I sat down two hours ago to write my first blog. I had it all planned. I was going to write about the five things I look for when working with other realtors. It is a short list that I relied on in the 90s and again recently when I began working as a realtor in Florida. Other realtors' work habits can make or break a transaction. Often I find myself doing all of my work and half of theirs and was going to write about how other realtors should work harder and pay more attention to detail. However, when I actually began writing about it I realized that maybe I am creating my own problems.
You see I am a detail person. I like to have everything in writing and every piece of paper scanned in and all e-mails properly filed in my computer. I need to have phone numbers and addresses of everyone involved with a transaction. I am not just talking about after the offer is accepted and becomes a contract. I am saying that I need all the information I can gather for every offer I present or review. I need to be sure that my client (buyer or seller) is kept informed in writing and if they have any questions I prefer they put them in writing via e-mail. The reason, because I want my answer on the record. I want to be able to go back over my notes and see who the realtor was and why the offer was accepted or what was the reason the seller or buyer rejected our terms. Details. The more details the happier I am.
So, I sat back and started reading what I was writing. It is my problem that I want details not the other realtors problem. Maybe they aren't detail oriented. Maybe they can keep things in their head and handle six transactions at a time and not get things confused. Maybe they can remember who said wha t and when. My standards and expectations don't have to apply to others and I shouldn't push them on them either. But my dilemma is that too often they don't recall the facts and don't keep the deadlines straight and can't remember who the lender is so I end up doing work that should be handled by the other agent. I wonder how many realtors feel this way. For whatever reason. I also wonder if I drive other agents a little over the edge because of my attention to detail.
I recently prepared three offers on three different properties for one client. The first offer was on a property that I knew my client really didn't have her heart set on but she loved the location. It was a low offer and my client knew it. So the offer wasn't accepted. The second offer was on a property she liked but the location was a little further away from her desired location. I had spoken to the realtor of this property several times over the previous few weeks while my client was deciding on which property to make the first offer. The realtor that represented this seller said she hoped my client knew how hard I was working for her. When I replied "I'm just doing my job" the realtor laughed. I think she thought I was being sarcastic - I wasn't. She mentioned that there are limits as to what our clients should expect of us. I disagreed. I believe that my clients should expect me to work on their behalf to get them the property they want at a fair market value and as long as they are serious buyers we continue to look until it all comes together.
This realtor knew that her property was the second property we were making an offer on. She wasn't happy with my client's offer and said it was too low and that she knew the seller wasn't going to accept it. Being a stickler to detail I had done quite a bit of research to make sure that the offer was within market value. I gave her several pages of information that supported the price we offered. Her comments made it clear that she didn't feel comfortable presenting the financial facts to her seller and had in fact accepted a listing that was considerably over priced. Her client's counter proved they were still uninformed. So my buyer continued her search and moved on to another property. Within 10 days the seller of the second property lowered his asking price to what we had offered. What a missed opportunity...all because the realtor didn't feel comfortable presenting her seller with the financial truth. That is our job. It is our job to make sure that we have the facts and present them to the buyers and sellers. If they don't want to accept them, fine. But many clients are not even given the benefit of the information because their agent doesn't know how to break it to them that their property isn't worth what they think.
By the way, my buyer found the perfect property in her preferred location and the contract was several thousand dollars below the bank's appraised value. Within two months we had looked at three properties and closed on the third.
Okay, so this is my first blog and I have to work on continuity but there are two points that I am trying to make:
1. Blogging clearly makes us more aware of what we are saying so maybe we should be more careful in how we communicate verbally, and
2. In order to get your job done - any job - realtor, banker, appraiser, inspector - you may have to do a little more work than you planned. You may have to do a little research to supoprt your facts and provide information that isn't pleasant for your client to hear. The facts may "lose" you a client or a contract. Often you may find that you have to do more than your job description describes. And the one thing about a job that most people really don't understand but is so very important - sometimes you might have to do someone else's job to accomplish your goal.