When I was in high school, I thoroughly enjoyed playing basketball. One day while playing in the gym a P.E. teacher asked if I would be willing to tryout for the school team. I did make the team and I did play all 4 years in high school, but it was a rocky start for me to say the least. I was very good at shooting and very good at pick up games with my friends, but as far as the true sport itself was concerned, I didn't really know that much.
The coaches had to teach me that when playing defense, you always stop the ball first and that if you are an off the ball defender, you deny the ball and always remain between your man and the basket. I learned this lesson the hard way as I was a forward and kid that had been playing for many years scored about a 100 points on me during my scrimmage at tryouts. I wasn't lazy or dumb, but I was uneducated as far as the formal sport was concerned. I had to be taught how to really play the game and how to play it correctly.
So what on Earth does this trip down memory lane have to do with real estate? Well you see, when it comes to real estate and buying or selling homes, these days I am more like the coach than the player. I come across a lot of people in this business who know that they want to buy or sell a home and they have a general concept of what it takes to accomplish the task, but they are missing some of the formal education that goes along with being successful in the process.
A buyer may know that they need a mortgage to purchase a home if they do not have cash, but they may not know that getting a pre-approval upfront, before looking for a home makes the process faster and easier. They may not realize that this will tell them exactly what they can afford so they are not spinning their wheels looking at and falling in love with homes outside their range. The buyer may not realize until we coach them that they need the pre-approval letter to submit with all offers in order for teh offer to be considered and that homes are moving so fast at the moment that in the time it takes you to get a letter after you find a home you like, another already pre-approved buyer can beat you to the punch.
Sellers may realize that cleaning their house and putting a sign in the yard will help the selling process. They may not however realize until you coach them to do so, that decluttering, depersonalizing, making sure paint and permanent selections in the home are neutral, staging, and correct pricing are essential to success in most any market. Making sure everything is done upfront, before the house hits the market is key. And it is our job educate our clients on the process.
And why does educating our clients matter so much to us? Well, that's easy, an educated client that understands the process is always easier to work with. If they understand not only what we are doing, but why we are doing it, then they can comprehend how it benefits them. In the end we both want the same thing, to help our buyers find and close on a home that they want and to help our sellers close on their house with a new buyer. Just like a team, if we educate our clients on what to do and why, then we can work together to accomplish those goals.