All Part of the (Ongoing) Job

If you went to your estate attorney for a will in 2016, then needed an update now, you’d expect to be invoiced for the new work, right?

Similarly, if your dentist put in a crown four years ago, then you needed a cavity filled today, you’d expect the dentist to bill you a second time, correct?

So, when a Realtor represents you in the purchase of your home in 2016, then you need their help refinancing your mortgage in 2020, how much do you suppose it costs?

At least if the Realtor was this Realtor (me), the answer is: $0.**

Low Appraisal 

That’s because I view helping out my former (and hopefully future!) clients as part of my job description.

In this case, a home buyer I’d represented four years ago got back in touch to say that their refinancing application was rejected, because their home appraised too low.

They asked if I could look at the Comp’s (“Comparable Sold Properties”), to see if I could tell what was going on.

I could, and I did.

Wrong Side of the Tracks Freeway

My conclusion: it appeared that the appraiser erred by including two recent, nearby sales that — even though they were less than a mile north — nevertheless were located in a much less expensive neighborhood, on the other side of a major freeway.


I sent my client the 2 “bad” Comp’s, plus 3 “good” Comp’s all located in their neighborhood, along with my analysis, which supported a significantly higher fair market value for their home.

Did it work?

Stay tuned . . . 

**Technically, the Buyer didn’t pay their agent in 2016, either — the Seller did.

That’s because the convention in residential real estate is to deduct 100% of the commission from the Seller’s proceeds, then remit 40% to 50% (called the “payout commission”) to the Buyer’s agent and their broker.

The listing agent (representing the Seller) and their broker share the balance.

See also, “Realtor Job Description 2019“; “Realtor Job Description ” Part 2“; “Which of These Four Factors Are Relevant for Pricing a Home?“; and “More Than This, Less Than That.

Plus: “Why the Neighbor’s Home Isn’t a Comp“; “Real Estate Bracketing ” Advanced Beginner Version;” “The Science ” and Art ” of Doing Comp’s“; and ““Bracketing,’ Explained.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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