I’m still amazed by the relationships that I’ve formed through the years with clients. Typically buying or selling a home is a significant event in one’s life. It ranks up there with falling in love, getting married, starting a family, and retiring. I learn so much about a client’s dreams, life goals, family dynamics, and pet peeves when working together. It’s too easy for the relationship to be a one-way street of information though, from client to agent. Here is my attempt to balance that often one-way flow of information with 5 things I think most Agents would want their clients to know.
1. We have lives outside of Real Estate
Yes, every Agent knows that working weekends and irregular hours goes with the territory of being in the industry. When everyone else is off from work, we are busy little worker bees. However, at the end of the day, we are still human. We get sick, we have families, we celebrate births and marriages, deal with loss and death, take vacations, and have interests outside of real estate (gasp!)
I won’t lie. Part of the reason I entered real estate was because I thought I would be able to set my own schedule. I was wrong! But that’s OK. I still set aside time for my family and my own interests, which include reflecting and laughing at my naivety when I entered the business.
I won’t always be able to answer your calls 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week AND take you out every Saturday and Sunday to tour homes. Some of the best agents are those who are able to effectively time manage. Some of the best clients are those who are able to respect their Agent’s time management.
2. Real Estate is a lot of work
Let me revise. Real Estate is a TON of work. Often the public thinks our face-to-face time with clients is what makes up our job, limited to driving around in fancy cars looking at homes, holding open houses and writing offers.
The reality is, there are about 50 million small tasks involved when working with every client.
That weekend tour of property likely happened because of hours and hours of prep work by your Agent- previewing 50 homes in order to find you the best 5, tracking down other Agents to confirm appointments, taking our car to the car wash, filling up the gas tank, planning out the route, reviewing property reports and disclosures, researching the neighborhood and market activity…… the list is endless.
When your offer is accepted, guess what? We’re not just working weekends showing you homes, we’re now working during the week managing lenders, title and escrow, and inspectors.
I have really only touched briefly on the work hours and days in this section, but I really could dedicate a whole other blog topic to the physical demands- walking through flea-ridden properties (my poor ankles), attending septic system pumps (smelly!), and exploring acreage out in the country (I’ve stopped wearing high heels.)
3. Nitpicking a property during an open house will not get you a deal.
By nature, I am a very energetic person. Nitpicking is perhaps one of my biggest pet peeves. I have dedicated hours to hold an open house for my seller. If you are going to come through and find something negative in every room of the property, please leave.
What’s shocking to me is that, excluding those people who just are naturally cynical and negative, a good majority of people who nitpick at an open house actually LOVE the property and will eventually write an offer. There’s this misinformed perception that if you pick apart the property and don’t let the agent know how much you like the house, somehow you’ll get a better deal…??
Negativity + Negativity does NOT = Accepted Offer.
I have an amazing memory when it comes to people, faces, their attitudes and opinions. When your agent brings me your offer- I will remember you as the buyer who said the kitchen was ugly and needs a facelift, hated the paint colors, and didn’t understand why the seller planted that tree. If you’re acting that difficult during an open house, I can only expect you’ll be that much more difficult in escrow!
If the house is not for you. That’s OK. Nobody is forcing you to buy that home.
If you do love the home, great! Call your Agent and write up an offer.
4. We don’t know EVERYTHING.
Every house is different, every neighborhood is different, every buyer and seller are different.
More than once I have had a similar exchange happen during an open house:
Potential Buyer A: “Do you know if the door faces East or West? And how much will it cost me to add a second story?”
Me: “I’m actually not sure about the door direction. But I’m happy to pull up a compass if that information is important for you to know. As far as adding a second story, there are a lot of different factors that go into permitting and construction costs. Can you give me more info and I can help point you in the right direction?”
Potential Buyer A: “What do you mean, you don’t know?!? Aren’t you the Agent selling this home? How can you not know what direction the front door faces?!”
It’s OK if I don’t know whether the front door is east-facing or not and if I don’t keep every City’s permit fee calculator permanently etched into the back of my brain. That doesn’t make me a bad Agent.
However, if we can treat each other with kindness, respect, and professionalism, I am more than happy to help do the research necessary to answer your questions.
5. The advice from your cousins, uncles, sister-in-law’s best friends, neighbor who happens to be a part-time real estate Agent doesn’t apply.
Again, every house is different, every neighborhood is different, and every buyer and seller are different. The set of circumstances that might have applied to your cousins, uncles, sister-in-law’s best friends, neighbor likely does not apply to our transaction.
As an Agent, I’m not just negotiating price and terms. I’m also negotiating personalities and emotions! I’m educating, advising, consoling, coordinating, managing, helping and pushing sometimes 3, 4, or 5 different sets of parties in a transaction.
One of my strong points is that I’m a collaborator. I put a lot of effort in being able to work with all kinds of clients and all kinds of Agents. I’m always open to hearing what other Agents are doing, but likely the complexities of that transaction won’t apply to your transaction.
Stay tuned for the next topic: 5 things your Agent DOESN’T want you to know.
Aimee Thayer-Garcia is a Real Estate Broker Associate at Bailey Properties. She is a Top-Producing Agent and practices Real Estate full time with her husband, Angel Garcia. Mom of 3. 831-435-9146. ATGarcia@BaileyProperties.com