The Questions Have Changed.

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart SA541769000

Question Answer


What happens when you have all the answers, but the questions have changed? It seems in today’s world this situation has become more commonplace. Many of the things that we take for granted are no longer true.

In times of rapid change, we must re-examine how we think, how we work, and essentially how we live.

The real estate business is not immune to this rapid change. In the last few months, we have changed the way we sell homes. Many of the traditional processes may no longer be the best way to market a house. At one time a seller’s goal was to get as many people to visit their house as possible. We would fling our doors open hoping that a buyer will walk in, fall in love, and buy.

Today we are more cautious. Using modern tools like drone photography, video promos, and virtual tours, we provide prospective buyers with loads of information before they ever walk through the door. It allows sellers to limit in-person showings and answer many buyer questions without a physical showing.

When it comes to in-person showings, buyers are asked to wear masks, gloves, and booties to help limit the spread of communicable diseases. Requiring safety measures has the added value of eliminating the lookie-loo that may not have a serious interest in the house.

But it isn’t just COVID related changes that have affected our business. Low inventory has made buyers anxious and sellers more choosey. In many markets’ buyers are overlooking repairs, increasing earnest money deposits, and waiving contingencies.

Lending has seen dramatic changes as well. With interest rates at an all-time low, lenders have seen a huge demand for refinancing, clogging the system and extending the time required to close a loan for purchase money as well.

Changes to the appraisal process are also affecting real estate with appraisal waivers, drive-by appraisals and desktop appraisals bypassing the full appraisal requirement. Certainly, an appraisal waiver is a blessing for most borrowers, but a low desktop appraisal can be a huge disappointment.

Buying or selling a house today may take on a quite different personality than even just a few years ago. Adjusting to a new and different market is imperative if we want to maintain our professionalism. Times have changed, at least for now.

For those of us that for so many years have strived to have all the answers, we must now make sure we know the question. When your client asks, “What should we do?” You may have to rethink your answer.



 Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Need more information? Or to Search for your next home, visit



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Joseph Domino

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Comments (40)

Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Joseph Domino 480-390-6011  Times have changed and you are right -  we should rethink our answers= So glad Kathy Streib  Featured this as I missed it 

Oct 26, 2020 10:17 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thanks Hannah

Oct 27, 2020 07:02 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi, Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 - Besides death and taxes, we can also expect change to be with us.  

Oct 26, 2020 01:01 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

My new standard question is "Now what?"

Oct 27, 2020 07:03 PM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Joseph, a great post summarizing changes from the first half of 2020 till now.  We learned to pivot. Experienced agents esp. those in the Rain I would surmise, did well at adapting, having already gained these skills applying the learnings through the years.

Oct 26, 2020 05:28 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thanks Kris

Oct 27, 2020 07:04 PM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Nice post! Our market is hot, but I am yet to see a client bypass the normal procedures! Normal appraisals, inspection, ect

Oct 26, 2020 06:35 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

I have twice been the beneficiary of the appraisal waiver. I haven't had the desktop appraisal bite, but several agents I have spoken with have. Crazy.

Oct 27, 2020 07:05 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

True consumers have a lot more information when we meet them . However they still need us to navigate them through the whole process 

Oct 27, 2020 02:44 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Yes, we must show them that we know more than the "public information." Added value.

Oct 27, 2020 07:07 PM
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 480-966-9353 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Great summary of the changes in the real estate market, Joseph. Yes, I have seen all those trends and changes in transactions, and in our marketplace. 

Oct 27, 2020 05:24 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thanks Steffy.

Oct 27, 2020 07:07 PM
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

HI Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 I agree completely with your comments.  I am all onboard with the changes...especially the lack of looky-loo calls.

I personally am having the strongest year of my 28 year career and my phone is ringing less.  Less showings but quality showings...etc.

Oct 27, 2020 06:16 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Glad to hear. I too am having a good year. I think being a calming agent helps settle some nerveous clients.

Oct 27, 2020 07:08 PM
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Congratulations on a thought-provoking post.  Yes, we do need to ask different questions, and educating the buyer is critical. You are right, the market and approach to marketing have changed a lot!

Oct 27, 2020 06:32 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

It seems we are always learning to adapt. Thanks Shirley.

Oct 27, 2020 07:09 PM
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

All good points.  The ever changing market and world we live in, to me, has been interesting to say the least.  It is a different world than even two years ago.

Oct 27, 2020 07:51 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thank Gary. Hang in there.

Oct 27, 2020 07:10 PM
Stephen Turner
Burkentine Realty Group (Burkentien Builders) - York, PA

Appreciate the post and gave me some good food for thought. 

Oct 27, 2020 08:47 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thanks Stephen

Oct 27, 2020 07:10 PM
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Best Hawaii Realtor!

As in our business, it is constant change. Good article Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 !

Oct 27, 2020 11:09 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thanks Bruce.

Oct 27, 2020 07:11 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Nimble and flexible and willing to adapt. Those words describe the successful Realtor these days...and they describe qualities that are always important to possess for so many reasons.

Oct 27, 2020 12:21 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Like Carly Simon said "Anticipation".

Oct 27, 2020 07:14 PM
Peter Mohylsky. Broker Associate
Miramar Beach - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

changes are good answers are good.  common sense should rule

Oct 27, 2020 03:28 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Yes, we need to keep our cool.

Oct 27, 2020 07:13 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Good points, the market changes every day, and the questions we get asked change every day. 

Oct 27, 2020 05:02 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

I am sometimes surprised when they ask a new question. You might have to think fast.

Oct 27, 2020 07:15 PM
Susan McCall - - Compass Realty Solutions
Compass Realty Solutions - Portland, OR
Listing and Buyer's Agent

Ugh!  Drive by appraisal?  I know there was an appraisal done for my buyer on Friday.  Where is it?  There are so many parts that need to come together, one person can make the whole process come to a screaming halt.

Oct 27, 2020 07:46 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Yes, apparasials have become the wild card in this sellers market.

Oct 30, 2020 07:46 AM
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Successful agents learn to adapt quickly and adopt the new processes relative to buying and selling real estate.  The pandemic has changed the buying process dramatically by requiring buyers to be qualified to buy with evidence of proof of funds and/or financing prior to any physical inspection. Hopefully, this process will not change after the pandemic has been eradicated. Regardless, great post.

Oct 27, 2020 11:56 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Correct, whenever a change occurs like the current market we resist. But usually some good comes from it. Take the good with the bad.

Oct 30, 2020 07:48 AM
Erik Hiss
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Worthington, OH
You can trust me for all your real estate needs!

Oh my so true! In my short little 16 year career the questions have surely changed and this year they are changing yet again. Good insights. 

Oct 28, 2020 05:33 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thank Erik. When you look back 16 years you likely did not anticipate these changes.

Oct 30, 2020 07:50 AM
Rob Spinosa
Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA - San Anselmo, CA
SVP of Mortgage Lending, Marin County

Great post.  The questions have changed, indeed, and the context in which they're asked has changed too.  What's been reinforced this year --- and that we knew before --- is that real estate is dynamic and can be felt in the extremes when things get volatile.  Six months is a lifetime.  If we look back to March/April, most felt like the sky was falling and that real estate would suffer.  Instead, at least in our market, people realized how important it was to take matters into their hands and get their living situations figured out and as a result we've all had to work extra hard to accommodate the urgency and demand.

Oct 28, 2020 08:08 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Yes, real estate has been surprisingly resilient. I hope it continues.

Oct 30, 2020 07:51 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

And the pandemic is forcing permanent changes--in just about every business I think.  Gotta change with the times!

Oct 28, 2020 01:45 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Yes, change is constant. Digging your heels in only frustrates yourself.

Oct 30, 2020 07:52 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

I think all of our current changes have worked out better for us. Getting rid of the looky-loos is a real bonus! Zoom calls though not as personal do save us lots of time.

Oct 29, 2020 06:01 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Yes, some good always comes out of these changes. We just have to adapt.

Oct 30, 2020 07:53 AM

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