Being Our Clients' Advocate Means Empowering Them Too
I recently had a wonderful young couple who have two small children who had moved to Charlotte for a new job and did not know the area at all. They wound up with a real estate agent who placed them in a neighborhood outside of the city, neglecting to tell them that their new neighborhood may not be the safest one for small children. The family hated the neighborhood and the school that their children were attending and were ready to move after their first two days in their new home.
Can we really blame the agent for misplacing these newcomers to Charlotte? The information that these clients needed is NOT something that we are legally allowed to tell our clients! It really is a shame to some degree that we can't share this information but, it is a fact of life. Agents must learn to live within the federal housing guidelines if we want to maintain our real estate licenses.
HOWEVER, we ARE allowed share references from which the client can glean all of the information that we are federally mandated NOT to communicate to them. So, CAN we blame the agent? We are our clients' advocate and empowering them to do a little homework on their own, is indeed our job.
On with the story--Taking quite the financial hit, the family moved quite a bit farther out of the city into a much better area to rent until they had saved enough for a down-payment on a new home as they continued their commute to work in Charlotte. They later began looking for another home, wisely NOT using their previous agent; instead they used my team to assist them through a referral from a former client of mine who worked with the wife at the bank. After sending them links to do their own research, as well as setting them up with a gateway and having them fully pre-approved, we began their home search.
They qualified for a much higher valued home than they originally thought and after viewing three homes in GREAT areas, in close proximity to their work, they've put in an Offer, won in a bidding war and are now proud homeowners in an area that they love and plan to reside for quite a few years!
The moral of the story: The first agent not only neglected to advocate for the clients but, the clients had NO idea that THEY could actually do a little homework themselves. They thought that was what you hire a real estate agent to do. The other agent wound up placing them in a home in an unsafe neighborhood in a school in which the children were miserable, just to 'get the sale done' (clients' words, not mine)--not to mention, putting them in harms way in the process. We are advocates to our clients; we should have teachers' hearts and not 'salespersons' hearts.'
Just because we are unable to discuss specific matters which many of our Buyers ask about certain neighborhoods and schools, doesn't mean that we can't guide buyers to do a little homework themselves. Assigning our clients homework to do, empowers and involves them in the home-buying process...and allows agents who do so to sleep at night!
© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | CharlotteBroker@icloud.com | Being Our Clients' Advocate Means Empowering Them Too