I like Gail Tassey's Blog here on AR. She had a posting on Friday titled "Go ahead Tiger Sell it yourself". It was a relatively short posting but really got me thinking. Real Estate seems to be one of the few business situations where many people base their choice regarding representation on non-business criteria.
I had a prospective Short Sale listing client interview me last week. She is in a bad situation and needs significant assistance and based on what she shared with me, she needs it FAST! She is almost out of time and I am confident I could help her (and told her that). She found me via my website and seems to be a very likely Short Sale candidate. She spoke to an acquaintance of hers who is a newly licensed agent and who she knows through their daughter's PTA.
I spent almost an hour with her explaining how complicated Short Sales can be and how time is of the essence. She reciprocated by sharing with me how when she approached her PTA acquaintance about a Short Sale, this other agent told her that she didn't know what a Short Sale was. I explained that not all agents know how to successfully conduct a short sale transaction and just as you would go to a cardiologist if you had a heart condition rather than your primary care doctor, when you are in trouble and need help with a Short Sale, going to someone who specializes in them (or at least knows what they are) would be more advisable than just choosing a agent based on seeing them at PTA meetings.
The call ended with her telling me that she "knows I am right" about my advice to her, but she feels she needs to go with the other agent because "How could she ever face this other agent at PTA meetings if she didn't list her house with her?" All I could think as I hung up the phone is "How will you face her at the PTA meetings when she feels awful that she didn't successfully get your home sold in time and you were foreclosed on by your lender?"
Home buyers and sellers need to realize that Real Estate is business, REALTORS are experienced professionals in what we specialize in and that we take our responsibilities to our clients seriously. Homes are where we live our lives, spend precious times with friends and family and often build a lifetime of memories, but our homes (for many of us) are our single largest investment and the buying or selling of that investment needs to be made with the same care and concern that any other 6 or 7-figure financial transaction would be made with. We REALTORS earn our commissions by adding value to the transactions we are a part of and regularly save our clients money either through our negotiations or by marketing and selling listings more quickly than they would have otherwise sold.
I truly hope that the woman who chose her "PTA-connection" agent successfully sells her home and avoids the foreclosure that is staring her in the face. I do not wish to imply that a buyer or seller choosing an agent that they know through a community organization is a bad idea... just that they should make sure that the agent is qualified and likely to successfully complete the transaction with the desired result. Part of what drives me as a Short Sale Specialist is that I genuinely care about every client or prospective client I encounter and want to make a difference in their lives. I have made sure that I have the experience and tools to do just that and when I think that I can't help a prospective client achieve their objectives, I help them find another agent who can.