You want to look at houses and you use Zillow or Trulia or  While those sites are sometimes out of date or slightly delayed, you get a good snapshot of the market by searching for homes with them.  Then you go to see lots of houses on Saturdays and Sundays at the open houses. You may be wondering why you need a Realtor at all.

This is generally what I call the dating stage of the home search. To me, it is like being back in high school and dating several different people. You were finding out who you were rather than finding your life partner.  Now you are finding out which neighborhoods you like, what style of home, and what amenities you want and need. You don’t need a Realtor now – although we can help by reflecting your thought process now and working through your Ah Has. This is the process of elimination – eliminating neighborhoods and styles of home and price ranges that don’t work for you.

You are right.  You don’t need a Realtor now.

The fact of the matter is, my real job starts when we have identified a property in which you are interested.  Don’t get me wrong! I can help you find out exactly what it is you’re looking for, what your needs and wants are.  I am happy to do that for you. I do research on the computer; call other agents to find out if this home might the specifics of what you need; figure out if the price is reasonable with others in the area; preview homes so as not to waste your time while you work your real job that is going to pay for your new house. But you’re absolutely right. You don’t need a Realtor to do that.

Then you find what you’re looking for and you’re ready to make an offer on the house of your dreams. Who is going to write the offer on that property for you? The seller’s agent? The seller’s agent is just that – the seller’s agent.  The agent representing the seller.  Is that whom you want creating a contract for you to purchase your dream home or to buy the most expensive asset you will acquire this year?

Alternatively, are you planning to fill out the Contract yourself? This is a fifty to sixty page legally binding agreement that you will present to the Seller’s Agent? Do you really want to do that without any representation? Why would you want to do that?

You are correct, you don’t need us to look at houses. While we can make your life much easier and shorten your home search and represent you for FREE, you don’t need us for that.  But no matter how many homes we look at, my job really starts when you hire me to negotiate the best deal for you, and then to navigate you through the dozens of legal landmines that are much more likely to blow up on you without professional representation.

If you are starting your home search anywhere in the DC metro area and want someone to to streamline that process – and represent you aggressively through the whole transaction, then you should call the Lise Howe Group at 240-401-5577 or email us at  We are on track to help one hundred clients buy or sell a home this year. We hope that you are one of them!