Is your agent a problem solver or a problem causer?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with CENTURY 21 Professional Group, Inc.

NEWFLASH:  Real estate is not a science!  If it was, things would be more precise and things would always go as planned.  I love that about science!  I know that if I do things a certain way, the reaction will be the same each time. 


In real estate, things are far from science.  You can have a game plan and do all the right things and still have it blow up in your face.  You have to be able to adapt, which brings me to the title of my article.  In my business, things can go from good to bad in just a few minutes.  How you react to these changes can make or break a deal.  As a consumer you probably rely on your agent to give you an idea on where things stand. 


Most consumers have never bought or sold a home before, so they trust their agent to guide them. When things go off course, it’s imperative that your agent and the other agent keep their cool and convey the situation properly.  When agents lose it and send the wrong message to their client, they can send a deal plummeting.  For example, last month I worked with a buyer from China.  They spoke little English and insisted on working with a lender who spoke their language as well. Unfortunately, this lender was located in Pennsylvania and was not the easiest to work with.  As a result, the financing began to unravel.  Now you and I both know that in general, people do not try and buy a house, have it inspected, appraised and start packing, only to withdraw at the last minute.  Also, in this aspect, some things are just out of our control when it comes to a loan.  So in this case, the loan was dying a painful death.  Here is where the chance to fix these issues comes in and is unfortunately missed.  The other agent freaked out, conveyed the financing situation to the sellers, who ultimately got upset and forced the cancellation of the deal, and both parties had to start over.  Thing is, having been given a little more time, both parties could have accomplished their goals, but in this case, the other agent wasn’t having any of it.  They knew better.  Translation:  “you are keeping me from getting paid”.  I can’t stand this type of agent.  The one that pitches a hissy fit the moment they don’t get their way.  This is passed on to their client who follows their agent’s lead, because of course they must know what they are doing.  It’s really kind of sad. 


In any situation, compromise and cooperation go a long way.  Being able to step back and look at the bigger picture is important. Most consumers don’t really know how this all gets done and trust their agent to guide them.  Problem is, not all agents have the right focus.  Many live deal to deal and freak out the moment a deal changes in the slightest.  So what do you as a consumer?  Lots.  Interview your agent and contact their references to see how they handled their transaction.  Ask to see their track record of sales.  If they do a few deals a year and this is their only source of income, you might want to think twice.  Ultimately your agent needs to know, it’s not about them, but all about you.  Don't be fooled into thinking that your agent is always looking after you and not focusing on their paycheck.  Truth be told, the agents that are most successful are the ones who focus on their clients needs and don’t worry about the money part. Successful agents know how to properly convey a situation to their clients and find a viable solution, if that's what is best for their client.  Not every deal can be saved, but many can if only the agent would be a problem solver and not a problem causer!