During this time of digital disruption in the real estate world, a lot of people ask me what I like most about selling homes. I always find these questions to be thought-provoking. Each time someone asks me, I find myself giving a response that has so much more to do with the clients that I am engaged with rather than technology's impact or the nuts and bolts of listing and selling a home.
Of course, technological advances and the nuts and bolts of selling a house are super important. I take so much pride in defending my clients’ best interests with tech and agency skill. What I find incredibly attractive about this business, though, is that I am in the middle of a client’s life for several months and I am in a position to give them comprehensive advice about how to accomplish their goals. My clients confide in me. They share their family life, their struggles and joys, and their reasons for selling.
People move for a lot of reasons and it can be great to be a part of my clients' positive life-changing opportunities. Job promotions, moving up to the dream home with the perfect man-cave, cutting commute time in half (imagine!), growing families - there is a lot of great energy around these types of deals.
Often, however, reasons for moving can be more serious - and I see a lot of tough stuff. Death in the family, divorce, loss of a job, other serious financial struggles, etc. are just a few of the difficult situations that compel people to move. There are more, of course.
Whatever the circumstances are, the story behind the reason to buy or sell can be emotional. It's not for the agent to be emotional though. The agent is there to listen and understand. This information should remain between the agent and you. The agent is your rock; your leader.
With all of this in mind, it is clear that your agent could know many details about you and your family circumstances. They are likely to know the good, the bad and the ugly so to speak. Here is a question for you: what will your agent knowingly or unknowingly do with this information? You should think about this as you interview folks to represent your best interests.
Here's why: deals are won and lost on little tiny pieces of information that could tip your hand in negotiation. Someone wrote an offer on one of my larger listings this year and the offer was $90k lower than we were asking. It happens that we had another incoming offer. When the first offer became aware of the second offer coming, the agent became desperate to win the house and informed me that the buyers were having a baby (soon!) and absolutely had to become the owners of the property. Wow, thanks for that! Then the agent asked, what should we do to win the house? I said, "that's for you to figure out but if they're having a baby soon you'll want to make sure it's as strong an offer as you can write it." What came next: SOLD - full price offer with zero closing costs. The second offer...a total dud.
If the agent hadn’t shared their client's personal situation, we could have negotiated further and come to a very different outcome. Being privy to their specific situation allowed me to use it in a way that would result in a better outcome for the seller. Of course, for the seller, this situation was great as we got full asking price, but the buyer definitely suffered.
I am honored to be at the table with all of my clients; whether they are going through something great or something extremely difficult.
What professionals do you have in your life who are willing to "go there" when you need it most?