We've all heard the cliches about real estate agents not earning their commission, how they barely work or just unlock doors to let people into homes. The truth is that I even perpetuated some of those stereotypes as a young and inexperienced appraiser!
When I started as an appraiser my boss would always say that the LO's were the most difficult part of the business because all they wanted was to get the next deal done at any cost. I would always remind him that the real estate agents were even more difficult because they just opened escrow and then let everyone else do the work while they collect the commissions.
Believe me when I say that I have since learned that agents, Realtors, and Brokers do far more than that, and in most cases have to wear more hats than anyone else in order to do their job well. Over time as an appraiser, I realized that agents were pulling the strings to keep deals together, being creative and professional at the same time, and having no guarantee that all the work and stress would actually reach fruition with a closed sale at some point in the near future. And that was when times were good, when credit was easy and houses were selling like hotcakes!
In this current market of tight underwriting requirements, REOs, Short Sales, and high unemployment it has become increasingly obvious that any transaction is lucky to close at all. This really hit home recently as the Broker I work with struggled to keep a cash buyer in the saddle while the tenants who were related to the seller kept pushing back the move out date.
I've always thought that cash buyers could pretty much have what they want, quick escrow, easy terms, and their choice of homes. Not so much as it turns out! This particular buyer went through the paces of making offers on a couple homes, sometimes to be completely ignored by the seller because they thought the price was too low.
Once they settled on this 'tenant occupied' home, I thought they would sail through the process. Unfortunately while every effort was being made to remove the tenants (who sometimes thought they should have the same rights as the owner because they were related, and other times expected to be treated like actual tenants) we also discovered a lein on the property due to a bad business deal the seller had been involved in.
Between the occupancy and the lein, the buyer nearly walked away from another property but through creative cajoling, sincere words, and giving the selling agent some instruction, the sale did finally close. All of this was done with professionalism by our Broker.
Watching transactions like this come together makes me very glad to be doing what I am doing, and excited about the future and having opportunities to overcome these types of obstacles soon!