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RISMEDIA, January 20, 2010-In preparing my presentations for the Triple Play Convention in early December 2009, I started thinking about the real estate market in 2008 and 2009 and how difficult closing a real estate transaction has become.
In speaking with agents and studying MLS statistics, I found that sale transactions were falling apart more often now than in years past, and falling apart for all sorts of reasons, some common and many not so common. I found that many expired listings were re-listing with another agent immediately after expiration. I found transactions being cancelled during the attorney review period, cancelled due to the home inspection, cancelled due to an under appraisal and cancelled due to mortgage denial.
Real estate is not a short-term process. A real estate transaction is not a one-step transaction. A buyer inquiry is not an automatic appointment. A buyer appointment and home showing is not an automatic contract offer. A contract offer is not an automatic accepted and signed contract. A transaction in escrow is not an automatic closing and a commission paid. Likewise, a listing appointment and presentation is not an automatic signed listing. There is no guarantee that a listing will be shown and sold. There is no guarantee that an under contract listing will reach the closing table and a listing commission paid.
Real estate agents do not get paid for just showing up, like many had in the real estate market between 2002 and 2006. Buyers are not making full price and higher offers, and lenders are not providing mortgages to every buyer, regardless of the amount of the down payment and qualifying ratios. Listings are not selling within days. Real estate transactions in escrow are no longer automatic future closings.
I started thinking about Murphy's Law and wondered how it could relate to the real estate professional and real estate transactions. In Googling the phrase ‘Murphy's Law,' these are some results that impact real estate and that the real estate agent must think about and plan for in their daily practices;
-If anything can go wrong, it will; it can, it should, it will be your fault, and everyone will know it. -If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong first -If anything cannot go wrong, it will anyway -Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse -If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something
It's not Murphy's Law causing all the problems, but the real estate agent and what they are doing or not doing that is contributing to not acquiring listings, not putting sale transactions into escrow or having escrow transactions fall through. When listings expire or sale transactions are cancelled, agents are truly working for nothing. Agents do not get paid because they just show up, have a real estate license and a driver's license, are in the right place at the right time or just need the money.
Real estate agents get paid because they are able to obtain listing appointments and are able to prepare and present a marketing plan beneficial to home sellers. They are able to answer owner questions and overcome objections to list price and listing term during the presentation. They know how to market the home to obtain buyer inquiries and know how to market the home to MLS agents. They obtain and negotiate a contract offer to a signed contract, and then manage and process the transaction paying attention to all the details involved in getting the transaction to the closing table. Real estate agents get paid for what they know and what they do, or not paid because of what they don't know or don't do.
A real estate transaction involves various parties. There is the buyer and seller, the listing and selling agent, buyer and seller attorney, mortgage rep, processor and underwriter, appraiser, home inspector, termite inspector, title insurance company and various others. There are events which must occur, transaction timelines and contingencies which must be met, some which can provide an option to cancel or void the contractual agreement. Real estate agents work for nothing until the transaction closes.
Successful agents are getting paid because they are doing things other agents didn't think to do, didn't think they needed to do, don't know how to do or won't do, such as:
-Knowing that the computer is not just for searching MLS listings and email, and using it as a toolbox for creating buyer and seller presentation materials -Knowing where their listing can be marketed on the Internet and knowing how to use statistics and the benefits of Internet marketing in their presentations -Understanding that they are on stage every day, with every buyer and seller conversation and every appointment -Using forms for buyer inquiries and appointments, listing appointments and forms for transaction processing -Understanding the difference between mortgage pre-qualification and mortgage pre-approval -Understanding the importance of FHA mortgages in the current mortgage market and meeting with their mortgage rep to obtain a better understanding of FHA mortgage qualifying and calculating Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) -Understanding that there is more to completing a contract offer than just filling in the blanks -Understanding the home inspection starts with the agent's showing of the home to the buyer -Obtaining the seller disclosure prior to a second showing of the home or prior to the contract offer -Understanding the importance of meeting the appraiser and providing comparable sales information, with factual notes about the comparables when known -The importance of being present at the home inspection -Realizing it is their transaction and not assuming the transaction will process itself without involvement and follow up -And many other important to-do's
Successful agents determine the level of success they would like to have in real estate, and do not let the real estate market dictate their success.
To be successful year in and year out, real estate agents need to have a plan and work that plan. They must know the real estate business and know that there is more to selling real estate than just showing houses. They must know local real estate statistics. They must know the real estate inventory. They must know what to say to buyers and sellers, how to say it and when to say it. They must have presentation material for buyers and sellers. They must have a contact database and use it.
These are musts. That old saying: "If you continue to do what you are currently doing, you will continue to receive what you already have".
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.