempting to do now; educate the public about the process.

This year, instead of the not so proverbial lump of coal I have worked so diligently to earn, I would, instead, with all of my little girl heart, like the public to see the licensed, reputable, experienced, educated Realtors as valuable.

Happy Holidays.

Jen Kirchhoefer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at 801-645-2134 or

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