I recently presented an offer to a listing agent that was below the seller's asking price. It was a good offer, based on recent sales and even in this brutal seller's market, it was a fair offer. The seller countered, we countered back and in my comments to the buyer's agent, I said this is a fair offer, actually over what I felt it was worth, and that since we had a buyer that wanted to buy the house and a seller that presumably wanted to sell, I couldn't understand why we weren't heading to a fully executed agreement.
My professional goals are to always care more about my client's needs and goals than my own. When I say I am keeping my eye on the prize, I mean, I am trying to get my buyer client the home they want or I am trying to sell my seller client's home for the most money with the best terms.
The agent on the other end of this particular possible transaction said "no worries, I keep my eye on the prize" and before I could answer that I do as well, he went on to say that the prize is his commission.
Okay, so we aren't exactly on the same wavelength here.
The prize, if you follow the money, is not a lofty goal as a fiduciary to our clients. I have always believed, in my heart, that if you do the right thing by your clients, the money will follow. Do I have an off year at times? Yes, I do. I work for a living like most people but the kick I get out of making a living as a real estate agent is the fact that I am helping people reach their buying and selling goals. Making a home for themselves and their families. Making the right decisions to downsize or buy something bigger to accommodate their next phase of life.
This has been a brutal seller's market for agents that represent buyers more than sellers. I usually have a balanced year of both buyers and sellers, but lately, I've been heavier on the buyer end and believe me when I tell you, it's challenging. Having to tell buyers that their offer, which was over asking, lost out to someone else that offered even more over asking is not fun.
There are signs that the market is changing in some price ranges. I think an even market where there's not a glut of listings or not enough of them, makes for a more pleasant buying experience if perhaps a longer selling experience.
Uneven markets bring out the worst in some personalities and for someone who thinks fairness is one of the best of virtues, I'll be happy to see a more balanced and pleasant market for my buyer clients which does not harm my seller clients by the 2009 market having a repeat performance.
Today's word is prize. Keep your eyes on a good and fair prize.