By Kay Wilson-Bolton
June 12, 2003
I know exactly when to worry about a real estate transaction. It is when I hear the words “everything is fine”. That statement is common to the industry and it has proven to me to be an indication that the one I am speaking to does not really know what is going on.
It is typical to quickly discover that there is some kind of problem, hitch, dilemma, development or concern that needs my attention. Therefore, everything is “not fine”.
If someone in your team of professionals uses those words, ask what they mean by that! Ask for a status report by asking detailed questions.
This age of the real estate transaction is very complex. Everyone must do his or her job, at just the right time, or nothing is fine. The home inspector has to inspect the home within the specified time frame so the buyer knows what to expect. The appraiser has to meet the lender’s time frame to coincide with the ordering of termite work, underwriting, ordering of loan documents, insurance, lender conditions and walk-throughs–to name a few.
The real estate business has lots of new agents. Some are better supervised than others and as the learning curve gets longer, tempers get shorter and expectations get higher.
We use cell phones, home phones, home offices and home faxes. We use email, voice mail, office faxes and trans boxes. We have high-speed connections, messengers and over night mail. We say, “Call me anytime for anything” and a REALTOR® will do their best to make it all come together at the same time.
Fortunately, new agents can be good agents because they have a desire to learn a new career and dread the consequences of making a mistake because their first transaction is usually with a friend or a family member. If they work under a good broker who knows how to avoid making mistakes or at least how to resolve them, the training curve will be shorter.
However, the really good REALTOR® knows how to make the work look easy. That’s partly why so many new people want to do it. Experienced REALTORS® can identify the problem and the strategy at the same time.
I heard it again today. “I’m paying you thousands of dollars to sell my home. Why didn’t we close on time?”
The answer is that there is a huge circle of service providers that participate in a sale and a closing. Generally, we have one goal, but different jobs. We have different talents, but the same objective. We have different training, but one direction. And the truth is that some are simply better than others at their work.
In the end, there is one person who directs the orchestra and that is your REALTOR®. While REALTORS® have different levels of commitment, expertise, and experience, the common denominator is that we don’t get paid until you get paid.
Do our industry a favor and continue your high expectations of REALTORS®. Remember that the phone rings two ways. Ask questions. Demand perfection. Share your expectations.
Working together, we are all better.
Kay Wilson-Bolton is the owner of CENTURY 21 Ojai Valley and brings a regional perspective to local issues. She can be reached at 340.5025.