| Contract Pending on Daytona Beach area House. Professional REALTOR® Advice for Consumers
I'm going to start this post with a bit of info about a sale on one of my real estate listings. But more importantly; I'm going to segue into some very important food-for-thought about how you, as a real estate buyer or a real estate seller, choose a real estate professional to represent you; and hopefully I'll educate you a bit, about the importance of how your REALTOR® handles the many intricacies that happen behind-the-scenes.
At this time, I have a bilateral contract on the house I have listed at 225 Arragon, located on the Holly Hill/Ormond Beach border (just 10 minutes from the Daytona Beach city limits). It's a very short drive to either the Seabreeze Bridge or the Granada Bridge, both of which lead directly to the ocean. I always love it when I reach the top of a bridge, and I can see the sun sparkling off the ocean, directly in front of me.
This affordable 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath home (with room for potential 3rd bedroom), is located in a great area, and conveniently located near all types of shopping; and it has finally found some happy buyers :-D These particular real estate buyers are getting their financing through FHA and we've already been through all the initial inspections. The sellers of this home are making some repairs, as required by FHA, and despite a few bumps in the transaction-road, things are still rolling along fairly smoothly.
And now I want to go out of my way, to draw attention to something that is very important to a real estate transaction: Bear in mind that there are MANY occurrences that happen in YOUR OWN real estate sales, that the REALTORS® (or real estate agents) will handle, and you may never know the extent of the long hours, stress, and complexities that were involved. To tell our clients every detail we've handled would either bore you, or sound like we're complaining, or possibly even boasting. So we do our jobs quietly and efficiently so that you don't have to endure any more stress than you already have when buying or selling real estate. For me anyway, this is the most professional way that I've found to work for my clients. But suffice it to say, there's a LOT of work that's done, that never meets your eyes and ears. But before I get to that part, let me share my experience thus far, in the particular sale that I mentioned above.
I am the listing agent in this sale. The buyers, and their offer on this house (which is now a contract) were brought to me by another local REALTOR® (member of the Daytona Beach Area Association of REALTORS®, and subscriber of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics). This particular REALTOR® has been amazing to work with! It's a breath of fresh air when the listing and selling agents are working together in the best interests of their clients (it's part of our job to make sure things do NOT get personal!), and as the real estate professionals on each side of the transaction, we are being just that... PROFESSIONAL! So far, it has been my pleasure to work with this agent who, through my marketing efforts, detailed property description, and numerous photos, found my listing and went out of her way to pull the recent comparable sales (the same ones I used to keep the house properly priced while on the market) and presented this evidence to her buyers so they would know that it truly was properly priced!
Side note: If the home had not been properly priced, this agent and her buyers would have discovered that when they pulled the comparable sales data. This is another good reason for real estate listing agents and sellers to make sure their listings remain competitively priced, for the duration of the listing period, until they reach a successful contract and closing. And don't forget, both buyers and sellers MUST be willing to compromise, in order to negotiate on the many points where negotiation is a possibility. Money alone, is not everything!
To continue with my experience in this particular sale, and with the agent who is working with the buyers... I know that most of the general public are not aware that our REALTOR® Code of Ethics prohibits us from speaking negatively about another REALTOR®, no matter what we know about them! (Yes, sometimes our tongues are bleeding due to our biting so hard on them! Thankfully, NOT so in this case.) So I just want to emphasize how much greater the chances are of reaching a successful closing, while minimizing any undue stress to the real estate buyer(s) and seller(s) of a house/condo/vacant land, etc., when behind the scenes, the REALTORS® (or real estate agents) on both sides of the transaction are doing their jobs to the best of their abilities, and have good attitudes and a good working relationship with each other! Did you catch that? Let me repeat it!
I want to emphasize how much greater the chances are of reaching a successful closing, while minimizing any undue stress to the real estate buyer(s) and seller(s) of a house/condo/vacant land, etc., when behind the scenes, the REALTORS® (or real estate agents) on both sides of the transaction are doing their own jobs to the best of their abilities, and have good attitudes and a good working relationship with each other!
Now you're probably wondering how you can find out if an agent you're interviewing/considering, has a negative reputation with other agents; because yes, if they've been in the business for any significant amount of time, their reputation (either good or bad) WILL precede them among other! And I've already stated that our REALTOR® Code of Ethics prohibits us from speaking negatively about other REALTORS®, no matter what we know about them.
Unfortunately, I don't have a foolproof method for the public to know the secrets that only other REALTORS® know... unless you're not working with a REALTOR®. Remember, real estate agents (not REALTORS®) do not subscribe to the Code of Ethics; therefore they can say whatever they want about other agents. But the reason this rule IS part of the Code is to make sure no lies are told. After all, we all know people (in all professions and walks of life) who like to spread rumors, regardless of whether or not they're true. This is a very good reason to have this rule in the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. It prevents any "fabrications" from being told. My mother taught me "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all". ;-)
So we're back to the question at hand. How do you protect yourself from being aligned with a REALTOR® who doesn't play well with others? Well, the good news is that most of the REALTORS® I've worked with throughout the years have done their jobs well, and have good reputations with other REALTORS®. But it's what you DON'T know that CAN hurt you, or in this case, it can hurt or completely end your sale! This means you have more homework to do than you originally thought you needed!
So how many of you are thinking you'll just trust your gut instinct about a REALTOR®? That's great if you have a strong instinct like that. I'm one of those people. However, just because you can meet with a REALTOR® and have an instant connection with them, this does not mean that REALTOR® generates the same response from other REALTORS®!
So on to Plan B. I can't offer any guarantees, but here are a few suggestions.
- Here on Active Rain, we not only write blog posts that reveal our personalities in each post we write, you can also learn a LOT about a person through the comments they leave in response to those left by others. =)
- Remaining on the same line of thinking, you'll also find that many of us form relationships with each other. And along with those relationships, we frequently do favors for each other by showing some "link-love". This simply means that we embed links to each others' blogs or web sites, along with niceties about each other in our own blog posts. But don't forget #1. Check what's in the blog of the person who's doing the recommending as well! Ever hear the adage that "you're known by the company you keep"? (Just some food for thought)
- STILL on the blog subject; try following the comments we leave on other blogs. With Web 2.0, you can find just about anything you want to know, on any person you choose. And here on AR, you can find the comments we leave, as well as the posts we write. So go ahead; check it out!
- Many of us have personal blogs as well as professional ones. And we have multiple real estate blogs too. Once again, check it out!
- Many agents will tell you to Google their names. While I can tell you to do the same about me, unfortunately there's an artist in California with the same name, and she also does a great job of marketing herself online. So if you're going to Google me, just add Volusia County, or a city in this area. That will make it easy for you to find me =)
- Finally, you can talk to past clients of the REALTOR(S)® you're considering, but if you talk to a seller whose property eventually sold, they'll be able to tell you it sold, and they may have even loved their REALTOR®. But they may have had several previous offers, or even contracts that fell through. And these may have Nothing At All to do with their REALTOR®! But then again, what if a bit of "attitude" or "laziness" (or worse) from their REALTOR®, directed toward the other REALTOR®, home inspectors, handymen, or other parties involved in the transaction carried more weight than any those sellers realized? What if their first offer could have resulted in a successful sale, if only their REALTOR® had been... well... "nice"? Quoting my mother again; "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar".
I'll end my suggestions here. I'm sure my commenters will have some other suggestions. And PLEASE do not think that every problem that de-rails a real estate sale can be blamed on the REALTOR(S)®! There are many parties to a real estate transaction, and many ways to prevent a closing. And sometimes these problems are unavoidable. But there's always that "what if" to consider. So think about that when you're shopping for your next real estate professional. And try doing a little bit more homework. I understand that making more phone calls, and doing more research is probably the last thing you want to do when you're already feeling the stress and/or pressure of needing to move. But just a little bit more time could quite possibly lead you to the best real estate experience you've ever had. And you might just end up with a life-long friend as well!
For all your real estate needs, make a Smart Choice and contact Lisa Hill. I'm a Daytona Beach native with experience selling ALL types of real estate in EVERY city in East Volusia county and beyond. (And I play well with others too) ;-)
**This post is written by a Florida REALTOR®, with the understanding of Florida real estate laws and "Agency". Florida REALTORS (and real estate agents) work primarily as "Transaction Brokers" rather than "seller's agents" or "buyer's agents". Also, the scenario described herein is partially focused on a real estate transaction taking place in Volusia County Florida, in the Greater Daytona Beach area. Be sure you consult local and state laws and procedures in your own locale before proceeding with the advice offered here.**
**ALL TEXT AND PERSONAL LOGOS ARE OWNED AND COPYRIGHTED BY LISA HILL. OTHER IMAGES ARE PUBLIC DOMAIN, WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS ON THE REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF THE REALTOR® LOGO.**