The very first customers I worked with were a delightful couple. They had stable income and realistic expectations. I was not the agent I now. Due to my inexperience, we looked at a myriad of homes and these people, who we will call “Bob and Naomi” for the story, came to me right after I had gotten my license. Real Estate licenses, I soon learned, were licenses to get into trouble. The classes I took did not equip me to serve the needs of anyone. I knew the basics of how to open houses via lock boxes, to research for the wants of clients and to write contracts. That was about all I knew. As a result after a few weeks these first clients had seen forty homes. They were totally worn out, but had not seen a home that made them beg me to write an offer. Luckily one of the title companies was giving classes on closing techniques. So, between the last time I had shown homes to this tolerant couple and the next time, I had some help. The class was about how to help people find just the right house. There was no way that I ever wanted to be accused of manipulating someone into BUYING. It had to be their decision.
The class showed how to do the research, and then preview homes looking for the solutions to the problems the potential clients had described. The day before the appointment to actually show my clients again, I went to see six homes. Three of those had all the features that had been mentioned as buying criteria. The three homes were in the right area, had the right room sizes, and were in the right price range. Things were about to be different. The difference was in me! It was a confidence that I had found a home that met all the criteria better than all the previous forty.
As we began the days search I was truly excited about the house that was my “target” home. When we went into the first house I showed all the ways the house met the needs they had expressed. Each feature was explained in that reference. By the time we got to the back yard, these patient folks were ready to write an offer. Wonderful! The only problem was that that was not the house that was the best one I had found. Not wishing for them to settle for less than the absolute best, I told them that we had appointments on two other homes that would do the job even better than this one. They were truly nice folks. As I look back, I marvel that they did not fire me and find someone else to represent them. Luckily, they did love the “right” house. We wrote the offer. Then the fun really began.
In that day I was working for the absolute best brokerage I have ever been with. We had a “buddy” policy which meant that we had to call our “working partner’ and go over the offer we had written. This was designed to help us not only look over the offer, but have it seen from a different perspective by a more experienced agent. I located my working partner who was leaving for an afternoon at a Houston football game. She called me back on a pay phone and walked me through the entire offer. After some minor changes, she approved it and I went back to the buyers with the corrections. There were not computers. We worked with paper and carbon paper. Delivery of the offer was done by driving the offer across town to the listing agents’ office. There were copy machines so that five copies of the offer could be made. This was so that each agent could have a copy, the title company could have one and the buyer and seller each could have an original. As you can imagine, all this took lots of time. Offers were presented in person all the way around. We got to know our fellow agents a whole lot better, but we were not nearly as productive as we are with all the technical advances. The last time I checked, these people were still in that first house. It makes sense. It was after all the absolute Best house for them!