Over the years, many people have asked this question, “Why should I hire a REALTOR to sell or help find my next home? How hard can it be?”
As someone who has been in the real estate business for quite some time, it’s easy for me to answer – landing the big fish in a small boat of experience isn’t easy. But for someone anxious to get their home on the market, the answer isn’t as simple. Most times, the person asking that question doesn’t realize the process is more complicated than simply taking a few pictures and buying a sign for the yard.
After being in this business for nearly two decades, I know two things are certain when I go under contract with an owner to sell their home: we’ll face a lot of issues, and a lot of unknowns can and WILL go wrong. There’s also a chance we’ll face a new scenario that will test everything I’ve got. The easy part is taking pictures and filling in the blanks. The hard part is getting a home to the closing table and then not getting into legal issues.
For me professionally, I gain more insight about the ever-changing real estate world from every closing. Each sale is different. Each buyer is different. Each home is different. I’ve faced far more challenging situations and issues over hundreds of sales than any single seller could imagine.
When someone asks why they should list with me, I tell them it would take many evenings over coffee to fully explain what they might face and what I’ve been through over the years. Most difficult situations would normally take a deal to its grave if handled by someone who isn’t in the real estate arena every day. In fact, I’ve grown to love a good challenge. When things truly get difficult, I know it’s a true test of my professional skills and I’m about to broaden my knowledge base once more. When I can close out the deal and my sellers are at ease, I feel the most alive in this business.
It’s not always easy. Over the years, I’ve fought low-ball appraisals that underestimated a home’s true value and won for my homeowner. I’ve steered sellers through a buyer bailing on purchasing the property on the day of closing. I’ve helped sellers who were grieving the loss of a loved one and simply wanted me to handle everything. I’ve helped clients finally sell homes after other agents and themselves marketed a property incorrectly. I’ve helped sellers get leverage with back-up offers in hot markets and removed difficult buyers for more reasonable prospects. I’ve helped sellers obtain last-minute permit approvals for additions they constructed when it threatened a sale close. I’ve even helped sellers who had boundary disputes with neighbors resolve issues in order to finally sell their property with corrected surveys. The list goes on. Each situation I’ve been through is unique and has proven the value of an experienced real estate professional with well thought out plans.
REALTORS are the center of their deals. A good, seasoned agent knows exactly what to do and exactly what not to do at every step of the home sale process. In my opinion, the road to experience in any profession is full of failures. Having someone who has made the mistakes and learned from them is invaluable. If you could avoid mistakes, why wouldn’t you consult someone who has been through many along the way?
The real estate industry itself is constantly changing and there will always be someone or something fighting to remove REALTORS from the buying and selling mix. But I can confidently say that real-time, in-person, critical thinking coupled with experiential knowledge will never be replaced by an app, a new marketing program or a do-it-yourself kit. The future of our business rests with the problem solvers in the field, the veterans who have been through tough closings and serve each client throughout their real estate journey. Knowledge and experience navigate tricky waters, and a good agent can take what seems to be a disaster and land it without a scratch. That, to me, is the true value of a seasoned REALTOR.